Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hey dude, nice hair.

Tom Stanley once said something to me about "truth" in a conversation about my artwork. I didn't get it. I wanted to understand, but just couldn't seem to wrap my brain around how the topic related to abstract art. Tom was gracious enough to not explain what he meant, likely knowing this would send me on a search to figure it out for myself.
Picasso said, "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth." But to be fair, he was fond of saying all sorts of outlandish things while playing up his media who knows if he really believed that or not.
While there are all sorts of different definitions of "truth", I think the illustrious (Dr.) Stanley was getting at one of the less scientific ones. Or maybe that's not the correct word to use. Perhaps I should say I think he was talking about a "truth" that is difficult to vocalize. Something we know/feel to be truth even when we do not possess the words that might begin to describe it to other sentient beings.
That guy up there with the hair, that's Thomas Aquinas. He was a philosopher and theologian who believed something similar to the Correspondence Theory of Truth. This theory basically revolves around the idea that truth is a matter of copying reality and then trying to find ways to portray that reality in thoughts, words, and symbols. This sounds an awful lot like the job description of an artist. Aquinas believed that since we are created beings and therefore descending from "Truth" that our human intellect gives us the ability to reach the essence and existence of things.
Aquinas also believed that faith and reason should be used together, instead of separated, because together they help provide a path to truth.
I'm not saying I get it. But I am on the way.

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