I would just like to begin by saying how much art has had an impact on my life. When I was younger, I would look at modern art and the experimental forms that we see today and stare in confusion and disgust. “How could this be considered art?” I would ask myself. But in my naivety rested the truth that many people hold against art. Art is too easily misunderstood. Successful art though will get a reaction from you. It doesn’t matter if it is pleasing to your eyes. It doesn’t matter if it is the ugliest thing that you have ever seen. The fact of the matter is that if you felt something from looking at the art, then it was successful.
While today I am happily living in the greater Los Angeles area, I spent part of my teen years with my aunt in Paris following the death of my parents. My aunt insisted that art was some of the most important aspects of education. You cannot duck out on art history and education, especially if you are going to live in a city like Paris. While I was leery at first, nearly offended by the presentation of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, as I got older and further expanded my education, I began viewing modern art with new eyes. I no longer saw a spattering of random colors or oddly shaped images, but instead I saw movement, clarity, and a presentation of emotion. I had to learn and experience it firsthand, but once I was introduced to the beauty of art, I was forever changed and have never looked back.
While paintings have a special place in my heart, there is also a compartment for sculptures in there too. Sculptures are one of the more visual types of artistic expression that you can have. Of course architecture is also a form of artistic expression, but architecture is art with a function. The art of sculpture is presenting a physical form that you can stand up next to and experience in an entirely different way. It is a more physical experience. You can develop a relationship with the sculpture. As I said before, it is not the beauty of the art that is as important as how you feel about the art. Standing next to a sculpture can give you a difference sense of it. You can build a kind of relationship with it, feel it, even when you can’t touch it, and get a size of it.
I really want the younger generations to embrace the world of art. I know that a lot of arts are being cut from public education, but I do not fear that it is all lost. Art can be experienced without education. While education will certainly help, you can still have a visceral reaction to a painting or sculpture without a teacher telling you how you should feel about it. In a way, you will know it on a completely different way. Regardless, get out there, feel the art. You will thank me for it later.