13 Great Quotes Heard Around the Art World in May 2015

“Sell, sell, sell.”

Chris Burden.
Chris Burden. Photo: © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Chris Burden.
Photo: © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA.

1. Remembering Chris Burden
“He liked testing his own mortality. I heard when he was a student in Pomona, he used to ride around on an old motorcycle, trying to get cops to chase him. Then he’d turn out the lights and go as fast as he could down alleys and all around.”
—Artist Ed Moses, quoted in the L.A. Times (see Performance Art Legend Chris Burden is Dead at 69)

2. Advice for Budding Artists
“Make an enemy of jealousy and envy. As fast and soon as you can…. The art world is high school with money.”
—Jerry Saltz, speaking at Frieze (see Jerry Saltz On the Importance of Social Media for Art and Why He Is Not Like Klaus Biesenbach)

3. On Laughter
“Humor is almost like an ejaculation.”
—Artist Judith Bernstein, interviewed by artnet News (see Judith Bernstein Aims to Satisfy Your Curiosity About the Vagina)

4. Advice for Art Collectors
“Sell, sell, sell.”
—Art advisor Thomas Seydoux, after the recent record-breaking auctions, to the Wall Street Journal (see $179 Million Picasso Sets Stratospheric Record at Christie’s $705.9 Million “Looking Forward” Sale)

ArtNews, January 1971

ArtNews, January 1971

5. The Birth of “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”
“I wrote [the essay] as the direct result of an incident that took place at Vassar graduation in 1970. Gloria Steinem was the graduation speaker…she had been invited by my friend Brenda Feigen, who was then a graduating senior. Her brother Richard Feigen was there. He was already a famous gallery person then, the head of the Richard Feigen gallery. After the ceremony, Richard turned to me and said, ‘Linda, I would love to show women artists, but I can’t find any good ones. Why are there no great women artists?’ He actually asked me that question. “
—Art historian Linda Nochlin, interviewed in ArtNews

6. On Georg Baselitz’s Claim that Women Can’t Paint, Except for a Few Exceptions
“Men don’t paint very well either, with a few exceptions.”
—Critic and theorist Griselda Pollock, in the Independent

Jay Z and Marina Abramovic during the 2013 shoot for "Picasso Baby."Photo via Consequence of Sound.

Jay Z and Marina Abramovic during the 2013 shoot for “Picasso Baby.”
Photo via Consequence of Sound.

7. Jay Z Is a Deadbeat!
“[H]e adapted my work only under one condition: that he would help my institute. Which he didn’t.”
—Marina Abramovic, explaining how she felt “totally used” by the rapper after his Picasso Baby video, to Spike (see Marina Abramović Accuses Jay Z of Betrayal Over “Picasso Baby” Video)

8. …Or Maybe Not
“Thank you for your donation.”
—Jay Z’s art dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, reading a receipt from the Marina Abramovic Institute refuting Abramovic’s claim, speaking to artnet News (see Jay Z Defends Himself Against Marina Abramović Accusation with Proof of Donation)

9. An Open Letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
“What you call an ‘insult to representatives of the parliament by means of cartoons’ I consider to be an artistic expression of the home of our nation (parliament), which our nation does not deserve!”
—Cartoonist Atena Farghadani, who stands accused spreading propaganda, insulting MPs, and insulting the supreme leader, quoted by the BBC

Martha Rosler, First Lady (Pat Nixon) (1967-72) from the series "House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home."Image: Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

Martha Rosler, First Lady (Pat Nixon) (1967-72) from the series “House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home.”
Image: Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art.

10. On the Legacy of the 1970s
“[I]f we actually let the following generations understand how much we (worldwide) changed the world, they would look at us cross eyed and say, So, what the fuck happened then?”
—Artist Martha Rosler, quoted from a Facebook thread, republished in Art Practical

11. On the Political Value of Art
“Art is an organizing strategy to fight against the alienation of everyday life.”
—Artist/activist Raul Ayala of People’s Climate Arts, interviewed for the Brooklyn Rail

12. On the Art Scene in the United Arab Emirates
“This is not a happy period. It is a safe period.”
—Artist Walid al-Wawi, in ArtAsiaPacific

13. What Goes Through Your Mind When You Get in a Yoko Ono Bag Piece
“HELP!”
—Blake Gopnik, writing on artnet News (see Art Critic Gets Trapped in Bag at MoMA’s Yoko Ono Gala)


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