Art, Truth, and Beauty
In G.M.A. Grube’s Plato’s Thought, the author discusses Plato’s views on Art. In Grube’s words, the great philosopher theorized that the purpose of art is to guide the soul. This made me think. What is the soul, and why does it need to be guided? Plato drew comparisons between art and medicine, which make deep sense to me. He asserts that technique is only the first preliminary step towards creating art, just like knowledge about pharmaceuticals is the primary foundation for practising medicine. However, in both cases the actual endeavours bear deeper functions that go beyond the preliminaries. To be truthful, I am not sure whether I can address how art guides the soul. But I can certainly appreciate how art affects the mind, particularly when it stimulates a specific cognitive experience for the viewer. A provocative painting, regardless of the technique that the artist used to create it, can spark a profound sense of wonder and curiosity in the mind of the viewer. A heartfelt poem can bring forth strong emotions that may have been dormant or repressed. A song can evoke personal memories and subjective reactions that are hard to describe in words. A novel can draw one to inhabit a world that might not be exactly as the writer envisioned in her/his mind, but nevertheless appear just as real in the mind of the reader. Through imagination, the artist churns out their subjective experience of reality into a form that can then be experienced by others in an equally impactful way. Plato’s analysis of form and its relation with concepts such as truth and beauty, are indeed thought provoking. With the Monad project, Amruta and I strive to be mindful of forms and the feelings that our work evokes. Most of the times it is easier to bring forth beauty in the form of some visual metaphor or story. And at best, that is the truth. Our hope is that as we mature, we will be able to spontaneously bring together truth and beauty in the form of an emergent theme. So we hope that you keep in touch to share our journey. Thanks for visiting.