The power of abstract art

I grew up loving colour. I would craft the wackiest outfits, and the only criteria they had to meet was that they made me happy in that present moment. My favourite item of clothing was probably this one bathing suit I had; it had gorgeous patches of bright colours that never failed to excite me.

As I got older my love of colour has persisted, although now I tend to get my “colour fix” less from my own clothing and more from abstract art—that’s not to say I don’t wear colour, but that arena has become extremely subdued, likely because I’ve been living abroad for the past year a lifestyle that’s much more conducive to a minimalistic wardrobe. Anyway, back to art. A piece of really colourful abstract art is incomparable when it comes to energizing and inspiring me. But the really interesting thing to note is that it’s hard to say why.

This brings up the problem that a lot of people actually have with abstract art. You know, that  muffled whisper shared all over art galleries, “I don’t get it.” Or, “Why is this worth so much money?” There’s often not a sole explanation for this, just like there isn’t a clear cut, concrete reason for the piece itself.  But isn’t this the beauty of art? The subjectivity of embracing the piece that prompts you to impose your own views, history, likes/dislikes onto it. The fact that two people cannot engage with one work of art in the same way makes it so special. It’s like you have a very personal, unparalleled connection with the work, one that no one else can have, and all it takes is your taking the time to engage it.

A piece that sparks you is a piece that has the power of connecting, really. Whether that’s connecting with yourself—making you question why you view it the way you do, or recalling a memory it brings to mind—or connecting with another person, who will inevitably see something different.

It has the power to bring us to life. I guess this is where my appreciation of it all comes from. As I find with writing, experiencing art (whether that’s making it myself or looking on others’ work) is so cathartic and magical, which I think is, by the way, actually a perfect word for it. We can’t really explain it, but its palpable, and if we let it, it can affect us immensely. We can let it inspire us, or bring us joy when we need it.

Anyway, I could go on, but I won’t. I just wanted to let out this love I feel for it—all of which was inspired by reading “The Art Cure” by Bridgette Mayer.


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