Words matter. These are the best Amy Sherald Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
My approach to portraiture is conceptual.
I paint American people, and I tell American stories through the paintings I create.
When I found photography, I found this other kind of portraiture of black families and black people who were photographing themselves or having themselves photographed in ways they wanted to be seen.
I paint paintings of people.
Becoming an artist is not empirical; it’s not about hard work. You have to put the work in, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to make it.
Imagination allows you to bend the rules of the temporal world.
When I started school, I would draw pictures at the end of my sentences: a house, a flower, a tree, a bird. Whatever was in the sentence, I’d draw it.
My father wanted me to be a dentist like him, or any doctor, really. There was this attitude of, ‘The civil rights movement was not about you being an artist.’
I paint as a way of looking for myself in the world.
I am relieved that I can pay back my school loans.
A lot of the artists that people equate my work to, I didn’t find out about until after graduate school.
I thought I was going to die when I was 39.
I was at all-white schools from kindergarten to twelfth grade, so I wanted to feel what it was like just to be me and not, like, Black Amy.
Art class was my safe haven.
My brother dying changed me. I didn’t realize how strong I was until I lost my brother.
In sociology, they call it ‘code switching.’ I can feel just as comfortable in a room full of people who don’t look like me because I understand the social cues of class and race.
I want my portraits to create a space where blackness can breathe.
I grew up in Georgia, and my mom would tell me how to perform and act. So I learned to repress a lot of myself so that other people would feel comfortable.
Why can’t I make up my own characters and paint the people I want to see in the world? I’m depicting the many people who existed in history but whose presence was never documented.
I wanted to be in museums. I don’t do things to be small.
Signing autographs is weird. I’m an introvert, so it’s been a strain in that way.
To be human is to be visible.
I’m painting the paintings that I want to see in museums. And I’m hopefully presenting them in a way that’s universal enough that they become representative of something different than just a black body on a canvas.
It’s hard for me to find people to paint. There has got to be something about them that only I can see.
When I’m painting and in the zone, it’s difficult for me to stop. It can take me half a day to get into that space, and once I do, I only talk to a certain few people who won’t disrupt it. Home to sleep and back at it, nothing else outside of getting food. Everything else is an annoyance getting in my way.
I blacked out in a Rite Aid. The doctor told me my heart function was at 5 percent. I spent two months in the hospital waiting to have a transplant. For me, that was the end of the world.
Success, for me, is staying true to who you are and not deviating off a path.
I don’t think anybody can create in a space where they don’t feel comfortable.
The people I choose as models have a quality that seems to contain the past, the present, and the future all at once. It’s hard to explain. I can look at 100 people in a room but only find it in one person.
I’ve forgotten a lot of things. I’ve forgotten how to play the piano and how to speak Arabic, though I studied it for two years.
I probably shouldn’t curse as much as I do.
Just because someone said painting is dead doesn’t mean that it’s a fact or the truth – painting is the soul food of art, in a way.
I’m not a very verbal person.