What Role Do Artworks Play In Your Life?

It’s interesting to hear about the various ways in which individual pieces of art are perceived by different people. This is often most clear when discussing modern art. To some people, such pieces can represent ground-breaking imagery. For others, these sculptures, paintings and installations can almost appear child-like.

Does this mean that you need to be some sort of expert in order to have an opinion? Although it can sometimes seem this way, the reality is that artworks are often personal, by their very nature. Artists may set out to shock, or to entertain. What matters most to them is that their work should create some sort of reaction. If the viewer is completely unmoved, then no artist can feel satisfaction with what has been created.

Encountering art

So how much attention do you pay to the world of art? Do you feel that this is an area of life that you really embrace? It’s clear that many people do take an active interest and attend galleries to look at works produced by past masters and contemporaries. But it’s also obvious that there are many people who don’t take such an approach.

It’s tempting to suggest that they are untouched by art, but I don’t actually feel that this is true. It’s more likely that we are all impacted by paintings and sculptures. It may simply be the case that some of us are more conscious of this fact than others.

Think about your daily routine. Like many people, you may have a commute to work and then spend a lot of time within an office environment. On the face of it, this would appear to suggest that you have little time to have real contact with artworks. The only way to do so would be to go out of your way. At least, this is how it might seem. But it could be time to think again.

As you travel to work, you might take the time to look out of the window of your car, train or bus. As you do so, it’s likely that you’ll encounter many different images and creations, in a number of different forms. During my own journey to work, I witness sculptures in local parks, numerous posters and forms of digital advertising. Rather than having minimal contact with artworks, I find that I encounter them throughout the day.

When I think about this, I don’t necessarily feel that I have the chance to consider each of the individual works of art in detail. Instead, it may be that I see them in passing and only spend a little time thinking about each of them. It may be that those images will stick with me and that I’ll recall them at some point in the future.

It could be argued that you really do need to attend a gallery in order to see paintings displayed in the best possible surroundings. With a suitable atmosphere, you’ll be able to enjoy them properly.

There may be truth in such a statement, but it does seem to me that we may under-estimate the role of art in everyday life.

Note: Image reproduced under a Creative Commons license, by kind permission of kretyen (on Flickr).

Keith Barrett believes that commissioning portraits from photos represents a great way of buying good quality artwork for the home. He writes on a range of topics.