Plato).For the ancient Greek philosopher, art and the Forms (Beauty, Justice, the Circle) are perfect Ideals, more real than even physical objects. "The world of the Forms is rational and unchanging; the world of physical appearances is changeable and irrational" (
Understanding this basic concept is essential to understanding Plato's views on art. According to his dialogue in The Republic, Plato believed that, "since art imitates physical things, which in turn imitate the Forms, art is always a copy of a copy, and leads us even further from truth" (Plato). In the philosopher's other theory, found in both Ion and Symposium, he states "the artist, perhaps by divine inspiration, makes a better copy of the True than may be found in ordinary experience. Thus the artist is a kind of prophet" (Plato).
But...the theory falls apart when you begin to talk about abstract art. Jackson Pollack, Robert Motherwell, etc. (One could argue that the emphasis of AE artists on the inspiration by instantaneous, subconscious creation [surrealism] as well as the admittedly anarchic nature of the product, is another way of inspiration by Form--though Forms as Ideas, not as the more specific Beauty, Justice, etc.) Plato believed music imitated natural sounds. Similarly, he believed in art imitating life, nature. Is it impossible to stretch the theory for the modern world, to encompass war, machinery, and nihilism?
So...based on the theory that Art is a copy of a copy, imitation of the Forms or Ideas, do you still believe the same as you did after yesterday's post? Do the subjects you would or would not take on have a different meaning? Does crime as a subject for art make it more real? Are we advertising and creating an atmosphere for rape and murder by placing these as the subjects of our Art?