What effect does art have on the emotions?
A work of art can depict many things, document many historical events, tell many stories, and in a lot of cases shed light or provide us with a fleeting glimpse into the lives of the artists themselves. How much passion, guilt, or betrayal is there depicted throughout history in the art world, for example, many of the greats were known or believed to have used their lovers or mistresses as muses in their works. It has often been suggested that Flora, one of Titian’s more poetic images of a young provocative looking women, was, in fact, his mistress Cecilia, whom he finally married in 1525.
Pablo Picasso was renowned for taking his muses as lovers as is evident in a lot of his work.
So when we view a work of art are we briefly being invited to form our own opinion or cast our own judgment not only on the piece but on the artist themselves.
Titian’s Flora c.1515-1520
Is the artist inviting us to view them as more than just artists, perhaps they are desperate to be seen as people, with emotions and desires with pent up frustrations or hidden agendas that can only be expressed and released through their work,
as art, after all, is a form of expression, a way of venting our feelings, sharing our emotions or possibly even confessing what was not at first obvious, and capturing them for everyone to share. With art, there is always a thought process where an idea is conceived, and then a design process where we decide how to best express our initial thoughts, feelings or emotions. It is a psychological outlet that provides both spiritual relief and satisfaction and invokes emotion in its purest form.
So when an artist creates a piece, are they really laying themselves bare to our approval, or are they just giving us a brief glimpse through a window into their soul, letting us know how they feel, confessing their innermost thoughts or fears through their work, regardless of what we might think.
Some, so-called great works of art look as if a child was fed caffeine and sweets all day and then let loose with a packet of crayons or gallons of paint. It leaves you questioning the piece and wondering whatever was going on in the mind of the artists when they created it, what madness could have invoked such chaos and how can this be taken seriously as art? While others leave you feeling mesmerized and astounded by their beauty and composition, inviting you into a world of make believe where fantasy appears to be reality and, for a brief moment in time you are lost in the artist’s world.
Art excites our minds and teases our emotions. Some works can leave you with a feeling of emptiness, sorrow or remorse, while others excite the senses and dare you to look deeper into the piece and imagine what madness, power, passion or desire inspired such an arousing piece of art. What is it that a work of art has that it can lift you to a higher plain, warming the soul and fueling a passion buried deep within?