By a selective re-creation, art isolates and integrates those aspects of
reality which represent man’s fundamental view of himself and of existence. Out
of the countless number of concretes—of single, disorganized and (seemingly)
contradictory attributes, actions and entities—an artist isolates the things
which he regards as metaphysically essential and integrates them into a single
new concrete that represents an embodied abstraction.
For instance, consider two statues of man: one as a Greek god, the other as a
deformed medieval monstrosity. Both are metaphysical estimates of man; both are
projections of the artist’s view of man’s nature; both are concretized
representations of the philosophy of their respective cultures.
Art is a concretization of metaphysics. Art brings man’s concepts to the
perceptual level of his consciousness and allows him to grasp them directly, as
if they were percepts.
This is the psycho-epistemological function of art and the reason of its
importance in man’s life (and the crux of the Objectivist esthetics).