art collecting

Art That Remembers

Remembering

. . . a vexing activity at times. Unfortunately, the older I get, the more vexing it becomes.

Alain de Botton and John Armstrong in their book, Art as Therapy, name remembering as one of the seven functions of art.  It helps us “hold on to things we love when they are gone.” They clarify this even further when they point out what in particular we want to remember. Not form as much as personality and essence.

The work of the portrait artist, our great dilemma, is how to best communicate the person. What to include, what to lose? What to exaggerate in order to pull out a necessary quality?

There always comes a moment, the most supremely delightful moment when somehow, slipping around the canvas in a gloppy pile of pigment, where I sigh in relief, “Ah . . . there you are.” I have in my bumbling ineptitude, stumble upon their vital essence.   Remembering

. . . a vexing activity at times. Unfortunately, the older I get, the more vexing it becomes.

Alain de Botton and John Armstrong in their book, Art as Therapy, name remembering as one of the seven functions of art.  It helps us “hold on to things we love when they are gone.” They clarify this even further when they point out what in particular we want to remember. Not form as much as personality and essence.

The work of the portrait artist, our great dilemma, is how to best communicate the person. What to include, what to lose? What to exaggerate in order to pull out a necessary quality?

There always comes a moment, the most supremely delightful moment when somehow, slipping around the canvas in a gloppy pile of pigment, where I sigh in relief, “Ah . . . there you are.” I have in my bumbling ineptitude, stumble upon their vital essence.   

Collecting Art: Art Has a Function?

According to Alain de Bottom and John Armstrong, authors of Art as Therapy, art has seven functions. It helps us remember . . . that sunny day on the beach, the walk by the pond, those people we love most dearly and the way the light makes their hair glow. It gives us hope to others who are persevering through difficulties; or as in religious art, in whom we may hope. Art inspires, depicting beauty absent in our present circumstance. It teaches how to bear suffering. It comforts as we identify with it. We are rebalanced when confronted with doses of our opposing tendencies or excesses. Certain works gift us with self-understanding. Art brings growth in attitude as we examine why certain art make us uncomfortable. Art brings renewed appreciation for things taken for granted.

When pondering the many benefits of art, and many more not listed, it’s a wonder we are not all great art collectors. We might be a healthier nation as a whole if we bought more art . . . Just a thought.