20 Famous Art Quotes

I have a thing for quotes. Mostly art quotes but I’ll also collect them from whatever topic I happen to be learning about at the time. I used to have notebooks filled with quotes from books that I had read! The Internet made my quotes addiction easier to maintain and manage. Here’s some famous art quotes about money, business.. and stuff ;-)

  1. I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s. I will not reason and compare.. my business is to create.
    William Blake, English artist
  2. What good is money if it can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?
    Monty Burns, Cartoon character from the Simpsons
  3. People still think of me as a cartoonist, but the only thing I lift a pen or pencil for these days is to sign a contract, a check or an autograph.
    Walt Disney, American businessman
  4. If I make a painting, it should be seen for what it’s set out to do too. A lot of the things that I do, it’s not all art. Some of it’s design, some of it’s illustration, some of it’s graphics, some of it’s concept, some of it’s business and some of it, hopefully, is art.
    Ken Done, Australian artist
  5. The idea that money, patronage and trade automatically corrupts the wells of imagination is a pious fiction, believed by some utopian lefties and a few people of genius such as (William) Blake but flatly contradicted by history itself.
    Robert Hughes, Australian art critic
  6. Art prices are determined by the meeting of real or induced scarcity with pure, irrational desire, and nothing is more manipulable than desire.
    Robert Hughes, Australian art critic
  7. It is generally agreed, that few men are made better by affluence or exaltation.
    Samuel Johnson, English writer
  8. I love the gallery, the arena of representation. It’s a commercial world, and morality is based generally around economics, and that’s taking place in the art gallery.
    Jeff Koons, American business artist
  9. If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.
    Ray Kroc, McDonald’s
  10. We’re trying to sell peace, like a product, you know, and sell it like people sell soap or soft drinks. And it’s the only way to get people aware that peace is possible, and it isn’t just inevitable to have violence. Not just war.. all forms of violence.
    John Lennon, British singer
  11. I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.
    Marilyn Monroe, American actress
  12. Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist
  13. I don’t buy art in order to leave a mark or to be remembered; clutching at immortality is of zero interest to anyone sane.
    Charles Saatchi, British art collector
  14. If we actually love what we’re doing and we go and do what we love, and every day we get up because we’re really happy to get up and go and do what we do, you can’t actually do that without expression, and art forms part of that mix of expression that makes the whole package of life so enjoyable to be in.
    Kerry Stokes, Australian businessman
  15. Picasso was not only a great artist, he was a good businessman. He knew the value of his work, and he didn’t make excuses for it.
    Donald Trump, American businessman
  16. I see more and more that my work goes infinitely better when I am properly fed, and the paints are there, and the studio and all that. But have I set my heart on my work being a success? A thousand times no. I wish I could manage to make you really understand that when you give money to artists, you are yourself doing an artist’s work, and that I only want my pictures to be of such a quality that you will not be too dissatisfied with your work.
    Vincent van Gogh, Dutch artist
  17. An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.
    Andy Warhol, American Pop artist
  18. Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.
    Robin Williams, American comedian
  19. You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.
    Oprah Winfrey, American businesswoman
  20. Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.
    Zig Ziglar, American self help writer
About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Donald Frazell says:

    The business people make far more sense than the artsy types, as they have real products to sell. Even Disney sounds sane, and the artscene is like Hollywood in being all about illusion, the appearance of importance.
    Disappointed in your fellow aussie Hughes, I think he would take back that comment about automatic corruption now. It may start OK, but always decays as the patrons importance is paramount, we are but their jesters. At first they think we may actually have something worthwhile to say, a few take advantage. Then inevitably goes bad. Til the next revolution.
    To the barricades!
    art collegia delenda es!

  2. Did you watch the Business of Art by Hughes Donald? It’s worth a look.

    And yeah, I don’t know why anyone would listen to an artist speak about anything other than art!! lol Reality isn’t where most of us spend the majority of our time ;-)

    I’m hoping a real revolution starts in your neighborhood soon. Clean out the rubbish in politics, economics and the media. Then maybe us lazy Aussies will be motivated to pull out our guillotines too!! lol

  3. Frances says:

    These are some great quotes. I definitely feel that William Blake knew what he was talking about, love that quote.


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