Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #98

Art is as persistent as it is fragile.

When I was a kid I used to wonder why life just went on and on. I asked my father, “Why doesn’t my heart just stop once in a while?” He didn’t know. I don’t think anyone does. When something is evident and real we just accept it.

Now I wonder how art persists. How does it just keep going, year after year, and get treated so respectfully, when no one can tell us why we even need it, and so few understand it or know the difference between good art and the detritus that is called art but is not art?

The marketplace bustles, changes, and is lost in history. But art, which is as fragile as life, keeps reviving and adapting, telling us what’s good about us. Apparently we need it.

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