those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. this is a fault.
those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. for these there is hope. they are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.
all art is at once surface and symbol. those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.
it is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. when critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.
we can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it.
the only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
all art is quite useless.
- oscar wilde, "the picture of dorian gray"