To me, understanding art is a way of understanding the world. It is about being imaginative, curious, and open to life’s possibilities. It’s not about accepting the world as it is, but envisioning how it could be. As an artist and an art lover, this is way I approach my work and the things I see all around me: the art in museums and in the streets, and the unexpected bits of beauty that crop up in unexpected places.
Everything in life is open to interpretation: a lamp that gets turned on only to be turned off, the feeling of standing very close to a stranger, the way light falls across a person’s face, the color of a shadow or shape of a cloud. These are everyday experiences we take for granted, that most of us don’t see. But thankfully there are artists out there who capture them, make them visible (or audible or tangible), and therefore present a new window on the world.
I studied studio art and art history in school, but most of what I know about it (and I don’t know all that much) is from seeing and doing. Here is my own personal conception of art: it is anything that makes you stop and think; it is anything that takes life beyond the ordinary. I think plenty of things we encounter every day fit this bill, even if they wouldn’t conventionally be labeled as art. Of course, you may not agree at all with me, or find my idea of art to be too rosy or just bullshit. Still, I encourage you to look for art in small ways all around you. I think once you open your mind to the infinite potential in art and the world, there is nothing more to understand.