For years my favorite t-shirt read “Art Outlives Politics”. I thought it was deep and profound. I thought about it all the time, it was true, great art lasted longer than lame rulers. Consider the brilliant works of Michelangelo, Dante, Da Vinci, Updike and Van Gogh. That stuff has staying power.
But now I’m having to reconsider my tee-shirt dogma. It’s possible, I think, that politics, good or bad, may be more meaningful and actually last longer than art. The political systems in ancient Greece and Rome have lasted just as long as their art work. The ideas of our founding father’s, democracy, equal rights etc, will surely last just as long as our great painters and poets.
And great political decisions, I mean the really profound and brave ones, save babies, save generations of humans. Can a painting do that?
The truth is…Darfur needs a saviour, a political saviour, not so much a poet.
I’m bothered that I’ve changed my mind. It was comfortable and self righteous believing that Art Outlives Politics.
I hate growing up.