Where do artists find inspiration?

Use the following questions and related media as a way to initiate dialogue about contemporary art and specific ideas related to where art is seen, how it is made, and who makes it. Related images and video segments should inspire a variety of responses and provoke new ways of thinking about possible answers.

Where do artists find inspiration?


Jessica Stockholder. [No title], 1995. Wicker chair, plastic tub, light fixture with bulb, synthetic polymer, oil paint, plastic, fabric, concrete, resin, wood, wheels, acrylic yarn, glass and cookie in resin, 71 1/2 x 63 x 50 inches. Collection Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of the Jack E. Chachkes Estate, by exchange, and purchase with funds from the Peter Norton Family Foundation and Linda and Ronald F. Daitz. Courtesy the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.

"I like the color of plastic; I like that they're inexpensive but gorgeous. And why are they so inexpensive and gorgeous—compared to diamonds, which are so expensive and probably no more beautiful than these plastic things? I think these plastic things are stunningly beautiful. And they don't last long, not because plastic doesn't last long—it does—but because the objects themselves aren't strong and people don't value them. You can see them in this process—from the store, into people's houses, to the dump. So, they carry a lot of information with them, as well as just being beautiful things to look at. I also just love colo,r and they're a really great vehicle for color. They embody color. They're colorful all the way through, as opposed to having a skin of color, and I like that about them."
—Jessica Stockholder

Watch: Mary Heilmann: Inspiration