Thomas Struth: Paradise

Paradise 9

The jungle pictures ...  present a kind of empty space: emptied to elicit a moment of stillness and internal dialogue. 
Actually, I don’t even see the images as depictions of nature. The theme may play a major part, but the undertone makes the music. It’s about the experience of time as well as a certain humility in dealing with things. It’s a metaphor for life and death.
It’s very important to me to relate my own cultural work to the achievements of other cultures. I try to constantly be in between spaces and to feel life’s breath–the rhythm of inhaling and exhaling, as in tai chi. Every day, I could think of thirty pictures that would have a spectacular effect, but it’s not about big ideas. Instead I’m trying to effectively unite the conscious and the unconscious of life and the time I live in and thereby create authentic pictures.

ArtForum, May, 2002

Jasper Johns

"Painting has a nature which is not entirely translatable into verbal language. I think painting is a language, actually. It’s linguistic in a sense, but not in a verbal sense. I think that one wants from painting a sense of life. And I think that is true. One wants to be able to use all of one’s facilities in all aspects of one’s life… …You may have to choose how to respond and you may respond in a limited way, but you have been aware that you are alive. The final suggestion, the final statement, has to be not a deliberate statement but a helpless statement."

* Jasper Johns, source of his artist quotes on color paintings, art & life: an interview with Johns, conducted in 1975 at John’s studio, Yoshiaki Tono, as quoted in “Jasper Johns, Writings, sketchbook Notes, Interviews”, ed. Kirk Varnedoe, MoMA New York, 1996, p. 89.

Ellsworth Kelly

"For me, I just want to make works that mean something. And I don’t know where it comes from or what it means all the time. How can you know what abstraction means? So much abstraction that I see doesn’t have any meaning. It looks like design, a set-up. I want something that continues over time."