What good are the arts?

Originally posted on Standing Ovation, Seated:

001It is easier to answer this question for animals than for humans.

Farmers have known it for some time now that music can make cows give more milk. Say no to Alice Cooper though, unless prescribed by the vet against constipiation.

Animals instinctively recognise great art. The effects of Mozart, Contemporary Rock, and the buzz of a ventilator were compared across three samples of mice to find out which music they’d prefer. Mozart rulezzzz: regardless of which sample a “lab rat” used to belong, when given a free choice, it would go for the classic.

Few would doubt it greatly benefited the mice’s subsequent career as guinea pigs.

We don’t know if the arts are good for people.

The Platonic thesis that art makes people better (less willing to spit on the pavement, and more inclined to use “please” each time they tell someone to bugger off) has never been scientifically confirmed.

There’s one…

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“One has to be ambitious. I much prefer to drink coffee, listen to music and to paint when I feel like it.”

Originally posted on The Art of Quotation:

“In order to build a career and to be successful, one has to be determined. One has to be ambitious. I much prefer to drink coffee, listen to music and to paint when I feel like it.”  – Saul Leiter, 1923-2013, American,  photographer, painter, New York School of photography


More Saul Leiter

Leiter has made an enormous and unique contribution to photography. His abstracted forms and radically innovative compositions have a painterly quality that stands out among the work of his New York School contemporaries. Perhaps this is because Leiter has continued through the years to work as both a photographer and painter.  His painterly sensibility reaches fruition in his painted photographs of nudes on which he has actually applied layers of gouache and watercolor.

Martin Harrison, editor and author of Saul Leiter Early Color,writes, “Leiter’s sensibility . . . placed him outside the visceral confrontations with urban anxiety associated…

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