20 Brilliant Andy Warhol Quotes

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Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./CHRISTIE’S Images Ltd. 2014

“I think everybody should be nice to everybody" – this and 19 other brilliant Warhol quotes

Andy Warhol’s Polaroids were the pre-Instagram Instagram. “A picture means I know where I was every minute. That’s why I take pictures. It’s a visual diary,” the artist once said. We are all familiar with Warhol’s brilliant Polaroids of key personalities, taken from their shoulders up: an alluring side profile shot of Apollonia von Ravenstein, a cheeky Paloma Picasso holding a cigar in between her teeth and a perfectly coiffured Diana Vreeland. Lesser known are his ‘section’ Polaroids, which fit together as one piece. Here, we see a young Jean Paul Gaultier (in 1984), dressed in a red silk house coat. Warhol shot him in various parts, resulting in two montage imags and three full body Polaroids.

These and a whole host of iconic Warhol Polaroids, gelatin silver prints, and ink and watercolor drawings – including his brilliant shoe portfolio, A La Recherche du Shoe Perdu, featuring 10 unbound sheets executed in 1955 – are currently up for auction by Christie’s. The online-only auction runs until Tuesday, October 21, with estimates starting at $2000.

Here, to celebrate, we present 20 of our favourite Warhol quotes...

“I think everybody should be nice to everybody.”

“I like boring things.”

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

“I think everybody should be nice to everybody” — Andy Warhol

“I just do art because I’m ugly and there’s nothing else for me to do.”

“What’s great about this country is America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.”

“People should fall in love with their eyes closed. Just close your eyes. Don’t look and it’s magic”

“I like to be the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place. Being the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place is worth it because something interesting always happens.”

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”

“An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.”

“Why do people spend their time being sad when they could be happy?”

“When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships.”

“I can never get over when you’re on the beach how beautiful the sand looks and the water washes it away and straightens it up and the trees and the grass all look great. I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.”

“I don’t want to be smart, because being smart makes you depressed.”

“Sex is more exciting on the screen and between the pages than between the sheets.”

“I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumours to my dogs.”

“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

“People need to be made more aware of the need to work at learning how to live because life is so quick and sometimes it goes away too quickly.”

“When I did my self-portrait, I left all the pimples out because you always should. Pimples are a temporary condition and they don’t have anything to do with what you really look like. Always omit the blemishes – they’re not part of the good picture you want.”

“I always notice flowers.”

Text by Laura Bradley