“Art often reminds us of two things, what we love/desire and what we hate/fear.”
I first heard an iteration of this quote while watching a TED talk a few weeks ago. The speaker said “Art reminds us of two things, what to love, and what to hate.”
As much as like that statement, I felt it wasn’t entirely accurate. When we look at art I feel deep down we already know what he hate and what we love, what we fear and what we desire, and art just serves as a sometimes subtle and sometimes not so subtle reminder of those things. Art can try to tell us to hate something or love something, but more than likely you know ahead of time whether or not you love what’s in front of you, or hate what or how it is being represented, you either fear and show aversion to what is being depicted or you desire that which is being shown. Art doesn’t tell you to like it, you either do, or you don’t and often the art we love aligns with our own perceptions of beauty, our interests, our morals, and our desires. Along with this, art can remind us of something we hate/fear, but we can still love that particular piece of art. What is being depicted doesn’t necessarily cause us to turn away from a particular piece. Inversely, art can show us and remind us of the things we love, but the way it is represented might not be particularly appealing to us. Art is simply that gentle reminder, that tap on the shoulder, that memory, that thought in the back of the head that keeps forcing us to recall what we love/desire and what we hate/fear. Art just puts it out there for us.