What the hell makes me think I am an artist? – Art, artists and paintings, an article by Goff James

“All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.”

James Baldwin

Working Title: African Art / Published Title: Women of African A

Image Credit

© Aïda Muluneh, Lest We Remember, 2017

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“…being different, going against the grain of society is the greatest thing in the world.”

Elijah Wood


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Image Credit

© Tilau Nangala, (Title and Date Unstated)

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“Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.”

Anni Albers


Image Credit

© Anni Albers, Black White Yellow 1926, re-woven 1965 

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Conceptualizing, visualizing, interpreting and creating through image making is primevally basic for art and the artistic process. Such images were created in the period before the invention of formal writing, and when human populations were migrating and expanding across the globe.


Image Credit

© TARA/David Coulson, Handprints and other figures, Awanghet, Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria  

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The first human artistic representations, markings with ground red ochre, seem to have occurred about 100,000 B.C. in African Rock Art. This chronology may be more an artefact of the limitations of archaeological evidence than a true picture of when humans first used form to create art.

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”

Emile Zola

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Image Credit

© Yayoi Kusama, I Want to Sing My Heart Out in Praise of Life, 2009

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“I wanted to start a revolution, using art to build the sort of society I myself envisioned.”

Yayoi Kusama

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© Coatlicue, National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City, c.1250-1521 CE

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“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Anais Nin

Are artists prisoners of their actions and beliefs? – Art, an article by Goff James

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Goff James, Untitled, 2018

“An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success.”

Henri Matisse

The Snail 1953 by Henri Matisse 1869-1954


Image Credit

© Henri Matisse, The Snail 1953 ,Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2018 

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“Art is standing with one hand extended into the universe and one hand extended into the world, and letting ourselves be a conduit for passing energy.”

Albert Einstein

Working Title: African Art / Published Title: Women of African A

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© Peju Alatise, Flying Girls, 2016,

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“My [paintings] have neither object nor space nor line nor anything – no forms. They are light, lightness, about merging, about formlessness, breaking down form.”

Agnes Martin 

Humankind’s actions can be motivated by religion, politics or merely by the inner desire to create and serves mirror-like as a reflection of a particular moment in time. Whatever the particular individual circumstances are image making requires a personal, intellectual or emotional discourse between the instigator and his environment. Artists utilize particular techniques and methods, sometimes perfecting them or even inventing completely new ones, however without spiritual individuality, image making could not achieve anything other than just being non-art.

“Between the art and the artist there is no distance.”

Attributed to Rowan Gillespie


Image Credit

© Rowan Gillespie, Blackrock Dolmen Sculpture, 1988

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Image Credit

© Amrita Sher-GilThree Girls, 1935

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“Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea.”

Edward de Bono

“I always wanted to have the courage to do totally crazy, impossible, and also wrong things.”

Isa Genzken

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