Recollect the times you have visited a museum, or taken painting or pottery lessons. How did you feel? Rejuvenated? Relaxed? Happy? Or all three?
Art in all its forms — whether you are creating it or simply observing it — can trigger the release of dopamine (the feel-good hormone) in your frontal cortex and bring sensations akin to falling in love.
The World Health Organization has also recognised this effect of art on humans which has encouraged major corporates across the globe to resort to employing art to harness its positive effects on their employees. This has proven to reduce stress and mental discomfort brought about by our modern lifestyle. Such is the impact of art on our lives.
In the 1940s, Abraham Maslow, an American professor of psychology, developed a ‘Hierarchy of Needs’. According to his theory, a person’s needs develop from basic to self-actualisation in progressive steps. This can be represented in the form of a pyramid, very similar to the food pyramid we all are familiar with. Art, being a part of the penultimate step in the pyramid, only adds to the fact that appreciation of art is above all our basic and secondary needs. Art adds value to our lives in more ways than one can imagine.
There are countless ways in which art can enrich our lives. Firstly, surrounding yourself with things that make you happy can immensely boost the quality of your life. The adage “Your home is a reflection of yourself” has stood the test of time and is relevant more so today as the world has undergone a paradigm shift due to the pandemic. With most of the world brought to a standstill, art and creativity are what has kept everyone going.
Secondly, art lets one explore their emotions and thoughts in a constructive manner. Individuals suffering from trauma or depression have benefitted from art therapy. A survey conducted by Psychology Today showed that people across all ages felt happy after art therapy sessions no matter what their outcome was. They could unburden their negative thoughts and release them through art.
And lastly, art imparts a sense of achievement and accomplishment. Whether you collect it or create your own, being around art is considered healthy for your mind, body and soul. As Pablo Picasso rightly said, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
All of us have an innate ability to create and art serves as a medium to achieve that. Collecting art is an art form in itself. As mentioned earlier, art has the ability to improve the quality of life one leads. By collecting art created by celebrated masters and contemporary artists, you are not only acquiring an artwork, but capturing a moment in history as art of a certain time or era holds the essence of the cultural and social aesthetics of that period.
With the advancement of technology, information about innumerable artworks is only a click away. You can find artists and their works that resonate with you and there are so many to choose from. Virtual tours and online auction houses can be your entryway to the serene world of art. If you have been considering building your art collection then consider this as a sign. Surround yourself with art that appeals to you and add richness to your life.
– Sneha Gautam
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