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The Power of Quotes

28 October 2021

The Power of Quotes

Wow! Do you agree or disagree with this? We do. What is so beautiful and poignant is how these meaningful words are effortlessly sewn together and become a deep and thought-provoking quote people will share for years to come. Just for an absolute moment in time, this quote will connect complete strangers in a shared vision and understanding...that’s powerful!

Quotes have been used through the centuries for inspiration, for wisdom and to generate debate around sensitive and often polarising topics. Quotes can be very powerful and often people change their lives as they try and live according to the latest inspirational quote with which they find resonance. Over time, quotes have also been used to motivate and overtly force people to take a stand against a political stance or regime. Social media has been pivotal in giving quotes airtime to become glorified and solidified as part of our thought culture. Not a day goes by without at least 30-40 quotes gracing my social media pages. 

But! And there is a but. When it comes to sourcing artists’ quotes one gets affronted with a myriad of quotes by famous artists who have long left the realm of the living and while these may still be inspirational and to a certain extent relevant, there is a need for quotes by artists who are alive and who are dealing with the challenges and issues of today’s world.  

In the last two years, our entire world has been turned upside down with the Covid-19 pandemic. Nothing is as it was and nothing will ever be the same again. Somehow the quotes by the masters and heroes of yesteryear just don’t carry quite the same impetus and weight as before. Millennials and Generation Z’s, known for their conscious thinking and their ability to think for themselves, channel their energies towards thought-through interactions. A meaningful and relevant quote by a living artist will carry far more weight with them than that of a deceased one - no matter how famous. 


Artfundi recently launched an exciting new project - Quotes by Living Artists, a platform where artists and their representatives are invited to share their thoughts and views on particular topics. Quotes by Living Artists was born from a strong desire to hear more living artists’ voices. Whether that is the voice of a well-established or an up-and-coming artist, we believe there is wisdom worth sharing. Quotes by Living Artists will be the perfect platform for artists to submit quotes and to finally have a voice. It will also be a source of content for anyone looking for new quotes about art, being an artist, the artworld, passion, humanity, the future...

For years, artists, gallerists, curators, and collectors have worked closely together, sharing endless insight into the artworld and the creative inner world each from their particular angle.  Each artist’s journey is unique, defined, and made up of their particular experiences… of life… of art...and what matters most to them. Artfundi acknowledges and celebrates each and every artist and what they have to say. 

Here are 10 of our favourite quotes by living artists:

  1. “I’m really interested in social justice, and if an artist has a certain power of being heard and voicing something important, it’s right to do it.” – Shirin Neshat, Iranian visual artist

  1. “My art addresses my internal tension between my deep love for Nigeria, my country of birth, and my strong appreciation for Western culture, which has profoundly influenced both my life and my art. Njideka Akunyili Crosby, visual artist

  1. “I believe in art that is connected to real human feeling, that extends itself beyond the limits of the art world to embrace all people who are striving for alternatives in an increasingly dehumanised world.” – Judy Chicago artist, feminist, and author.

  1. “My work is like a dialogue between me and unseen powers, like alchemy.” – Cai Guo-Qiang, visual artist

  1. “The place I’m interested in is where the mind goes when it’s trying to make up for what isn’t there.” Cecily Brown, artist

  1. “Wealth comes in many forms, sometimes it can be held in your hands and sometimes it can’t” Nkosinathi Thomas Ngulube, visual artist

  1. “I consult and ask for guidance from my ancestors. I need a dream to tell me what to make. Unless it comes to me in a dream, nothing will happen.I can’t work. And if I dream about it and don’t do it, I get sick.” Noria Mabasa, visual artist

  1. “I see that we’re just a jigsaw with the empty space, that we dance with what’s not there as much as what is. I don’t just look for line and form, what is unsaid speaks volumes.” Evangeline Armstrong, visual artist

  1. “I’m just as interested in leaving room for ‘failure’ so that a work can wind up becoming something completely different from the intentions I started out with.” Sterling Ruby, artist

  1. “When fashion sweeps in, artists follow suit. I think this is the malady of contemporary art.” Gao Xingjian, novelist, critic, artist, photographer, and film director. 

Quotes published in Quotesbylivingartists.com will also be shared on social media platforms and artists will be given an opportunity to promote their work, including links to their website/social media accounts, and a brief bio on our website. All submitted quotes will need to be original. As words are powerful, please choose them wisely! The platform is curated. To submit an artist quote, please click here.

In the words of South African artist Noria Mabasa “The artist is part of a community, you can’t separate the two.”

To connect and build community Artfundi has also recently launched an Artists in Conversation Audio Room on the Channel page of the quotebylivingartists.com site. This intimate setting is the perfect opportunity to chat with other artists and people from the artworld, and takes place every Thursday at 5 pm SAST 3 pm UTC, 11 am EST.

 Join us here or add this event to your calendar here.

There are many ways to use quotes:

  • Content for Speeches - open with impact, grab attention, align the audience

  • As stimulus for creative block

  • Talking points for discussions and debates

  • Ideas for exhibition themes

  • Social media posts (remember to credit the artist and the quote source site)

  • Creativity and art workshops

To generate quotes, one easy way is to interview artists. From the interview you can extract quotes, publish the whole interview in social media or submit it to the press. 


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