Quotes by Ben Shahn

Ben Shahn

Lithuanian-born American artist

Alive from: 1898-1969

Category: Artists

Quotes 1 till 15 of 16.

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  • Ben Shahn
    Ben Shahn
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    An amateur is someone who supports himself with outside jobs which enable him to paint. A professional is someone whose wife works to enable him to paint.
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    Ben Shahn
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    Art almost always has its ingredient of impudence, its flouting of established authority, so that it may substitute its own authority and its own enlightenment.
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    Ben Shahn
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    I believe that if it were left to artists to choose their own labels, most would choose none.
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    Ben Shahn
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    I've been asked a great deal about the influence I've had with my work and it's impossible to say, you know.
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    Ben Shahn
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    In '38, this time I did a job for Mr. Stryker. I went on his payroll at about half the salary I was getting before, to cover what he called Harvest in Ohio.
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    Ben Shahn
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    In the South or in the mine country, wherever you point the camera there is a picture.
    Source: The Photographs of Ben Shahn
  • Ben Shahn
    Ben Shahn
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    It used to be twelve people crowded around a sewing table; now it's ten.
  • Ben Shahn
    Ben Shahn
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    It's a little bit like my inability to read a guide book before I go anywhere. I can read it after I've been there and by the same logic I refuse to accept any technical stunts from anybody. I refused to learn more than I knew and I confess I missed a great deal.
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    Ben Shahn
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    Now, when I came on to Washington to begin my job, I was so interested in photography at that time that I really would have preferred to work with Stryker than with my department, which was more artistic if you wish.
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    Ben Shahn
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    Of course I realize that photography is not the technical facility as much as it is the eye, and this decision that one makes for the moment at which you are going to snap, you know.
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    Ben Shahn
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    Roy was just another bureaucrat to me, but I realized very soon that without Roy this thing would have died.
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    Ben Shahn
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    So, I was offered this job to come down there but first it was suggested that I take a trip around the country in the areas in which we worked to see what it's all about, and I tell you that was a revelation to me.
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    Ben Shahn
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    Some time ago, we went to Asia and took a camera along, and I began to do what I'd done even years ago doing people. I couldn't get interested in it. And I did hundreds of photographs of details of the monuments as sculpture.
  • Ben Shahn
    Ben Shahn
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    The time when I had desire to go to the United States I didn't have a penny. It was in the middle of the depression, you know. I couldn't get as far as Hoboken at that time.
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    Ben Shahn
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    When a man returned from the field and we'd look at the work, we'd criticize each other very genuinely and never offensively. And we would avoid all tricks, angle shots were just horrible to us.
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