Art Emotion
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Art Emotion

Modern Art, Contemporary Art, Art news
01 June 2019

This month Haitch explores the tricky subject of the connection between psychology and human behaviour and how these may subconsciously impact your choice in art. It is important to first understand the variables and complexities that play a role in art choice such, demographics, interests and behaviours, as well as our colour choice for example plays a significant role. These complexities largely determine the different facets in taste and appreciation from one person to another.

 
 

Art Choice

Art can be described as an experience of the viewer as well as an interpretation of an individual’s emotion. Research has been fairly inconclusive as to whether our aesthetical taste in art is environmental or hereditary but there is one thing that it almost always evokes, opinion. These opinions can range from ‘I do not really care for art all that much’ to ‘I am passionate about art’. There are many different facets for consideration; art types i.e. paintings vs. sculptures, material i.e. oil paint vs. glass art, colour preference i.e. red vs. blue, art movements i.e. expressionism vs. cubism. With this diversity in mind art choice is a great place to begin. If we think back to the early Impressionist era which was a move away from the mastery of realism, the shift was heavily criticised for its lack of skill, similarly to that of expressionism and the following art movements. Today however we revere the works of Monet, Van Gogh and Degas whose artworks are widely regarded as masterpieces. So what changed? There is no doubt that cultural influence plays a crucial role in preference, in a similar fashion to the way the knowledge drives appreciation, but what about personal taste?

Art Preference

What makes a person prefer cubism to surrealism and abstract art, etc. Psychological studies carried out by Burt (1933) and Eysenck (1940) and (Furnham & Avison, 1997) as sited by ‘The British Psychologist Society’ reveal key findings; there is a parallel between people who choose, what might be classed as “traditional or representational” art to those that preferred more abstract forms of art. It highlighted that people who carried an ‘openess to experience’ character trait were more likely to prefer or purchase abstract art whereas people with a ‘conservative or conscientious’ traits were more likely to prefer traditional art. It also established that people who followed the ‘openess to experience’ were more likely to be artists or creators themselves, furthermore they were likely to engage in other creative pursuits such as; theatre and dance. In addition to art preference, colour preference cannot is a key contributing factor to our choices in relation to art. Psychological studies undertaken at Berkeley University suggest that people like colours to the extent to which their colour preference is primary and the object or media (beit paintings vs. sculpture) is secondary.

Colour & Emotion

Red

Extrovert | Confident | Risk taker

 

Red is an energetic colour which is striking and is one of the colours which is most likely to catch our attention. The colour red is psychologically associated to danger, anger, passion, life and death. It has connotations to blood and is also known to biologically increase blood pressure. The colour red in art choice denotes a confident, fearless and potentially extrovert character who is not afraid to stand out and is also not to concerned with the opinions of others, unless it is with a view to evoking a reaction or to call attention to it.

Orange

Energetic | Positive | Determined

 

Orange is a colour that suggests cheerfulness, positivity, energy and aliveness. Our subconscious mind associates the colour orange with a depiction of the sun, which suggests, daylight, energy, forward momentum, warmth and protection. A person with a colour or art preference that is orange suggests that they either possess or desire a brighter more energetic environment, the person is likely to be cheerful, determined and active. As orange carries red tones it may also elude to a fiery and or confident character.

Green

Compassionate | Caring | Conscientious

 

Green tones are widely associated to the outdoors, nature and serenity and calm. The colour and name is used when conveying environmental causes and missions as wells as within the food industry. This is because in our everyday lives and throughout history green has subconsciously represented fertile landscapes meaning food and vitality which indirectly translated growth to abundance, health and wellness. A person who chooses green as a colour preference to art may be inclined to a more compassionate frame of mind, they also likely to be nature loves, and perhaps enjoy travelling as well as righteous causes, as such they may be more sensitive and caring.

 

Blue

Introverted | Serious | Laid back

 

The colour Blue can evoke a wide variety of emotions depending up on its particular spectrum, meaning a dark blue or navy colour is typically considered more conservative whilst a lighter colour is more calming and perhaps even playful. Blue in nature is both grounding and mysterious, relating to the blue skies and blue seas. As such it has a serene calming influence as well as an aloofness, the manifests as stability, faith, loyalty and trust and sometime melancholy. A person that prefers blue art may be looking to inject serenity and calm, they may be a person who is laid back they may also be an introvert who values introspection and quiet.

Brown

Grounded | Reliable | Friendly

 

The colour brown is regarding as an earthy colour or tone for that exact reason it is a grounding colour that in nature is associated to earth and soil, and is also linked to decay and deterioration. In nature it can symbolise fertile soil and or rot which also translates to a sense of stripped back rawness. The colour brown can be associated to comfort, a homely feeling and simplicity. Brown art is widely linked to sculptural forms particularly in wood but also stone. owing to its grounding association people that choose the colour brown within art are likely to be stable, reliable, trustworthy and friendly, they are possibly likely to opt for an uncomplicated ambiance within their homes choosing other neutral tones to complement their style.

Purple

Luxury lover | Gregarious | Optimistic

 

The colour purple has long been associated with wealth and nobility, dating back to ancient Roman times. Purple would often be worn by royalty and aristocracy. It is a symbol of wisdom, status and power. Today however, the colour is far more diverse and is considered a fun colour as well as its continued reference to luxury and opulence. A person with a purple colour preference may be gregarious, optimistic and high spirited.



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