Unlocking the Power of Art Appreciation: Why It Matters
6 minute read
What is art appreciation, and why is it important?
Art appreciation is more than just someone putting on airs and waxing lyrically about a piece that seems to make no sense and use big words. Admiring a beautiful painting or sculpture; it's a profound way to connect with the world around us and enrich our lives. In this post, we'll delve into what art appreciation truly means and explore the profound importance it holds in our lives and society. Because yes, art appreciation is sometimes to used to show off cultural wealth. A little tip, if someone talks about art in a way that leaves you dizzy and confused, they are probably full of it. Enjoying art is something close to you, that might be indescribable, but with practice it helps you connect to your own values and feelings. Please enjoy this little introductory article on art appreciation we broke it down to 6 easy to understand categories.
Appreciation = Understanding
Art appreciation is the act of understanding, valuing, and interpreting works of art. So if you don't understand it, it can be because you do not have enough information or simply it's not meant for you. With more understanding, comes the ease of interpreting art and with that we come to value it more. Art is not valuable if it is not shared and cherished. It involves going beyond the surface level and delving into the emotions, ideas, and techniques behind a piece of art. It's about developing the skills to critically analyze and connect with art on a deeper level.
Many Dutch people love Dutch realism, its the highest selling style in The Netherlands, because most Dutch children's introduction to the arts is art from the 17th century. A period revered for its economic growth and nationhood is based on. So because they are introduced at an early age, they explore the concepts and interpretations of these artwork in this style from an early age. They feel comfortable around this type of art and can appreciate it more, and the value is already established through large institutions backing it. It is a safe choice that brings joy. We don't have this type of art at Gallery Sorelle Sciarone. We are here for the slightly more adventurous collector, than the average Dutch art collector.
Left Behind X (De Albatros) | Marko Klomp a beautiful seascape with crashing waves that somehow is a figurative painting that morph's into abstraction to depict the swelling ocean on the bottom half.
Why Art Appreciation Matters
1. Art Appreciation: Cultural Enrichment
With words like cultural enrichment, I immediately have to think of animals in a zoo, that if their enclosure does not have sufficient enrichment they are agitated and prone to sadness or violence. But we are talking about art here; Art is a reflection of culture, history, and human experiences. By appreciating art, we gain insights into the traditions, beliefs, and stories of different societies throughout time. It broadens our cultural horizons and fosters empathy and understanding. So in a way, art enriches our lives, like a tiger enclosure, it helps ground us in our history and foster empathy for other cultures. Also hanging art in our living spaces also enriches our enclosures.
At Gallery Sorelle Sciarone we actively think about what type of art we represent. Does it tell the story of our world and experiences? Each painting is chosen because the artists are skilled visual storytellers. Take for example artwork by Marko Klomp; his series Left Behind is interpreted differently by two Art Historians in the following exhibitions:
Left Behind - curated by Dutch Art Historian Wouter Maas in 2021
Perseverance - curated by British Art Historian Laura Caseberry in 2022
Sketch of Seeds | Adéle du Plessis | Still-life Painting a tempera painting in which the fabulous artist Adéle du Plessis plays with Plato's Mimesis philosophy and a sustainable art medium.
2. Art Appreciation: Creativity and Imagination
Art encourages us to think creatively and imagine beyond the ordinary. It inspires innovation and problem-solving by challenging us to see the world from different perspectives. How does it do this? Well simply by being there it leads us to contemplate and connect information with the painting as a visual jumping board. What the artist painted and his motivations or understanding are not the same as the viewer's understanding of the artwork. We all bring our own unique lived experiences when we view an artwork. With those lived experiences we view the world. Talking about the art and what it evokes in you can help clarify or inspire you.
We are very careful with the collection we represent here at the art gallery. Some great art can not be sold through us, as we are also mindful of how having a piece of art in your home or office can influence your emotions and outlook on life. We look for art that is beautiful, and evocative, but also serene.
Circle of Life | Negar Rashidi | Delft Blue Oysters. This beautiful piece by Negar had me in tears writing about the implications of blooming life from fossils.
3. Art Appreciation: Emotional Connection
Art has the unique ability to evoke emotions and stir our inner thoughts and feelings. Engaging with art can help us process our own emotions and experiences, providing a therapeutic outlet for self-expression and introspection. That is why we are extremely careful with our selection of art. Yes, all emotions are valid, but some art is made with emotions you would rather not come home to at the end of a long day. An interesting example is that how people interpret Marko Klomp's artwork is very dependent on their mood. Even the lighting in the room can affect how his work is interpreted. We always advise hanging his artwork in a bright spot in the house. Because he paints in a blurry unfocused way, known in the arts by the Italian word Sfumato, your brain automatically corrects the image to make it clearer, inserting your worldview in the painting.
Here at Gallery Sorelle Sciarone, we have had many interesting and profound conversations with so many people. Being in the gallery, we have this deep connection with almost anyone who comes in to experience, but for many of our clients, this is one of the most unique and connected they have ever felt with another person. This is also why so much of our artwork at the gallery is sought after by collectors for their office spaces. They know art allows them to connect to their clients in a way that fosters a deeper connection. Whether art from the gallery hangs in a doctor's office in Paris, or a consultant in The Hague or a linguistic professor in the Irish country side., the beautiful pieces bring joy and connection to a myriad of different people from different backgrounds.
Afspraak | Thea van Doorn | Figuratieve Schilderij. Let's talk about it. That's what this painting by Thea seems to say.
4. Art Appreciation: Critical Thinking
Art appreciation hones our critical thinking skills. So how does it do this? Well, it's practice. Talking and sharing the thoughts that come up with seeing a painting or another artwork, opens you up to new thought processes as well as opening a dialogue with other people. It prompts us to analyze and interpret visual cues, symbolism, and the artist's intentions. This skill is transferable and can enhance our ability to make informed decisions in various aspects of life. The hardest part of communicating with people is being able to understand their frame of reference. Sometimes in life I have realised we are both saying the same thing, but because our theoretical framework differs, it can feel like we are talking past each other. Art is a safe way to practice this skill.
Arguably the most important skill to hone and practice is actually interpreting what is in the artwork and knowing where your self-insert starts. Being able to separate what is and what is added by your own unique viewpoint. By being able to differentiate between where that line of division is, you are able to better communicate in more trickier situations. It starts with; I like this because... and identifying the thoughts and feelings around the pleasant experience. If you don't like an artwork, simply move on to something that brings you joy or pleasure. We are often much better at saying what we do not like, but this is an excellent way to reframe your mindset and practice critical thinking. Getting to know yourself better in the process. People that know who they are and what they lie, are often more sure of themselves and experience life positively.
Labradorite is a painting by Dutch artist Els Kampert, it is a poured Acrylic on Canvas, 75cm x 115cm. Only available in for shipping in The Netherlands.
5. Art Appreciation: Personal Growth
Like we mentioned above, people who are more aware of who they are and what they like are happier and more confident. Engaging with art is a lifelong journey of personal growth. It encourages patience, perseverance, and an ongoing quest for knowledge. As you learn to appreciate art, you also discover more about yourself. The more you know, the more assured you are. This is easier said that done. It is a life long practice in which you need to take the time to stand still with what you deem is important to you. This is as much as a daily practice as it is an investment in yourself. In some families this is taught, in other peoples lives they only start discovering this when there is some financial freedom or recuperating after a crash and burn. It does not have to cost anything, but our world usually does not actively encourage this type of growth. It is terrifying as it is freeing.
In solitudine cum libro | Marko Klomp | Figurative Painting is a very large oil painting by the venerated Dutch artist Marko Klomp, where a lady is lost in a book. We are looking into an intimate moment of quiet.
6. Art Appreciation: Community and Connection
We really advise you to practice this with your friends or even strangers at the museum. Art appreciation is a social activity that brings people together. It fosters a sense of belonging and community, as art lovers and creators gather to share their passion and insights. Artist also love it, when you can speak to their art. Some might be prickly and say that your interpretation is not exactly what they wanted to convey. they are also used to people telling them more often the reasons someone dislikes their art than why they do. The latter is harder. But if you follow my advice of finding art that sparks something in you, the following step is to say it out loud and follow the trail. It might be a bit messy in the beginning, but it might challenge assumptions you never knew you held or help you understand yourself and the world better with practice. talking to your friends about this or sharing this with the artist even might actually drastically change the course of someone's life. Either by voicing the unsaid in someone's heart wherein people feel seen and heard.
At the very least, by talking we are fostering a dialogue which is at the centre of building a community and connection. At the gallery, we make sure all the artwork has ambiguity and is layered in its message so that no one can pinpoint the final analysis of an artwork. The ability for an artwork to be understood and interpreted in multiple context is what makes it a work of art. Once an artwork stops us from interacting with it, it slowly fades from our hearts, and minds and is lost to the ages. That's what makes good art if we keep being able to find meaning and interest as the world changes in it. If it keeps facilitating dialogue.
Theater | Thea van Doorn | Figuratieve Schilderij is a large painting that is a little absurd until we place it in context of a theatre piece. We are all players on a stage, all searching for connection.
Take away from Art Appreciation
Art appreciation is not just a hobby; neither is it something you do to impress or embarrass someone else. It is a powerful tool for personal growth, cultural enrichment, and emotional connection. Looking at art and talking about art, is a safe environment that enhances our ability to think critically, encourages creativity, and fosters a sense of community. By diving into the world of art, you embark on a journey that can transform your perspective and enrich your life in countless ways. Obviously we highlight the art at Gallery Sorelle Sciarone as examples, but the application is universal.
Art Historian Tascha Sciarone and Gallery Sorelle Sciarone is here to provide a space where you can explore, learn, and connect with art in all its forms. Stay tuned for more insights, artist interviews, and captivating art pieces that will deepen your appreciation for the world of art. And please let us know what you think or suggest more topics or questions for us.
Your friendly Art Historian