The artist is not responsible to any one. His social role is asocial... his only responsibility consists in an attitude to the work he does.
What counts most is finding new ways to get the world down in paint on my own terms.
I begin with an idea, but as I work, the picture takes over. Then there is the struggle between the idea I preconceived... and the picture that fights for its own life.
I had always loved expressionist painting, like every European. In fact I admired it all the more because these were precisely the paintings despised by my father's generation.
Women don't paint very well. It's a fact. There are, of course, exceptions. Agnes Martin or, from the past, Paula Modersohn-Becker.
What I could never escape was Germany, and being German.
Art is visceral and vulgar - it's an eruption.
The reality is the picture, it is most certainly not in the picture.
An object painted upside down is suitable for painting because it is unsuitable as an object.
I hang my work upside down to emphasize surface.
You dig in and you find something.
I paint German artists whom I admire. I paint their pictures, their work as painters, and their portraits too. But oddly enough, each of these portraits ends up as a picture of a woman with blonde hair. I myself have never been able to work out why this happens.
Asked what role he believes art plays in society, Baselitz replied, 'The same role as a good shoe, nothing more.
You cannot deny your origins: I love Kirchner more than Matisse, although Matisse was a greater artist. That isn't to do with nationality. It's a stronger feeling.
In Germany, we often hear the absurd complaint that museums don't have the money to buy paintings. Of course, I'm not talking about me and my paintings. There are, after all, more popular painters in this country.
Museums collect what's important in their respective countries. In Berlin's National Gallery, however, this isn't the case. They're interested neither in me nor the other usual suspects. It's simply a German reality.
I don't like things that can be reproduced. Wood isn't important in itself but rather in the fact that objects made in it are unique, simple, unpretentious.
My Paintings are Battles.
There is no communication with any public whatsoever. The artist can ask no question, and he makes no statement; he offers no information, and his work cannot be used. It is the end product which counts.
The idea of changing or improving the world is alien to me and seems ludicrous. Society functions, and always has, without the artist. No artist has ever changed anything for better or worse.
I love my old paintings as postulates as fresh starting points but I have to destroy them. I have to make a new manifesto.
I dont want to create a monster; I want to make something which is new, exceptional, something that only I do...something that references tradition, but is still new.
Unlike the expressionists, I have never been interested in renewing the world through the vehicle of art.
I always work out of uncertainty but when a painting's finished it becomes a fixed idea, apparently a final statement. In time though, uncertainty returns.. your thought process goes on.
I always feel attacked when I'm asked about my painting.
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