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  • Writer's pictureTrace Logan

8 Alice Neel Quotes

Updated: May 22, 2021

Alice Neel was an American Expressionist who painted portraits of a wide cast of characters throughout her life and became a feminist icon in her 70's. I've read a full biography of her life (there are several) and I would sum up that book by saying that for almost 80 years she was pretty busy living and painting.

On art

Nobody knows what makes good art. As an artist, when it happens, you're grateful, and then you get on with it.

Art is two things: a search for a road and a search for freedom.

You should keep on painting no matter how difficult it is, because this is all part of experience, and the more experience you have, the better it is... unless it kills you, and then you know you have gone too far.

I thought you had to give up a lot for art, and you did. It required complete concentration. It also required that whatever money you had had to be put into art materials.

On herself

The place where I had freedom most was when I painted. I was completely and utterly myself.

Like Chekhov, I am a collector of souls... if I hadn't been an artist, I could have been a psychiatrist.

Whether I'm painting or not, I have this overweening interest in humanity. Even if I'm not working, I'm still analyzing people.

When I was in my studio I didn't give a damn what sex I was... I thought art is art.

* This post was originally published on WordPress in 2018

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