An artist does not fake reality—he stylizes it. He selects those aspects of
existence which he regards as metaphysically significant—and by isolating and
stressing them, by omitting the insignificant and accidental, he presents his
view of existence. His concepts are not divorced from the facts of
reality—they are concepts which integrate the facts and his metaphysical
evaluation of the facts. His selection constitutes his evaluation: everything
included in a work of art—from theme to subject to brushstroke or
adjective—acquires metaphysical significance by the mere fact of being
included, of being important enough to include.
An artist (as, for instance, the sculptors of Ancient Greece) who presents man
as a god-like figure is aware of the fact that men may be crippled or diseased
or helpless; but he regards these conditions as accidental, as irrelevant to
the essential nature of man—and he presents a figure embodying strength,
beauty, intelligence, self-confidence, as man’s proper, natural state.