One could conclude that many people have to see a recognizable image in a print, painting or sculpture for it to be 'art' or for that 'art' to have meaning to them. Realistic art or representational art are the most frequently-sold genres of art today. For instance, a painting of a Paris street scene may evoke memories of a favorite trip. Or a photo of a red barn may trigger memories of youth. Or a silkscreened print of a dog, cat or other family pet may elicit warm feelings about home.
If realism works for you, great. But consider this analogy to music: Some people like jazz. Some like classical. Others like country, or hard rock, or punk, or rap, or new age. Some like to push the buttons in their car radios across a spectrum of music until they find a tune they like, no matter what the genre may be. And that's me. I like all of the above. And that's also why I like abstract art.
Abstract art opens a channel of feeling within me that I can't get from realism. If I see an abstract art print with large blocks of color, or muted shapes, or colorful stripes, they may evoke thoughts and feelings that change by the day. A colorful abstract with bold hues, for instance, stimulates the eyes and brain and creates a sensation that I can do anything or go anywhere or be any person I want to be. A bold abstract makes me perk up like a jolt of coffee, or want to start a lively conversation with a friend. Sometimes, it allows my mind to wander over multiple channels, like pushing buttons on a car radio, opening up pathways of thought that are new and exciting. A subtle abstract may create an atmosphere that calms me down from a hectic day or creates the opportunity for thoughtful introspection.
I can't get those same feelings from a red barn. To me, a red barn will always be a red barn. But an abstract can be anything.
Ann Travers is Associate Director of Beautiful Art Prints, an online store for stunning contemporary art prints by leading artists. Celebrate your success and the special people in your life with the purchase of beautiful art. A portion of every purchase goes to the UN World Food Program. Every sale benefits someone in need.