Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Emotional Perception

Impressionism, modern, abstract and realism are just a few types of art/painting that exist.  What is it about art that captures our attention?  Why do we look at those blobs of colored ink or streaks of charcoal and either fall in love or heave in disgust (I would hate if the latter has happened to any of you).  Some of you might be thinking that you don’t know the first thing about art or qualified to critique it but I digress.  In each and every one of us is a critique because art is created for you to view so automatically you are an art critique.  All you need is an open mind.
Even before spoken language we humans have been drawing and making pictures to describe how we feel and how we view our surroundings.  We use the resources around us to tell others ‘this is what I am going through, can you relate to me?’ The same goes on for artists.  They use their blank canvas or whatever medium along with what resources they have to show us how they feel at the time.  We are bound to our memories and our brain links strong emotions to certain situations to form lasting memories.  We also use color to describe such intangible notions as feelings, I’m so sad I’m blue, red & angry, green with jealousy.  Even animals use colors to both warn off potential threats as well as seek a mate.  Our mind also analyzes shapes to describe what we are seeing. Certain shapes automatically register as a particular object, four legs must be an animal, tall and bushy that should be a tree.  We label an object before we actually ‘see’ the item in our view.

Artists have taken advantage of this process; they blend color, lines and shapes into something that we all should be able to relate to.  That is why we tend to pause and stare at works of art a bit longer than a picture. Our brain is trying to find out what it is, once it can’t find a shape of a known object from memory it decodes the colors and then it cross references those colors with memories or at least the emotional roadmap of memories.  That is why certain works of art puts us at ease or another just makes your eyes bleed.  Our mind is finding some way to tell you what it sees so when nothing matches with our ‘map’ it just uses emotion ‘That painting just looks angry’ etc.
We like to adorn our homes and businesses with art to create certain moods so I challenge you to go to an art gallery in your home city if you can or follow this Slurl to a gallery in SL at the least. Open up your mind and critique; try to imagine what the artist was going through and what they are trying to tell you.  The more we do it the bigger and more accurate our mental road map will become. The better our road map is, the smaller the world seems. The smaller the world seems then aren’t we all just neighbors…at least that’s the way I ‘see’ it.

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