We All Experience Art Differently

Ever go to an art gallery, museum, or a friend’s studio and see a work of art that you don’t understand? Have you ever left feeling less than excited about a work of art? How about your own work, do you have a favorite? Is it the same piece that others have as their favorite? Art is great because it creates experiences. Our life experiences and what we’ve been exposed to influences our taste, that’s why there are so many different forms of art; something different sparks a different note in each of us.

Jason Rohlf on a recent episode of Arts District shared, “A favorite painting for the artist may be a different painting for the viewer. My favorite paintings are the ones that we the most challenging, gave me the most trouble.” If you look at creating art from Rohlf’s view, it’s the challenge that endears the piece to his heart. His experience of challenge and overcoming that challenge make the piece more meaningful to him because he’s connected to the process as well as the painting.

Do you create stories about the art you see? If you do you’re creating stories based on your own life experience. We all have filters that we use to process our experiences. When we see art we filter our likes and dislikes and when we connect to a song, a poem, a painting, or a sculpture we make it a part our lives. We sing the song, recite the poem, take pictures or purchase the sculpture, or buy the painting. We want these creative expressions to be a part of our lives because they have meaning for us.

Lilly’s Oncology on Canvas is an example of how life perspective influences our creative endeavors. This art exhibit is work created by cancer survivors. There are times when the emotionality of the piece may be too hard for a viewer, but it’s the honest expression of the creator. I have work that was created when I was having a flare of my autoimmune disease. The work isn’t “pretty” but it’s quite meaningful. Is it the first piece people are drawn to, perhaps not, but is it an honest piece based on my experience? ABSOLUTELY!

Allow your experience of art to guide you and inspire you. Allow your experience of art to instigate a rebuttal expressed through your own creative expression. Your experience of art can provide you with an outlet for your own story, don’t let the opportunity pass you by!