The 30 Harshest Artist-on-Artist Insults In History

Our recent author-on-author, filmmaker-on-filmmaker and musician-on-musician insults have proved that creative folk are only human, and occasionally enjoy a good rip on their industry compatriots. Artists are no different, albeit they do it a bit differently. What they lack in media exposure, they make up in specifics, attacking “sickly” lines and “filthy” shades or, like Salvador Dalí, outright making up verbs like “outuglying” to drive their insults. Naturally, a good portion of these revolve around artists cutting down each others’ relevancy — yesterday’s Renaissance “daubers” are today’s graffiti “toys.” Looks like the battle of egos will never go away. (Oh, good!) Here are 30 harshest historical and contemporary artist-on-artists insults. We’d love to hear yours in the comments.

1. Andy Warhol on Jasper Johns:
“Oh, I think he’s great. He makes such great lunches.”

2. Salvador Dalí on Piet Mondrian:
“Completely idiotic critics have for several years used the name of Piet Mondrian as though he represented the sum mum of all spiritual activity. They quote him in every connection. Piet for architecture, Piet for poetry, Piet for mysticism, Piet for philosophy, Piet’s whites, Piet’s yellows, Piet, Piet, Piet… Well, I Salvador, will tell you this, that Piet with one ‘i’ less would have been nothing but pet, which is the French word for fart.”

3. Marc Chagall on Pablo Picasso:
“What a genius, that Picasso… It’s a pity he doesn’t paint.”

4. William Powhida on Takashi Murakami:
“…that hack Murakami trying to consume the market whole and ended up designing handbags…”

5. Pierre-Auguste Renoir on Leonardo da Vinci:
“He bores me. He ought to have stuck to his flying machines.”