Is It True?

These words were attached to the parking area wall at the San Antonio Art Museum. The piece itself is a work of art, using different signage to communicate the message. It sounds good, but is it true?

Is art the stored honey of the human soul? I'm not sure. Continuing with the bee metaphor, we could say that, like honey, art nurtures and sustains us. But is art the main purpose of human beings as honey is for bees? What about science or religious belief or the natural world? Don't they also feed the soul?

This quote comes a little too close to making art into a religion, and I see all sorts of problems with that, especially if it's codified into some sort of set of beliefs and represented by a particular church. In many ways, art provides the antithesis to church: the freedom to express ourselves as individuals, the invitation to confront challenging issues, and the encouragement to experiment by asking the "what if?" question.

I think I'm closer to Andy Warhol's sentiment that, "art is anything you can get away with." What do you think?


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