Excerpt from “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character by Feynman, Richard P. (Book – 1997) page 260. Note: I left a cliffhanger. Read this book. It’s inspirational.
But is it Art?
Once I was at a party playing bongos, and I got going pretty well. One of the guys was particularly inspired by the drumming. He went into the bathroom, took off his shirt, smeared shaving cream in funny designs over his chest, and came out dancing wildly, with cherries hanging from his ears. Naturally, this crazy nut and I became good friends right away. His name is Jirayr Zorthian; he’s an artist.
We often had long discussions about art and science. I’d say things like, “Artists are lost; they don’t have any subject! They used to have religious subjects, but they lost their religion and now they haven’t got anything. They don’t understand the technical world they live in; they don’t know anything about the beauty of the real world—the scientific world—so they don’t have anything in their hearts to paint.”
Jerry would reply that artists don’t need to have a physical subject; there are many emotions that can be expressed through art. Besides, art can be abstract. Furthermore, scientists destroy the beauty of nature when they pick it apart and turn it into mathematical equations.