My blog’s concept: Art as Therapy

This art blog is inspired by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong’s book “Art as Therapy“. The book introduces a new mindset in looking at art. It argues that we should use art as a form of therapy to improve our personal life experience, find answers to our questions, help us solve our problems. Art can help us to be good persons, and even push us to improve as a society.

With this approach, it does not matter whether you know much about the life of the artist, the philosophy behind the style or the historical background of the motive. You do not need a sign next to the painting, telling you what to think and feel. The important part is what you see in the artwork, what it makes you feel and how it can help you.

Alain de Botton introduces seven functions of art in the therapeutic sense: Continue reading “My blog’s concept: Art as Therapy”

GROWTH – face the consequences

We are currently battered by an unusual stretch of heat and drought, leading to ferocious forest fires and dying crops on the fields – bringing climate change sharply up into our consciousness. What is usually far too easy to push back and forget about, a problem so distant and abstract that there are still people denying its existence, is suddenly not distant at all and we have to face it. We are greedily taking and using up resources, destroying nature. Continue reading “GROWTH – face the consequences”

SORROW – loss of a loved one

An eerie sight – like abandoned shoes, but much more human as they end in toes. We see the toes and expect to see, want to see a person rising up above them, but there is only emptiness, only a dull wooden wall with no trace of life. The person has left forever and, needing them no more, left their feet behind. Continue reading “SORROW – loss of a loved one”

APPRECIATE – everyday urban life

A housing block, grey and worn, windows illuminated in the waning light of the evening. There are so many of these in a city – would you even take a second look at it?

Lars Lerin does, and more so, he dedicates several square metres of thick watercolour paper to it. The Swedish painter takes us on our hands and leads us up close to the house front, inviting us to look into every window. And suddenly you realise – this dull building is full of life! Continue reading “APPRECIATE – everyday urban life”

GROWTH – Black painting

No, it’s not a bug on my website. This week’s featured painting is indeed a black square.

This is one of Ad Reinhardt’s abstract paintings. I used to look at artwork like this and come no further than “Huh… it’s a black square. So what?”. I would even be a bit irritated at artists that proclaim a black square art and sell it for a lot of money. Surely everyone can paint a canvas black? Continue reading “GROWTH – Black painting”

HOPE – there is always a light

What does hope look like in art? What kind of art gives us hope?

This chemigram by Swedish photographer Åke E:son Lindman conveys a sense of hope to me. While it is an abstract work, I see a mountain landscape bathed in the bright light of the rising sun. The crisp light glows, the landscape reborn at the end of a dark night. Looking at this picture, I feel as if I just rose from a deep sleep, awake now and ready for an entirely new day. I can almost feel the fresh mountain air around me, a light dampness of the fog that will soon be driven away by the warm strength of the sun. Continue reading “HOPE – there is always a light”