Saturday, May 28, 2011

How Art affects your view of Truth

The arts, and in particular visual art, has had a profound impact on how society views Truth. Movements in art are always taking place but, I believe a major transition in art took place right before the 1900s which ignited an interesting trend.

The best way to think about it is to spend some time looking at the art by Picasso, who like most artists never knew the scope of impact his art had. I believe his art really influenced the philosophical backdrop of our society today. Artists almost in unison began to move away from Art as interpretation of reality or "Art as likeness" to "Art as Alteration" after the 1900s. Art as likeness is art reflecting things as they are. Art as likeness attempted to capture the elements of an idea and put them in a painting. Art as alteration alters the reality in order to communicate a deeper idea. For example cubism, surrealism and post-modern art were alterations of reality designed to communicate ideas through the alteration. So what does this have to do with Truth? Truth has also become an alteration of reality. In the modern era (Before the 1900s) paintings reflected reality for what it was. An apple was an apple, a woman a woman. The concept of Truth was very tangible and universal. Art now is complete, almost unrecognizable reality. Now, we must ask the artist her or himself what the piece means. We must probe the mind of the artist to understand the inner emotions and ideas being communicated through the piece. A relationship with the artist is almost essential to the interpretation of her or his piece. Truth has become personal.

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