Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #58

Facts and common sense interfere with our systems of denial.

We give lip service to facts and reality, but in the real world these things take second place to what we choose to believe as we build our shelters of shared ideology against the chaos out there.

We are a tribal species. Reason and common sense are easily exorcised when art becomes a ritual object of a ceremony of belonging.

Take yourself away from the art world as you know it, as if you just woke up, like Rip van Winkle. Then examine a catalog of any recent sale of contemporary art at Christie’s or Sotheby’s. Look at what is selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars and ask yourself, honestly, would I put these things in my house? What makes anyone want to, and at such prices?

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