Why does art captivate us?

True art creates a connection with the viewer– a really great work evokes an emotional or intellectual response. But maybe what’s most fascinating is the way we’re unable to remove ourselves from it, whether we’re the artist or viewer. Our reflections are always there. They might be our own personal opinions, thoughts, values. Sociopolitical concepts. Something about us, our time, our experience– and the artist’s experience tint the artwork.

For example the Greeks portrayed ideals of harmony and perfection. Their seemingly perfect Parthenon with it’s gentle curves to outbalance the natural optics of our eyes, finely toned figures, pottery with scenes of drama and action. Jump some centuries and we’re at the Industrial revolution with a new pace to life, energy, and inventions. Unconsciously, the Impressionists reflect this mood, capturing transient moments: their color and light with quick dabbling brushstrokes. Like when Claude Monet famously tried to capture the exact way the light played with Rouen Cathedral and made a flurry of paintings.

We have an innate curiousity about the world around us, a longing to explain our discoveries will always draw us to art. Does art always have meaning? Here’s another question– can you separate yourself enough from it to create or interpret art without meaning? Art conveys things we can’t always capture with words, there’s a more instinctive response to it; No barriers of language or age. Art is something everyone can learn to love, all you need to do is take a moment and just look.


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