Representing Reality

As time moves forward, artists find new ways to represent reality.

Individual times in space are continuing to evolve, and artists continue to represent their time and their space in different ways, but there is always an underlying logos , such as the ‘Heraclitean’ world view as a flow of energy or discourse and the ‘Parmenidean vision of an eternal, unchanging, unknowable reality’ (Plato cited in Solomon & Higgins 1997).

In post-modernism, artists continually re-represent ideals and logos. There is no new representation under the sun only in a material sense, all human knowledge and values are ‘relative’, and “man is the measure” (Protagora, 490-420 B.C.E cited in Solomon & Higgins 1997). Some have used the Parmenides argument to ‘advance religion and morality’. Others argue that our ideals and values are of the ones who rule, and justice is for the advantage of those in power (Solomon & Higgins 1997)today many artists such as Banksy (pictured above) try to expose these truths by using logos to demonstrate a point. This underlying political logos is an obvious one. The union jack represents the political power and the child represents the race bellow it.

obama and reganOil painting by Tim O’Brien

O’Brien represents another reality that portrays Reagan as ‘God’ and Obama as ‘Ádam’ the deity. This painting is good example of the underlying logos of religion. O’Brian uses this perceived reality much the same way as Michelangelo did originally; by drawing on the logos the viewer’s identify immediately the message of hope. Though in O’Brien’s version one is repulsed by the image of politicians being viewed as all powerful. Note: Obamas blue tie of power and Reagans, red for warmth and possible revolution, change and hope.

It could be concluded that artists are not finding new ways to represent reality, but merely use metaphors and logos. Banksy’s reality is to expose the truth of the logos while O’Brian uses the logos as metaphor.

JOSH EIDELSON, JACOBIN (2012) Obama channels his inner Reagan on welfare:The president’s response to Romney’s recent attack reveals how conservative he’s really become Retrieved 13th March 2014.

Solomon & Higgins (1997). A Passion for Wisdom. Oxford University Press, New York. Pp. 23-43.


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