'Understanding' art is like having a sense of humour - if you don't have one, no amount of explanation is going to make you laugh.— Michael Craig-Martin
The most floundering Michael Craig-Martin quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
I thought the objects we value least because they were ubiquitous were actually the most extraordinary.
I try to make images that have the immediate presence we take for granted in objects - a chair, a shoe, a book, a Judd - and compose them like sentences.
Whatever happens to the art world, art will go on regardless.
As for obscurity, it looms just over the horizon beckoning us all. Why worry.
I think the best approach is not to be too much like the thing that they are referring to, see it as a guide.
If things are too similar, the dialogue is not very interesting.
If you put in contrast, big and small, abstract and representational, you set up the possibility of a discourse.
The complexity of the language of images is disguised by the ease and rapidity with which we read them. I've tried to make work that is as transparent and simple as possible. No matter how much I strip away the result is always more complex to me than I expect.
I have never understood, for instance, why some people see contemporary art as divided between 'painting' and 'conceptual art', as though this represented a genuine division.
My great grandmother was Chinese .
My idea for every exhibition is we should be able to see every individual work without being distracted by the others, and it doesn't matter if it's quite crowded.
Today, in British education, we don't have that kind of freedom.
Now there are many regulations, many rules, and bureaucracies in the education system. So, it doesn't have the flexibility that it had in the '60s, '70s, '80s.
I was poorer than anyone I'd ever met.
But it was a great time to be a young artist - I remember it as a period of exceptional creative freedom and adventure, when one was regularly presented with works of art unlike anything one had ever seen before.
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is very difficult to hang because it is so large and the quality is very varied. There are 1,200 works, an almost impossible number, some are interesting and some are not.
Usually people start with painting and then go on to make installations;
my painting came from installation.
In Britain the power of authority was weakened.
There was much more individual freedom and there was great academic freedom.
When I go to China I see many artists whose work reflects on aspects of contemporary popular culture but obviously the history of Western art is not part of their own tradition.
In the period of '60s to the '90s, British art schools were small, and the number of student was small. The personal contact was great.
I've taken away everything I could think of, and yet what remains is enough.
These days many more people come to my work, and once they see my work they will always recognize it.
Art is more to do with observation than invention.
In a sense [Joseph] Albers was an authoritarian teacher.
He had rules about most things and very definite ideas.
The art world, of all worlds, has room for everyone.
There was something really wonderful about being able to feel confident about doing my first exhibition in China, that people would have no trouble recognising the images and understanding my work. I also have a lot of freedom in the way I use colour, and I think that kind of freedom in colour is also understandable in every culture.
If you were really interested in being creative in teaching, it was possible to try new methods and that was really what we did in Goldsmiths - we used the freedom of the time.
As an artist you are free to use any image, any style, any idea from any culture and any period of history.
I think that cultural influence is very deep, it is not on the surface and this is true in every culture.
I have been using the computer as a work aid since the mid-90's.
It is extraordinarily well suited to how I think and work and has transformed my practice. Nearly everything I have done in the past 15 years would have been impossible without it. I use the computer for drawing, composing and colour planning everything, from postage stamps to paintings to architectural-scale installations.
When I told people that I was going to paint the big room magenta, many people thought that I was crazy.
When I look at the objects that I draw, it seems to me so obvious about the contemporary world - these are our world.
If you try to copy something exactly you won't get it correct, because you don't share the same tradition and context.
I am trying to present objects in the simplest way possible, and I don't want to supply too much context.
[I] don't want people to see it [paintings] as a specific intention on my part.
If somebody has that interest in these objects, of course they can see that, but from my own point of view, I'd rather stay as neutral as possible.
There is a complete difference between art and the art market.
Prices are high now for the simple reason that there are people are willing to pay them. The market dominates the art world today because at the moment collectors call the shots. Like everything else that won't last forever.
There is no doubt when one comes from the West to China one understands pop art as having originally developed as part of Western tradition. There is a historical development, in which things find resonance in different places.
I had my exhibition of paintings first in Shanghai, and then recently in Wuhan.
Wuhan particularly interested me, because I am 1/8 Chinese.
I think from an artist's point of view, everything in art, in fact everything in the world is available as material.
I greatly admired him as a teacher I didn't teach the same way as Josef Albers at all.
When I was teaching I often said to students that you are trying to be too creative, don't be too creative, because there is so much already in what you are making, you don't need to do very much. You just need to do a little bit, and that is a lot.
It's just that some things more important for this and less important for that, and this is true regardless the style of the art.
For many years I hoped to have an exhibition in China, because of my family connection.
Often people do not properly value things that they are good at naturally because they find them too easy. That is very problematic.
You can see in my paintings, I've taken away the context, I've taken away the shadows, I've taken away expression, I've taken away the personal, and yet so much remains!
I look at the character of the exhibition and I treat it as I would a painting or an installation. When I did the Summer Exhibition at Royal Academy, I did it exactly as I would when making a new work.
I would never put a sculpture in front of a painting, so that it is difficult to see the painting. I always place each thing so you can see it isolated. You can focus on every individual work.
The first exhibition that I used bright colours in painting the room was at a gallery in Paris, and there were seven rooms in the gallery. It was very nice gallery, not very big rooms, around the courtyard, it was a very French space. So I painted each room in different colour. When people came to the exhibition, I saw they came with a smile. Everybody smiles - this is something I never saw in my work before.
At the Summer Exhibition, I didn't really change anything;
it's the same exhibition. All I changed is the presentation. I didn't really change the rules.
When I started teaching in the late 60s, in a time of student revolutions and changes, they changed in question of society and authority.
In the late 70's I started to make drawings of the ordinary objects I had been using in my work. Initially I wanted them to be ready-made drawings of the kind of common objects I had always used in my work. I was surprised to discover I couldn't find the simple, neutral drawings I had assumed existed, so I started to make them myself.
I am personally happy for artists to make as much money as they can while they can to carry them through the times when they can't.
You can take things from the past, from the culture, from the immediate past and things that have not yet entered the culture, so they have no history yet. You can create your own context.
It's important for me to give each thing the possibility to speak and also to allow artworks speak to each other.