‘Moving objects, like asteroids and Twitter tweets, come and go in short order.
Art is stationary and it doesn’t change, except in how it is beheld’- Perry Fisher
Not only have I always loved art, but I’ve also always been immensely curious about it. More specifically, why do humans like to look at and create art? What is it about viewing a certain image that generates a particular emotion, or desire to create within us? So I decided to see what answers the vast world that is the internet has to offer, as well as provide my own little thoughts…
Before I begin, I think it is important to note that these speculations are only covering humans in general, and do not account for individual differences in taste. Although I am equally interested as to why it is ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, I think I will cover this in another post to keep this one to the point 🙂
WHY DO HUMANS LIKE TO LOOK AT ART?
We are social creatures. Art provides an opportunity for us to share a moment and talk about the feelings that the image generates.
‘If part of the definition of art is that it offers a moment frozen in time that is available to the ages, then it takes on the form of a touchstone for those who follow; something to visit along the way and to hold in common with others in their culture……..The more things more of us see, hear, sense, read or feel as members of a culture, the more broadly are we able to see ourselves in our own light. So while gazing at the “Mona Lisa” in Le Louvre, you coincidentally touch base with millions of others, creating a great big common moment, a kinship’ – Perry Fisher.
Art can speak to us without any words, and can often expose our own vulnerabilities and deepest emotions.
As an artist, I have found that the things I love to paint most are the things that generate a strong emotional meaning for me. For example, my colourful boat painting ‘Sorbet Sunset’ holds a special place in my heart as it reminds me nostalgically of my childhood holidays to Scotland where I had my first little boat ride with my family. As a result, it has since become one of my favourite of my own works because of the personal meaning that it holds.
‘Our favourite art, touches profound and personal chords: beauty, clarity, mastery, harmony, authenticity, sincerity–things we don’t speak about often, perhaps, but remain fundamental and largely private.’- Perry Fisher
WHY DO HUMANS LIKE TO CREATE ART?
Humans have been creating art for thousands and thousands of years. But why do we do it? Making something that is visually appealing is just the tip of the iceberg, and I think it goes far deeper than just being about creating a pretty picture. Here’s just a brief snippet of my favourite opinions on why we create art
‘Art is a simple act of individual expression that fills the need to connect people across time and space’. – Chad Swanson
‘In life, we experience so much fragmentation of thought and feeling. For me, creating art brings things back together‘ – Gina Gibney
‘It’s a way of conveying a message that relies on more than words. Images and colour and texture allow us to convey emotions and ideas that speak to more of our brains that mere words do. You can convey are more complete and nuanced idea. You can invoke responses on a much broader array of emotional and conceptual channels.
Why do we want to communicate to others? There are so many reasons one might do that. Let’s just say we are social creatures and we depend on communication to transfer ideas to each other. Art is a tool that helps of create more sophisticated communications’. – Steven Dillard.
What do you think? Would love to hear any thoughts on why we like to create and look at art.