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Picasso’s Art Philosophy Term Paper

The history of humanity can be treated as an eternal flow of events, people, and their lives. This flow can have different forms, moods, dynamics; everything in the world changes, which is evident from the flashback to different contrastive epochs. However, despite the amorphous nature of the flow, there is a thing, which existed always, and which witnessed all the centuries with their wars and revolutions, achievements and failures, lives and deaths. Moreover, this thing did not only exist parallel to the history of humanity; it contributed a lot to its development. Unarguably, this essential thing is art.

Indeed, art is one of the most ancient spheres of human activity. It is both the means of expression and of impression; it reproduces and creates new, it is both the reason and result. In fact, the merit of art for the humanity is hard to overestimate. However, the most curious thing about art is its connection to the reality. The interdependence of the two spheres is obvious; however, defining the concrete tendencies of correlation between the two stays a challenge for centuries.

Does art just depict the reality? Or does it predict it? Should these two variables be connected at all? These questions are the matter of concern for many philosophers. One of them was Pablo Picasso, a person who did not only try to define the art and its connection to reality, but who participated in art development and is now recognized as one of the best artists. Picasso’s vision of art as a whole was based on the conception of contrast of truth and lie.

The painter referred to art as to lie, which helped people to recognize the truth. However paradox it may sound, there is definitely a grain of truth in this statement. Being a cubist, Picasso new best that art is based on tricks, which can deceive the publics. However, this feature does not prove an impediment for art to be a tool of truth.

Indeed, the idea of art as a lie can be justified easily, as art is not something real; even though the products of art are material, the ideas they convey are much deeper. Therefore, it is false to assume that a work of art is aimed at simply depicting or decorating something; such treatment would contradict to the very essence of art as an instrument of creation.

From this point of view, art cannot be seen as a true mean of depicting the reality. It should be better seen as a very subjective presentation of reality. Actually, when analyzing the interdependence of art and reality there should be one more variable considered, namely – human factor. Obviously, art cannot exist on its own; it can only be realized by its representatives.

Similarly, the meaning of artistic works can vary due to different publics, as the subjective perception of art also matters much. As a result, can something that had been created by one individual and perceived by other subjective individuals be true? Can it be considered as an objective presentation of reality? Definitely no, and Picasso was first to notice it.

Nevertheless, the subjective nature of art does not make its significance any lesser. Art allows people analyze the reality better. Indeed, being a participant of the constant flow called human life is fascinating, but such position leaves no place for analytical vision. In contrast, art gives us an opportunity to move from the position of participant to the position of observer. The best example for it is fine art.

Pictures and sculptures of all genres and styles show some separate ideas, the moments, which inspire for years of thinking. The means of expression, such as color, line, form, mass, allow creating images, which can be real or imaginary, positive or negative, calming or exciting; art can evoke thoughts, feelings, emotions, but it never leaves anyone indifferent. Otherwise, it would be purposeless.

Whatever the reaction for art is, it depends on the individual perception of reality. It is a well-known fact that everything can be explored by comparison, and for this reason, people tend to compare things. That is why the viewers usually compare the works of art with the real life, trying to find similarities and differences. This tendency signals about the ability of art to develop critical thinking in viewers.

One of the main tools for this is the subdivision of truth into “real truth” and “artistic truth”. The first one can only exist within the reality; it is always objective and independent of all possible influences. The second type of truth exists within art, and constitutes a system of images and beliefs, created by people and their subjective views.

The both truths are well-developed, but they serve different purposes. The first type is for living, while the second type is a reflection of the first one. This reflection can be exaggerated, distorted, or amorphous; however, in any case, it points to the real truth. Even the most unbelievable plots make us think of the real issues, and through the prism of art, those issues can be understood better.

The power of art is undeniable. Even though it can be considered as a range of tricks and means of expression, the purpose of art is often different from its content. Indeed, the artistic works, which often present a false image of the things, serves a purpose of revealing the truth. Therefore, Picasso’s statement optimally defined the interdependence of such confronting notions, as truth and lies, reality and imagination, life and art.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Picasso's Art Philosophy'. 2 April.

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