To break up, ruin, spoil, wreck, or demolish. The opposite of creating, destruction may not seem to be an artistic act, however creation is impossible without a simultaneous destruction, as a painter destroys a tube or jar of paint, a sculptor destroys a rock or a tree, and a jeweler destroys an ingot of gold. Willful or malicious destruction is antithetical to art however, and is often called vandalism.Quote: "In painting, you have to destroy in order to gain . . . you have got to sacrifice something you are not quite pleased with in order to get something better." Graham Sutherland (1903-1980), British painter. Daily Express, November 30, 1954. "The artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before, and he does it without destroying something else. A kind of refutation of the conservation of matter." John Updike (1932-), American writer. Also see anti-art, art conservation, art restoration, chaos, deface, detritus, disfigure, distort, distress, fragment, iconomachy, palimpsest, scarification, shard, and Shiva.

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