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Art: should it be understood or appreciated?

Art is one of the purest forms of emotions, one that is heavily opinionated by the artist's own biases. It doesn't require a great level of understanding to be appreciated. Art has truly evolved throughout the ages along with humans, starting from the earliest of cave-paintings and hieroglyphics, through the medieval era of canvases and tapestries, to the modern graffiti and digital art forms. One brilliant stroke of an artist can speak volumes! Art can be found in the most unexpected places, within the logos of international organisations, and even in the most obvious of places: textbooks that serve to elucidate knowledge in a more functional manner, and comic books that illustrate and inspire.

While a piece of art is the brainchild of the artist, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. One such example is The Starry Night, a painting by Van Gogh, which depicts the swirly stars in an unidentified constellation, with a city in the distant background and a tree in the foreground, thus focusing on the stars. Perhaps it is the juxtaposition of the contrary colours, or the romanticized idea of a night of stargazing, but this painting continues to captivate millions, even today. Yet many are not aware of the fact that this painting is not even his first attempt at such a creation, to capture the night skies, and that the currently treasured version is a product of his time at a mental asylum.

On the contrary, we have Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Da Vinci who is famous for being an avid inventor, far ahead of his time and a pioneer in the science of anatomy, and whose sheer genius was unmistakable. And yet, his legacy seems to be his cryptic painting of a lady, whose existence is debatable, according to history. This painting has as many skeptics, as it has fans. Many don't understand why the painting is popular and valuable enough to be stored in the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. The painting's popularity is as much of a mystery as its inspiration.

Modern day art like Mickey Mouse or Tom and Jerry show yet another perspective of art, as Disney weaves tales with their animatronic characters, who have captivated a large audience, from toddlers to adults. Stan Lee who created popular and relatable characters like Iron Man and Spider-Man, succeeded in motivating millions around the world to be better. Art: perhaps it serves to capture moments and feelings that cannot be explained, and maybe one does not need an ability to understand it, but rather, appreciate it.

Tagged in : illustrate, modern, digital, painting, artist,