Art As A Form Of Self-Expression

1452 Words6 Pages
Is art a form of self-expression from the artist to their audience? Self-expression is defined as, “the expression of one's feelings, thoughts, or ideas, especially in writing, art, music, or dance.” (English Oxford Dictionary). The source of inspiration for art is unknown for certain, but it is commonly believed that it comes from inside the artist, based on their life lessons and experiences. If the inspiration comes from within, then artists are expressing themselves through their art, thus art is self-expression. There are innumerous forms of art, from writing to dancing; singing to creating a drawing, public speaking and everything in-between. A person who is whistling is expressing how they are feeling through the notes that they hit. Someone who is drawing can use darker colors, such as browns and blacks to give off an eerie tone. Does that mean that all art is self-expression? No, not all art is self-expression, maybe it isn’t self-expression at all. This leads to the debate over whether art is self-expression if the inspiration comes from an outside source, rather than from within. When an artist attempts to express their self-feelings through their art, a special emotion is evoked if the art comes from deep within. There is a distinguishable difference between art that comes from within and art that is inspired by an outside source. Plato believes that artists are “possessed” by someone or something, rather than their inspiration coming from inside. This means that art would not be self-expressional, as it isn’t coming from within the artist's mind, but rather an exterior source. In Plato’s book, Ion, Socrates explains to Ion, that: “…speaking well about Homer; it’s a divine power that moves you, as a ‘Magnetic’ stone moves iron rings.” (Plato, Ion, 18). In this analogy, Socrates is attempting to explain to Ion that his ability to be well-versed in the study of Homer is not due to his own inspiration and aspirations, but rather because of a divine power that gives him this ability. In the text, Plato talked about how Ion would light up when talking about Homer, showing that he may be ‘possessed’ by Homer. Ion is drawn in towards Homer as a fish is to the hook with bait on it.
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