Philosophy Of The Eternal And Universal / by Lucas Novak

Angled detail of Tell Us Where The World Went. From the angled view, the gold paint becomes more visible. 

Angled detail of Tell Us Where The World Went. From the angled view, the gold paint becomes more visible. 

How to create art that is timeless? I think it must represent the eternal and universal. In my endless mission to create more meaningful work that transcends cultures and borders, I went back to a few philosophers for guidance.   

Although it appears that Arthur Schopenhauer was a cynical sexist asshole, he had some interesting thoughts about art: 

The deliverance of knowledge from servitude to the will, the forgetting of the individual self and its material interest, the elevation of the mind to the will-less contemplation of truth, is the function of art.

A work of art is successful in proportion as it suggests the Platonic Idea, or universal, of the group to which a represented object belongs. The portrait of a man must aim, therefore, not at photographic fidelity, but at exposing, as far as possible, through one figure, some essential or universal quality of man.  

For example, tragedy may take an esthetic value, by delivering us from the strife of the individual will, and enabling us to see our suffering in a larger view. Art alleviates the ills of life by showing us the eternal and universal behind the transitory and the individual. 

Tell Us Where The World Went, 36.5" x 48", oil and acrylic on canvas over panel, 2017.

Tell Us Where The World Went, 36.5" x 48", oil and acrylic on canvas over panel, 2017.

Note: The title of this piece comes from a line in The Road by Cormac McCarthy, p. 166.