The subjectivity of art

15 Nov

Art is subjective. Isn’t that awesome? In a way, that means no one is wrong in what they create. Art is a creative form of expression that has expanded and evolved because people weren’t afraid to try something new and different; to push boundaries with what art could be.

Looking at art with “non-creatives” is always an eye opener. They notice something that I didn’t and often point out the most obvious details, which I miss because I’m engulfed in the art world and sometimes know too much about art to just appreciate it for what it is.

Art’s subjectivity is awesome because anyone can look at art and enjoy it. The viewer doesn’t have to be educated, speak English, or know anything about previous art movements to enjoy art and experience what the artist is trying to convey.

I recently went to some small art galleries in Minneapolis, and my sister’s boyfriend/future fiance noticed that we all have our own opinions on art, yet we all enjoy it. And he says to me, “Kez, that what’s so great about art. Anyone can have their own opinion on it and no one has to agree because no one is really correct.”

The level of engagement with art is something I can’t really grasp. If it’s an amazing piece that I read about in an art history book, I’m probably going to spend more time with it than if it’s an abstract painting that I don’t understand and has a three page artist statement at a gallery with poor lighting and little space to move. I had a fine art teacher who always told the class that to really appreciate the work, you have to spend time with it. He explained that most of the time he never had enough time when viewing artwork because he could spend hours with one piece. I never understood this, but maybe my intellect and intelligence is not at his caliber.

Whether  an intense, deep viewer of artwork (spending lots of time with the work, contemplating every detail) or a more shallow onlooker (flow through a gallery and only spend time with the ones of interest) it doesn’t matter. Art is a universal language that can be appreciated by everyone. Supporting art and keeping galleries open is what we all need to do to keep art alive.


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