I don't believe in art. I believe in artists.

— Marcel Duchamp

The most instructive Marcel Duchamp quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

As soon as we start putting our thoughts into words and sentences everything gets distorted, language is just no damn good—I use it because I have to, but I don’t put any trust in it. We never understand each other.


It's not what you see that is art. Art is the gap.


The creative act is not performed by the artist alone;

the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.


I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.


Artmaking is making the invisible, visible.


All this twaddle, the existence of God, atheism, determinism, liberation, societies, death, etc., are pieces of a chess game called language, and they are amusing only if one does not preoccupy oneself with 'winning or losing this game of chess.


You cannot define electricity. The same can be said of art. It is a kind of inner current in a human being, or something which needs no definition.


What I have in mind is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way that a bad emotion is still an emotion.


Humor is the only reason to live.


The life of an artist is like the life of a monk, a lewd monk if you like, very Rabelaisian. It is an ordination.


Do unto others as they wish, but with imagination.


Art is like a shipwreck; it's every man for himself.


About Marcel Duchamp

Quotes 70 sayings
Nationality French
Profession Artist
Birthday October 16

If a shadow is a two-dimensional projection of the three-dimensional world, then the three-dimensional world as we know it is the projection of the four-dimensional Universe.


I have drawn people's attention to the fact that art is a mirage.

A mirage, just like the oasis that appears in the desert. It is very beautiful, until the moment when you die of thirst, obviously. But we do not die of thirst in the field of art. The mirage has substance.


To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.


In the last analysis, the artist may shout from all the rooftops that he is a genius; he will have to wait for the verdict of posterity.


I don’t care about the word ‘art’ because it has been so discredited.

So I want to get rid of it. There is an unnecessary adoration of ‘art’ today.


I believe that a picture, a work of art, lives and dies just as we do.


While all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.


The only thing that is not art is inattention


I feel shame, not for the wrong things I have done, but for the right things that I have failed to do.


The most interesting thing about artists is how they live


I think there is a great deal to the idea of not doing a thing, but that when you do a thing, you don't do it in five minutes or in five hours, but in five years.


The individual, man as a man, man as a brain, if you like, interests me more than what he makes, because I've noticed that most artists only repeat themselves.


No, the thing to do is try to make a painting that will be alive in your own lifetime.


This concern which interests us more than anything else: the blurring of the distinction between art and life.


The curious thing about that moustache and goatee is that when you look at the Mona Lisa it becomes a man. It is not a woman disguised as a man; it is a real man, and that was my discovery, without realising it at the time.


All decisions in the artistic execution of the work rest with pure intuition and cannot be translated into a self-analysis.


In the creative act, the artist goes from intention to realization through a chain of totally subjective reactions.


Since the tubes of paint used by the artist are manufactured and ready made products we must conclude that all the paintings in the world are 'readymades aided' and also works of assemblage.


Art has absolutely no existence as veracity, as truth.


I thought to discourage aesthetics... I threw the bottlerack and the urinal in their faces and now they admire them for their aesthetic beauty.


The Chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts;

and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chessboard, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem


I like living, breathing better than working.

..my art is that of living. Each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere, which is neither visual nor cerebral, it's a sort of constant euphoria.


In my day artists wanted to be outcasts, pariahs. Now they are all integrated into society


I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art -- and much more. It cannot be commercialized. Chess is much purer than art in its social position.


I was poking fun at myself most of all.


Among our articles of lazy hardware, I recommend the faucet that stops dripping when no one is listening to it.


Chess players are madmen of a certain quality, the way the artist is supposed to be, and isn't, in general.


An abstract painting need in 50 years by no means look "abstract" any longer.


I wanted to kill art for myself.. ..a new thought for that object.


Since a three-dimensional object casts a two-dimensional shadow, we should be able to imagine the unknown four-dimensional object whose shadow we are. I for my part am fascinated by the search for a one-dimensional object that casts no shadow at all.


Destruction is also creation.


Art has the lovely habit of ruining all artistic theories.


The chess pieces are the block alphabet which shapes thoughts;

and these thoughts, although making a visual design on the chess-board, express their beauty abstractly, like a poem... I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.


There is no solution, for there is no problem.


It's true, of course, humor is very important in my life, as you know.

That's the only reason for living, in fact.


It's the viewer that makes the work.


Possible reality [is obtained] by slightly bending physical and chemical laws.