Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #77

Making art is like making love. If you think about “meaning” you lose it.

My wise friend Jules Olitski came up with that one.

Those who do not comprehend art have always tried to “get it” by applying literal meaning to it. Many artists now busy themselves making art that accommodates this unfortunate habit. Thus we have art which consists of ordinary things burdened with cultural baggage, less works of art than visual expressions of shared and conditioned attitudes, sets of clues leading to talk.

We call this stuff art, and it is indeed “understandable,” but when you look at it as art it goes dead.

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