Ben Shahn

I’ve been asked often what is the difference between an amateur and a professional artist, and I will tell you. An amateur artist is one who works all week at something else so he can paint on Saturday and Sunday. A professional artist is one whose wife works so he can paint all the time.

“I’ve been asked often what is the difference between an amateur and a professional artist, and I will tell you. An amateur artist is one … Read More

I confess that Roy [Stryker] was a little bit dictatorial in his editing and he ruined quite a number of my pictures, which he stopped doing later. He used to punch a hole through a negative. Some of them were incredibly valuable. He didn’t understand at the time.

“I confess that Roy [Stryker] was a little bit dictatorial in his editing and he ruined quite a number of my pictures, which he stopped … Read More

All art is based on nonconformity … Without nonconformity we would have had no Bill of Rights or Magna Carta, no public education system, no nation upon this continent, no continent, no science at all, no philosophy, and considerably fewer religions.

“All art is based on nonconformity … Without nonconformity we would have had no Bill of Rights or Magna Carta, no public education system, no … Read More

A work of art rests its merits in traditional qualities. It may constitute a remarkable feat in craftsmanship; it may be a searching study of psychological states; it may be a nostalgic glance backward; it may be any one of an infinite number of concepts, none of which may have any possible bearing upon its degree of newness.

“A work of art rests its merits in traditional qualities. It may constitute a remarkable feat in craftsmanship; it may be a searching study of … Read More