Scientists from the Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences Department, University of Bari, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2008.07.002 have conducted a study to research the relationship between the aesthetic value of paintings and how it can affect the viewer’s threshold of pain.
In that experiment 12 healthy volunteers were asked to view a series of paintings and rate them as “beautiful, neutral or ugly”. The subjects were pain – stimulated with a laser to the left hand while looking at a painting. Those who view paintings rated as ‘beautiful” had lower pain scores (felt lesser pain) than those who were looking at paintings rated as “ugly”.
The results are not surprising.
Everthing we see, hear and feel, results in a chain of chemical (hormonal) and electrical (nervous) impulses that resonates through out biology. The condition of our living and working space affects our cognitive senses and hence our physical condition. Very often these affects are not obviously perceptible, but over time it builds up.
Chinese and Western metaphysicists have long acknowledged the link between the aesthetics of the living environment and wellness.
In the Study of Feng Shui, emphasis is put on the design of the living space to create ‘harmony’. This creates environment suited encourage overall well being of the occupants, including, health, relationships and wealth.
Writers of the “The Secret” have also mentioned a link between a person’s choice of art and his luck in romance.
As an artist of today, I’ve always been pressured to create works of art that “shock”, “disturb”, “confuse”… Many of today’s highly represented artwork strive to create these emotions. (Just go to a high profile art show like Art Basel, you’ll see what I mean.)
This is 2009, almost a decade after 9/11. What can we visually create in ‘art’ that can possibly more shocking and dreadful Twin Tower collapse, and people jumping off them before that? What can be more horrifying, for example, that the fate of Daniel Pearl?
It is about energy.
Energy is required to hold things together, and the energy keeps it together, like a living being. When the energy is dissipated, matter falls apart like a decaying corpse.
The same goes for piano playing. It is easy to make noise by banging on the keys randomnly, but takes hours of practice to play a Chopin Impromptu.
What the world needs now…
It is love, hope, charity. I am an artist of beautiful art, and I’ll stay this way. This is my philosophy. It is far more challenging and difficult to fill a painting with positive messages. Pain and ugliness is easy to contsruct, that’s why it seems to dominate art world. Everyone, in trying to be ‘different’ by being incomprehendable, ends up looking like each other.
We live in a very Spiritual age.
Beauty in art is becoming fashionble again. The young people of today are more conscious of their roll in society and the environment than the generations of, say, the time of the “Flower Power”. Many are more likely to buy paintings that speak to them.