Opinion: Is Autobiographical Art Immoral?

by Matheus Yuhlung

“An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own into them. We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty” – Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

Can anyone really isolate art from its artist? What relation does art has with the abstract sense of beauty? Or is the idea of the abstract sense of beauty just a romantic imagination of an ideal mind? But then again, isn’t art a medium of self expression for the artist?

In Plato’s allegory of the cave, all perceived reality was just a mere replication of the transcendental (real) world. In his theory of ideas, he explained – how this experiential world was filled with just the duplicate copies of ideas that lie in the world of spirits.

According to Plato, if you look for beauty – you’d only find something that is beautiful because beauty does not exist in this world but in the one that waits after this one. I believe the abstract sense of beauty is something that can be considered in this view.

That would mean, art is a window to a world that is flawless and beyond explainable in words; while the artist would be someone that creates these windows. Any art which thus is autobiographical would only mean a self-centred perversion of this truth. Or would it not?