Art represents one of the cornerstones of the human race. It comprises what it is to be human, and what it means to exist at a specific point in human history – to reflect and ponder, but also to imagine, to conceive of unique ideas and feelings, and to explore the individual psyche, as well as the collective one.
When it comes to paintings, art connoisseurs may know more about reading art pieces, from classical to more modern paintings. Nonetheless, for a layman, learning to understand art needn’t be an uphill struggle. Everyone has their preference, and will find beauty in specific art pieces that others may not see as appealing.
Just the same, while personal preference is central to interpretation, developing a full understanding of an artwork calls for a little more practice-based knowledge. Here are some ways to help you understand art.
Begin at the Place You Feel Drawn to
Reading your way through reams of factual information written about the Mona Lisa is not the only way to enter into the art world. We have at our disposal centuries worth of work for you to explore at your leisure – and you may even wish to begin with some practical experience in collecting, rather than hours pouring over books.
These days, it is easier than ever before to gain access to pieces that truly speak to your unique tastes in art, and to buy original art for your own collection. There are platforms like SEAM Agency that curate the work of emerging artists, and allow you to buy art online for your home collection.
Don’t try too hard
Have you ever experienced going to an art gallery and finding several people admiring a painting? As you inch closer to see what makes it so attractive, you find yourself wondering why. Hard as you try, the art piece does not elicit any emotion from you.
This is not a sign that you do not know how to appreciate fine work. Everyone has an individual experience when viewing art, and these differences are all part of the allure of the art world. You are not forced to admire or like something if you don’t.
Just the same, try not to dismiss the artist or the genre. As you mature with art appreciation, your taste will also change. You may learn in the future that something is appealing about that art piece you couldn’t understand before.
Own up to what you like
As mentioned earlier, art offers a unique experience to every individual. What is interesting to one may not strike the fancy of another. If you find something that catches your eye and connects to you in a personal way, then having the confidence to acknowledge that part of the process is a huge part of becoming a personal collector.
Avoid going with what others like. Whatever you experience when you first set your eyes on the piece forms your understanding of it and all your other experiences after. Whether you can explain it or not, you like it, and that’s what matters.
Feel and connect
Art is all about feeling, whether it evokes pleasure and joy, or even something negative like fear. As you view an art piece, allow your feelings to take over. Take in everything you can about what the piece is all about, from its colours to its shapes and forms. Do not rush yourself. Once you establish what you feel about the painting, try to connect to it personally. You can relate it to any experience you have had in the past or something you do daily. Feeling and connecting with an art piece, whatever it may be, is a significant step in understanding art.
For many of us, appreciating any form of art is not difficult. However, you may find that there is a hidden artist inside you waiting to be unleashed. You can take it a step further and discover your unique talent.
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