Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
(pronounced Kee-veen O Cree-awn) is an Irish artist, lecturer and
writer. His artwork consists of paintings based on contemporary
geopolitical themes as well as Irish history and cityscapes of Dublin.
Caoimhghin studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin where he
obtained a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art. He subsequently undertook post-graduate
study in the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies in Dublin City
University obtaining an MA (Hons) degree in Communications and Cultural Studies. Caoimhghin is an Irish speaker and holds a PhD in Language and Politics
(Dublin City University) which is
published under the title Language from Below: The
Irish Language, Ideology and Power in 20th-Century Ireland. He completed
work in Dublin City University as a Post-Doctoral researcher on the
TRASNA project (a web-based
database of references to translations of Irish literature globally).
He has worked as a part-time lecturer in
Language and Cultural
Geopolitics at All Hallows
College; in Intercultural Communication, and Human Rights at Champlain College; and in Aesthetics
and History of Irish Art for Boston University in Dublin while doing research on a database of Realist
and Social Realist art from around the world. These paintings can be viewed
country by country on his blog at
widely from Irish history, history of art, Gaeilge, philosophy, world cinema,
photography, Asian cuisine, travel, walking, kayaking, swimming, listening to Irish
traditional, world and classical music, teaching Set and
Céilí dancing and
researching Ó Croidheáin family history.
is currently learning Spanish while concentrating
his time on a new series of oil paintings
examining the daily existence of people making a living in the worst working
conditions in the global economy.
Beathaisnéis Chaoimhghin Uí Chroidheáin Is
ealaíontóir Éireannach é Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin a bhfuil a chuid saothair
curtha ar taispeáint go forleathan timpeall na hÉireann aige. Is le
holadhathanna is mó a bhíonn Caoimhghin ag péinteáil, agus tá sé ag gabháil do
shraith de chathairdhreacha a bhfuil saol sóisialta agus polaitiúil na hÉireann
léirithe iontu faoi láthair. Is sa Choláiste Náisiúnta Ealaíne agus Deartha i
mBaile Átha Cliath a rinne sé a chuid staidéir mar ar bhain sé céim Bhaitsiléir
Ealaíon (Onóracha) sa Mhínealaín amach. Chuaigh sé i mbun staidéar iarchéime dá
éis sin i réimse idirdhisciplíneach Staidéar an Chultúir in Ollscoil Chathair
Bhaile Átha Cliath mar ar bhain sé céim Mháistreachta sa Chumarsáid agus i
Staidéar an Chultúir mar aon le céim dochtúireachta sa Léann Teanga agus
Polaitíochta amach. Is i nDomhnach Bat i gContae Bhaile Átha Cliath atá cónaí
air faoi láthair.
La biografía de
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin (pronunciado Kee-veen O Cree-awn) es un artista irlandés
que ha exhibido ampliamente en Irlanda. Su obra consiste en dibujos y pinturas,
ofreciendo vistas urbanas de la ciudad de Dublín, imágenes que se basan en la
historia de Irlanda. Además de ello, también exhibe imágenes relativas a temas
políticos y sociales.
Caoimhghin estudió en la Escuela Nacional de Arte y Diseño de Dublín, donde
obtuvo un grado en Bellas Artes. Posteriormente, realizó estudios de postgrado
en el campo interdisciplinario de los Estudios Culturales en la Dublin City
University para obtener un grado de master en Comunicación y Estudios Culturales.
Caoimhghin es parlohablante de la lengua irlandesa y posee un doctorado en
lengua y políticas, cuya tesis fue publicada bajo el título de
La Lengua desde Abajo: la Lengua Irlandesa, Ideología y
Poder en el siglo XX en Irlanda. Así mismo, Caoimhghin completó su trabajo
en la Dublin City University como un investigador post-doctoral en el proyecto
TRASNA (una base de datos en la
web de referencias de las traducciones de la literatura irlandesa a nivel
mundial). Actualmente trabaja como profesor a tiempo parcial de historia del
arte irlandés para la Universidad de Boston en Dublín.
Sus intereses varían mucho: la historia irlandesa, la lengua gaélica, la
filosofía, el cine internacional, la fotografía, la cocina asiática, viajar,
caminar, la natación, la música tradicional irlandesa y la música clásica, la
enseñanza de la danza irlandesa, y la investigación de la historia de
la familia Ó Croidheáin.
Actualmente, está aprendiendo español mientras concentra su tiempo en una nueva
serie de pinturas al óleo que examinan la existencia cotidiana de las personas
que se ganan la vida en las peores condiciones de trabajo en la economía mundial.
Champlain College, Dublin
Champlain College, Leeson Street, Dublin
2011 – Present
Course includes foundations and theories of intercultural communication,
cultural and ethnic identities, migrant/host relationships, globalisation and
cosmopolitanism, nonverbal codes, intercultural relationships, communication and
conflict, and includes guest speakers, films with intercultural themes and world
Global Studies: Human Rights and Responsibilities Champlain College, Leeson Street, Dublin
This course in the global dimensions of human rights looks at contemporary human
rights issues as they are actually developing in the world around us. Particular
topics include food and famine relief, rule of law issues (protection against
arbitrary imprisonment), freedom of information and expression, gender equality
issues, economic justice, and genocide.
The very concept of human rights challenges us to learn about the different
values people hold around the world, to try to make sense of values different
from our own, and to wonder whether it is even possible (or appropriate) to
think there are fundamental rights that apply to all people everywhere.
The focus of this course is to develop students’ exposure to non-Western
cultures in both their contemporary and historical dimensions. It challenges
them to think deeply about what culture means in human life and to help them
think critically about their own assumptions and ideals as they encounter
traditions, ideas, and practices different from their own.
The course covers topics such as the history and enforcement mechanisms of human
rights, gender and development issues, colonialism, neoliberalism, war and
violent conflict, history of war, types of war, the history of peace movements,
international organisations, structural violence and global citizenship.
Boston University, Dublin
Aesthetics and History of Irish Art
Boston University, DCU, Dublin
2009 – Present
Teaching Visual Arts Strand for Boston University, Dublin. Course includes
History of Irish Art, Representations of the Irish People, Aesthetics and Irish
Art, and field trips, to business and communications students.
All Hallows College, Dublin
From Famines to Feasts: A case
of history repeated? All Hallows College, Gracepark Rd, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
2015 This module offers students an
opportunity to engage in a multifaceted investigation of two pivotal events that
transformed (and continues to impact on) the lives of people in Ireland: The
Great Famine 1845-51, and The Celtic Tiger and its aftermath 1995-2015. Over the
course of the module, students will recognise, develop, and chart thematic
connections and consequences across a wide range of disciplines. ‘From Famines
to Feasts’ is an interdisciplinary module examining two key and contrasting
periods, separated by 150 years: The Great Famine 1845–51, and The Celtic Tiger
and its aftermath 1995–2015. These events will be studied initially from a
socio-historical and economic perspective, addressing connecting themes such as
Dispossession; Diaspora and emigration; the effects and [ongoing] repercussions
of Economic policy (both national and international); and Winners/Losers (in
terms of property, labour, and economic sovereignty). This ‘discussion’ will be
complemented by an exploration of how these pivotal events have been remembered
and recorded in literature, music, and public art.
Cultural Diversity in Contemporary
Ireland: Values, Identity and Intercultural Learning
All Hallows College, Gracepark Rd, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
2015 The aim of the course is to develop
awareness of the role of cultural values in shaping identity, and of the need to
take differing cultural values into account, especially in a multi-cultural
We will study the most important theorists of Intercultural Studies and
Intercultural Learning, and as far as possible, we will explore the current
intercultural situation in Irish society and education. Course includes
foundations and theories of intercultural communication, cultural and ethnic
identities, migrant/host relationships, globalisation and cosmopolitanism,
nonverbal codes, intercultural relationships, communication and conflict. Language and Cultural Identity
All Hallows College, Gracepark Rd, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
2014 This course is structured as follows: History and Nationalism
[Ireland and Europe], Ideology and Politics [Statism and Ethnicity],
Globalisation and Utilitarianism [Instrumentalism and Culture], and the Future
of Culture [Economy and People]. The fraught relationship between the Irish
language and cultural identity is examined and the relationship between the
Irish language and politics is investigated through a survey of individuals and
movements associated with the language. Since the Great Famine the position of
the Irish language in Ireland has been in decline. A critical analysis of the
theories of Ideology, Nationalism and Ethnicity lays the basis for discussion
about the changing relationship between the Irish language and politics since
the formation of Conradh na Gaeilge in 1893. While some commentators perceive
the situation as hopeless, others look to the growth of Irish in the urban
centres of Ireland for inspiration and as a positive sign for the future for the
language. Examining the position of other minority languages around the world
will be a key part in outlining the importance of cultural identity in society
All Hallows College, Gracepark Rd, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
2013 This course is divided
into four areas: Geopolitics and Globalisation, Topics and Strategies,
Geopolitical Theories, and History of Geopolitics. The course covers world
politics from the early twentieth century to today looking at cultural and
political tensions that underlie international relations. By taking a broadly
historical, geographical and cultural look at the changes and developments of
the main blocs competing in the world today, the course seeks to encourage
students to critically examine and contextualise current events according to the
needs, desires and sometimes hidden agendas of individual countries or power
blocs. The ultimate aim of the course is to develop conceptual and theoretical
tools that will help the student explain and understand the global issues being
played out on the news each day.
The Cryan Game Database No. 16, Irish Roots,
Issue No.25, First Quarter, p.14, 1998 1916 Rebels
Database No. 35,
Issue No.46, Second Quarter, p.20, 2003 Local Newspapers: The Hidden Archive
Issue No.46, Second Quarter, p.22/3, 2003 Merchant Seamen Identity Cards
Database No. 39, Irish Roots,
Issue No.53, First Quarter, p.22, 2005
Frongoch Internment Camp
Database No. 41,
Issue No.55, Third Quarter, p.21, 2005
Letters: A New Irish Flag Irish Roots,
Issue No.57, First Quarter, p.30, 2006 Detective Work on a Detective Irish Roots,
Issue No.58, Second Quarter, p.22/3, 2006
Book, Journal, Report and Magazine Covers
Language from Below: The Irish Language, Ideology and Power in 20th Century
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
Peter Lang academic publishers
'Máirtín Ó Cadhain (1906 - 1970)' cover painting by Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
See also inside:
196 Post Celtic Tiger Dublin Landscapes in Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin’s
208 Post Celtic Tiger Expressionism: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin’s Great
Famine Memorial, Custom House Quay, Dublin (2007)
Being a Migrant in Turkey: Migrant Workers Survey Tuba
(2015) 'Garment Factory, India'
cover painting by Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
Transforming Ireland Challenges, Critiques, Resources
Debbie Ging, Michael Cronin, Peadar Kirby (2009)
Manchester University Press
'Parnell's Providence' cover painting by
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Táin magazine (Jun - Aug 2006)
'Michael Davitt' cover painting by
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
La Rochelle, France WORKSHOP- IRELAND AND THE ARTS IN A TIME OF CRISIS: A TRANSITION TO
POST-CONFLICT POLITICS AND IDENTITY? Thursday 6 June 2013 / University of La Rochelle, France
History Ireland (March/April 2017) with
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin illustrating article 'Thomas Davis's ideas on educating
leaders' by John Conneally. http://www.historyireland.com/
Making Cents: Life Below the
Bottom Rung Solo exhibition by Caoimhghin Ó
This exhibition was opened by
journalist and broadcaster Vincent
7th October 2010
Phiarsaigh––THE PEARSE CENTRE
The Ireland Institute, 27 Pearse St , Dublin 2
Cents’ is a new series of oil paintings examining the daily existence of people
making a living in the worst working conditions in the global economy.
Articles about artist (Click on images to enlarge)
RTÉ - Podchraoladh Dearc
Clár ealaíon le Cearbhall Ó Síocháin a dhíríonn ar na dearcealaíona go háirithe,
idir pheintéireacht chlasaiceach, nuaealaín ilmheáin, dhealbhadóireacht agus
ealaín sráide, chomh maith le hamharclannaíocht agus scannánaíocht. Beidh
Cearbhall i mbun agallaimh le healaíontóirí éagsúla maidir lena gceird agus lena
saothair, ag trácht ar thaispeántais reatha agus ar fhéilte cuí.
Dearc: 06 Meán Fómhair (2008)
08 September 2008 00:00
Caoimhghín Ó Croidheáin, Ealaíontóir ag cur síos ar a shaothar; Tom Creed,
Stiúrthóir agus ball bhord Fringe, (Féile Imeall Bhlaile Átha Cliath); Niall Ó
Síoradáin le léirmheas ar ‘Standard Operating Procedure’, scannán faisnéise ag
RTE TG4 Imeall (2016) Broadcast 10:45pm Thursday 14 January 2016
'Imeall, our flagship bilingual arts series returns for its 8th season with
presenter Tristan Rosenstock and his team chronicling cultural life in Ireland,
getting up close and personal with our leading artists in all corners of the
country. Produced by Red Shoe
RTE 1 Nationwide- 'Focus on Irish art and artists'
Broadcast 7pm Monday 26 November 2007
Segment entitled 'Dubliner sets up online gallery'.
Interview with Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin.
(Tom Hogarty, newirishart.com)
RTE TG4 Ardán (2006) Broadcast 9pm Saturday 15 April
Ceol, ealaíon agus siamsaíocht ó gach cearn den tír le feiceáil air. Déantar
ceiliúradh ar chultúr agus ar thallan phobail áitiúla na hÉireann. Hosted by
Páidí Ó Lionáird. Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin discusses 7 portraits (oil on canvas)
of the signatories of the Proclamation of 1916, displayed on easels in the
NvTv video interview by Northern Visions (2006)
Northern Visions is a free-to-air, terrestrial community television service for
the Belfast area. ‘Assembly in the Market Place’, Culturlann McAdam O Fiaich,
216 Falls Rd, Belfast, Co Antrim. Interview with Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin. (Solo
Exhibition: 4 Oct 2006 – 9 Nov 2006).
Art exhibition held in the Cultúrlann showcasing the work of Caoimhghin Ó
Croidheáin, a Dublin Artist whose subjects include international issues,
everyday scenes and the political history of Ireland, stretching back over 400
years. Irish with English subtitles. Funded by the Irish Language Broadcast
Fund/NIFTC. Craolfar gearrscannán dar teideal ‘Assembly in the Marketplace’ ar
Northern Visions, ar seirbhís áitiúil teilifíse do cheantar Bhéal Feirste é, dé
Chéadaoin seo chugainn, an 15ú Samhain agus athchraolfar é ag an deireadh
seachtaine. Tabharfaidh an scannán seo léargas ar shaothar Chaoimhghín Uí
Chroidhdeáin, ealaíontóir a bhfuil taispeántas ar siúl aige faoi láthair i
gCultúrlann Mac Adam O Fiach.
Léiríodh an clár seo mar chuid de scéim oiliúna a reáchtálann NvTv i gcomhar
leis an gCiste Craoltóireachta Gaeilge (CCG) ar bhonn bliantúil. Faigheann NvTv
maoiniú ón CCG le oiliúint a chur ar fáil do bheirt a bhfuil Gaeilge líofa acu.
Le linn dóibh a bheith ar socrúcháin oiliúna le NvTv, tugann an bheirt faoi
chlár cuimsitheach oiliúna ina bhfoghlaimíonn siad scileanna taighde, fuaime,
ceamara agus iarléiriú. Beidh ‘Assembly in the Marketplace’ ar an gcéad
gearrscannán a léirigh an bheirt atá ag gabháil don scéim i rith na bliana seo.
“Bhain muid an-chuid sochair agus taitnimh as déantús an chláir seo”, a deir Ray
Lawlor, duine den bheirt atá i mbun na scéime i mbliana. “Idir an bheirt againn,
rinne muid an clár ina iomláine a chur le chéile”. “Measaim gur clár thar a
bheith suimiúil é”, a deir Chrissie Ní Loinsigh, páirtnéir Ray ar an scéim.
“Ealaíontóir polaitiúil é Caoimhghín agus cuireann sé lón machnaimh os ár
gcomhair ina chuid saothair. Ach míníonn Caoimhghín sa chlár gur fadhb í seo do
ealaíontóirí sa lá atá inniu ann; go mbíonn siad idir dhá thine Bhealtaine.
Déantar gearán fúthu má úsáideann siad íomhánna conspóideacha agus cúrsaí reatha
mar spreagadh dá saothair ealaíne agus cáintear iad fosta mura n-úsáideann siad
cúrsaí comhaimseartha ina gcuid saothair”.]
The 3rd International Art Festival of Resistance, Tehran, Iran 5 paintings selected and shown in the 3rd International Art Festival of
Resistance, Tehran, Iran during November 2013
Luas Art Competition
29 November 2007
Entry painting used as image for one month in RPA (Rail
Procurement Agency) 2008 Calendar
2009 wall calendar Feilire Ealaine
produced by http://iorarua.com/
Email email@example.com for copies
Click here to see paintings featured in Feilire Ealaine 2009
St Mary’s Hospital, Dublin
Seven Dublin cityscape paintings acquired by St Mary’s Hospital, Dublin for new
community nursing unit reception area.
Ship Dismantling, Alang Shipyard, India
Articles / Statements
Art facilitates the creation of solidarity and awareness between peoples in
struggle against common forces of oppression. At the same time, the process of
making art is about developing forms of visual expression that raise social
issues to higher levels of cultural significance.
Following Sartre's dictum that 'to reveal is to change', I
have endeavoured to learn about the many dire situations people have found
themselves in around the world and to make paintings that would in a sense
'reveal' these problems to those like myself who had never come across them
The globalisation of the
economy and the media has not led to more democracy but the concentration of
power and wealth in fewer and fewer hands. It is in the gift of the culture
producers (artists, writers, composers) to re-present and symbolically
strengthen those on the ground fighting for social justice in many different and
Life Below the Bottom Rung' (2009)
new series of oil paintings
examining the daily existence of people making a living in the worst working
conditions in the global economy.
not communities and never have been. The history of any country, presented as
the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes
exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and
slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And
in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job
of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the
executioners. Howard Zinn A People's History of the United States
While reading the International
Herald Tribune I came across an article entitled 'Deal near for global pact on
ship recycling' (15 May 2009). The article notes that '[t]he dismantling of
ships, so that their steel and other materials can be sold as scrap, is often
done on or near beaches in poor countries, notably India and Bangladesh. Both
nations have pledged to improve working conditions and environmental practices.
But labor advocates contend that the process still kills and maims many workers
each year and results in the contamination of shorelines with asbestos, oily
waste, toxic paint and other dangerous materials.' It struck me that it is rare
to see images of people in such working conditions depicted in paintings.
Following Sartre's dictum that
'to reveal is to change' I decided to make a painting that would in a sense
'reveal' this type of work to those like myself who had never come across it
before. Like many bad situations they continue without change for a long time
because of a lack of awareness of their existence by many who often benefit
directly or indirectly from them. I looked at other situations where people
worked in very bad and sometimes even horrific working conditions (such as
recycling in dumps where children have been buried in the process). I talked
about this to friends who told me of other situations (such as sulphur workers
in Indonesia who carry 70 - 100Kg's on their backs for 2-3hrs to make $1 causing
at the same time burnt skin and lungs).
The globalisation of the world economy has allowed for extremes of exploitation
of workers in poor countries. This exploitation is 'hidden' behind advertising
and aesthetically designed products. Looking at the people behind the products
reminds us that our lifestyle has its negative side too.
Two excellent books on this subject are Planet of Slums by Mike Davis
published by Verso (2006) and The Globalization of Poverty and the New World
Order by Michel Chossudovsky published by Global Research (2003).
Kilmainham Arts Club,
The Patriot's Inn, Kilmainham, Dublin August 2011
‘Dublin: A City of Contrasts’ (2007)
Series of Oil Paintings
A city – a free city – was where a man could be most
fully a man. The Romans took this for granted. To have civitas –
citizenship - was to be civilised, an assumption still embedded in English to
this day. Life was worthless without those frameworks that only an independent
city could provide. A citizen defined himself by the fellowship of others, in
shared joys and sorrows, ambitions and fears, festivals, elections, and
disciplines of war. Like a shrine alive with the presence of a god, the fabric
of a city was rendered sacred by the communal life that it sheltered. A
cityscape, to its citizens, was therefore a hallowed thing. It bore witness to
the heritage that had made its people what they were. It enabled the spirit of a
state to be known.
Tom Holland Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
The Dublin of today is
a far cry from the Dublin of the 1980s when it was said to resemble London
directly after the Second World War, so numerous were its run-down buildings and
empty sites. In the last 10-15 years much of the city has been renovated or
rebuilt. The success of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ has given the Irish people
historically unprecedented wealth and attracted many immigrants from all over
the world. This can all be seen in a brief walk around the city centre. The new
(and expensive) cars glide past African and Polish shops while people from many
different ethnic and cultural backgrounds mingle around the Spire and the GPO on
The Dublin we see today is a snapshot in time, hiding its past while only
leaking hints of where its future will lie. For example, the new O’Connell St
with its squared-off designer trees and generous paving hides the felling only
the year before of a row of 100-year-old trees that witnessed the 1916 Easter
Rising. Looking to the future it seems likely that Liberty Hall, Dublin’s only
modernist ‘skyscraper’ and prominent if unloved symbol of Dublin, will be
demolished soon in favour of a more modern or even postmodern replacement.
The Dublin of today has many contrasts, symbolic of shambolic planning yet with
many hopeful idealists struggling against the odds. Witness the Liffey Boardwalk
in contrast with the traffic-jammed quays; the huge reduction of plastic signs
(the scourge of the 1970s and 1980s) in contrast with the monotony of quick-rise
apartment block and shopping centre developments.
Yet older areas of the city like Moore St and Parnell St, which were going into
decline as the more affluent Irish moved to greener pastures, are seeing
extraordinary multicultural changes as immigrants set up shops and restaurants
with a never-before-seen range of food, goods and menus. Indeed the culinary
tastes of the new visitors and inhabitants have created a demand for exotic
vegetables, fruit and seafood never even contemplated by their Irish neighbours.
The relatively recent wealth of Dublin and many of its citizens (symbolized by
the number of Brinks vans leaving the cosmopolitan Grafton St as shoppers enter
it) may also be a snapshot in time as the uncertain economic future of rising
interest rates, peak oil, and global warming threatens to bring the whole
economic façade tumbling down like the crumbling slum dwellings of the 1960s.
The statues of historical figures such as Jim Larkin, Daniel O’Connell, Charles
Stewart Parnell, and James Connolly look down on a new city that sits
uncomfortably with their varieties of nationalism and socialism.
These symbols of the past,
standing in silent judgment of the follies of the present, act as control rods
in the current economic fission reminding its old and new, wealthy and poor
citizens alike of past struggles and hardships.
aim of this series is threefold:
To depict Dublin as it is in this moment in time, recording current states,
trends and aspects that we take for granted but can change tomorrow.
To examine particular contrasts that have emerged due to current levels of
wealth and immigration.
To represent aspects that symbolize positive developments for the future of
Dublin and all of its inhabitants.
Art and Identity(2007) Talk given at Dublin City University's Centre for Consumption Studies Workshops
on October 17(See
War Triptych (2006) The First World War was to a large extent the war
of the First World re-carving global markets with the intention of obtaining a
greater share for themselves. (read on ...)
(2005) The word ephemeral derives from the Greek
ephémeros and means ‘lasting a day’. It is a word particularly suited to
newspaper images (read on ...)
Some Notes on Political Art
What is political art? What makes art political?
It is very difficult to define political
art. Views on what makes art political can range from
Pearse, Connolly, Larkin Triptych (2005) If Magritte made it clear that all art consisted
of symbols of people and objects and not the real world itself then
At work on Strolling Player, Liffey Street, Dublin
Quotes on Creativity
A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful
attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create
something which is, in itself, a living thing. William Dobell
My best work was always done and still is I think when
I'm experimenting. If I stop experimenting I feel it just becomes a drudgery.
That's why I take so long and my sitters get tired waiting for commissioned
portraits. If they commission me they have to wait years sometimes because I
discard so many. William Dobell
I've never been able to go out and paint. I've never
liked drawing or painting in public. I can't bring myself to that.
Face is everything, in faces there is the history we
are living, the anguish of the times. We bear it engraved more than the events
affecting us directly or taking place far away; we are the true film of reality;
and I paint it.
Renato Guttuso, 1971.
One must always always work, and
a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he isn’t in
the mood … I have learned to master myself and am glad I’ve not followed in the
footsteps of those Russian colleagues who have no self-confidence and no
patience, and throw in the sponge at the slightest difficulty. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
The image, it is clear, must be set between the mind or senses of the artist
himself and the mind or senses of others. If you bear this in memory you will
see that art necessarily divides itself into three forms progressing from one to
the next. These forms are: the lyrical form, the form wherein the artist
presents his image in immediate relation to himself; the epical form, the form
wherein he presents his image in mediate relation to himself and to others; the
dramatic form, the form wherein he presents his image in immediate relation to
James Joyce A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The artist spends the first part of his life with the dead, the second with
the living, the the third with himself. Pablo Picasso
The highest condition of art is artlessness.
Henry David Thoreau
Without emotion, art is lifeless; without intellect art is
The difference between art and science is that science is what we understand
well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else. Donald
The true work of art continues to unfold and create within the personality
of the spectator. It is a continuous coming into being. Mervyn Levy
That which is static and repetitive is boring. That which is dynamic and
random is confusing. In between lies art. John Locke
Art must not stop at the level of pleasing eyes.
True art is not an expression of the self. Art is about the feelings that
belong to all living people. Aleksander Titovets
Painting is an intermediate somewhat between a thought and a thing.
The piano is the centre of my musical discoveries. Each note that I write is
tried on it, and every relationship of notes is taken apart and heard on it
again and again.
Jackson Pollock found it difficult to get the public at large to accept his
art but he knew that if you threw enough mud at the wall some of it was bound to
C Ó Croidheáin
A word of advice: don't paint too much direct from nature. Art is an
abstraction, derive this abstraction from nature while dreaming before it, and
think more of the creation that will result.
[A]nyone who prefers to have his peasants looking namby-pamby had best suit
himself. Personally I am convinced that in the long run one gets better results
from painting them in all their coarseness than from introducing a conventional
Vincent Van Gogh
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art
is knowing which ones to keep.
Action is the foundational key to all success.
What a funny thing painting is. The abstract painters
always insist on their connection with the visible reality, while the so called
figurative artists insist that what they
really care about, is the abstract qualities of life.
I think the twentieth century is just that..
the process of artists rushing through the world and finding some part of the
non-art world and bringing it into the art world, minus
Let it be no more said that the Empires encourage
arts; for it is the arts that encourage Empires.
Usually I am on a work for a long
stretch, until a moment arrives when the air of the arbitrary vanishes, and the
paint falls into positions that feel destined. Philip Guston
Seeing is so important that the [visual] system will not
quit even when the quantity of the data is meagre and the quality of data is
abysmal. Roy Sorenson
Painting and art have never had the same agenda. Art is a much newer
argument than painting. Painting has been around for 25,000 years. Painting is
commemorative. Art, on the other hand, is a kind of discourse that in a funny
way seeks to do away with itself.
Modernist abstraction resumed the trend begun by
Aestheticism, in that it
expressed the conviction that only by a drastic restriction of its field of
vision could art survive. With the least strain of embellishment possible in a
formal language, art became increasingly self-referential, in its search for a
"purity" that was hostile to narrative. Guaranteed not to represent anything,
modern painting is consciously nothing more than a flat surface with paint on
it. John Zerzan
Painting will have to deal more fully and less
obliquely with life and nature's phenomena before it can again be great.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not
an act, but a habit. Aristotle
We can all agree that the peculiarity of an activity consists in using the means specific to it. But a means is specific to an activity in as much as it is apt to achieve the purpose that is specific to the activity. The particular purpose of a mason’s labour is not defined by the material he works on and the tools he uses. What, then, is the specific purpose that is realized by putting coloured pigments on a flat surface? The response to this question is in fact an intensification of the tautology: the specific purpose of painting is solely to put coloured pigments on a flat surface, rather than to people it with representative figures, referred to external entities situated in a three-dimensional space.
Quotes on Art and the City
The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvellous
subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the
marvellous; but we do not notice it. Charles Baudelaire
It is much easier to decide outright that everything about
the garb of an age is absolutely ugly than to devote oneself to the ask of
distilling from it the mysterious element of beauty that it may contain, however
slight or minimal that element my be. By 'modernity' I mean the ephemeral, the
fugitive, the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and
the immutable. Charles Baudelaire
One of the greatest difficulties besetting me has always
been the choice of subject. My inclination being strongly the illustration of
modern life, I had read the works of Dickens in the hope of finding material for
the exercise of any talent I might possess; but at that time the ugliness of
modern dress frightened me, and it was not till the publication of Barnaby
Rudge, and the delightful
Dolly Varden was presented to us, that I felt my opportunity had come,
with the cherry-coloured mantle and the hat and pink ribbons.
William Powell Frith
I don't think that the station at Paddington can be called
picturesque, nor can the clothes of the ordinary traveller be said to offer much
attraction to the painter - in short, the difficulties of the subject were great
and many were the warnings of my friends that I should only be courting failure
if I persevered in trying to paint what was in no sense pictorial. William Powell Frith
Our lives take place in rooms and streets that have their
own special laws of light and visual language. Edmond Duranty
The new city embodied the social and economic
instabilities of the Capitalist age. Moreover anonymous people of all social
classes rubbed shoulders in its public places on a scale hitherto unknown. Christine Lindey