Quote For the Day

"A while ago, I was looking for a definition of art’s purpose. I came across one that I liked ... It’s from Horace, the Roman philosopher and critic, who wrote, “The purpose of art is to inform and delight.” I’ve been thinking about the purpose of art all my life, and Horace helped me to arrive at an understanding. Art is a survival mechanism for the human species. Otherwise, it never would have lasted so long.

"But how does it work? How does it affect us? Primarily, it makes us attentive to the reality of our own life. The first cave paintings made its viewers attentive to the spirit and character of the animals their lives depended on. Sixteen thousand years later, Guernica made us conscious of how cruel the death of the innocent could be. Picasso and Cezanne help us understand that things can be looked at from several points of view at the same time. When we pass a landscape and think of how much it resembles a Cezanne painting, we become aware that Cezanne has made us attentive to how we see a landscape. Picasso and Seurat anticipated and illuminated the science of the 19th century, demonstrating that a landscape is an accumulation of color fragments and spaces. Art may be the only truth we can ever know.

"The experience of art can be considered a form of meditation. By suppressing the debris of everyday life and the illusion that desire creates, meditation enables us to observe without judging. In this way, what is real to us becomes visible."

- Milton Glaser
From a February 15th, 2008 keynote address,
a full transcript of which can be accessed here.

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