There are many beliefs that people have about art that are not entirely true and often hinder their ability to truly understand art and what influences it, that includes:
Art is a Luxury – as humans we have been creating art for thousands of years’ and in many different places and for varied reasons. From earliest artistic activities in school, viewing art in public and in commercial uses to a pleasant activity for cognitive and emotional enrichment and for therapeutic reasons – art has that connection. Art has been and is created in classrooms, private homes, studios, war zones and prisons. Today art is so accessible and can be experienced through a variety of mediums and venues, so its reach is extensive. The only art that may be classified as “luxury” are rare and inaccessible pieces that reside in private collections. Thankfully there are many works available for public view in museums and galleries throughout the world. Art remains a luxury – in the sense that it can behold a special place in our daily lives if we only make the effort to view and appreciate it.
Art has to be Beautiful – although beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, art leaves that interpretation open. However, if you go a bit further and consider that for example, artists of the Impressionist Period – Monet, Gaugin – they were at the beginning greatly criticized for their art as being too avante garde and not in keeping with the current forms of academic painting styles. Gradually though, the public started to appreciate this new form of fresh and original artistic expression. Today Impressionist art is considered some of the most beautiful and sought after works and the continued trend of plein-air painting has its roots in the Impressionist style.
To be Artistic Requires Drawing Skills – to have natural ability to create art, particularly drawing skills, are a definite asset as it helps the artist to more easily convey their work. However, there are many artists that possess skills that are not so apparent – for example, it is a skill to choose and even create colours that are uncommon, to use materials and techniques that are unique to individual artists. To do this, the artist needs to be observant and sensitive to what they are trying to project and the effects these choices have on their work. The same holds true for composition and subject presentations among other artistic choices that all require skills outside of drawing.
Art Must Have a Subject – many would argue that art needs to be about something. However, there is art, particularly from the 20th Century that is purely emotional and without a subject – it is intended to draw the viewer in. Instead of searching for meaning, this art is meant to be experienced, through mood, composition and colour. If approached in that way, other aspects of the artists expression can be found and often the observer will create their own interpretation of the art presented to them. Therefore, the meaning is relative to the observer and it may be challenged by the artist.
Art is a Matter of Taste – whether you like a particular piece of art or not, has little to do with having good or bad taste. Many artists, particularly in the contemporary genre are not wanting you to like their art because you have good taste. They really are looking to have you see their perspective and commentary about a subject or mood that is conveyed in their work. On the other side, if you are choosing art for your home or business surroundings, this can be a matter of taste, as you are wanting to bring about a particular feeling or mood in a space and the art that is chosen will help to reflect that. It is helpful to think about art itself as a public statement by an artist, but also recognize that you may or may not want to view it for decorative purposes in your everyday environment.