Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #99

When bad use is made of a good idea it is the fault of the user, not the idea.

Periods of great art, like periods of great civilization, are not initially undermined by outside enemies but from the inside, like the microbes which kill themselves making alcohol for wine.

Once inspired artists establish a method, lesser artists use it to cater to an audience who like the idea of art, and want it to be called art, but prefer something vacuous, contrived and dramatic. This debases the original forms, which then become dated and unfashionable.

The ache for the ordinary is often cloaked in the guise of the exotic—a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

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