The Hamptons is known for artists who covered the canvas – Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Joe Stefanelli, Sasson Soffer and Mark Rothko. Less was not more.
And then Minimalism started as a form of abstract art in the 60’s. Of course, it was not entirely embraced but it did go on to become a lifestyle and it has been said that adopting a minimalist mindset can improve your stress levels and increase happiness and well-being.
But how does that relate to art now? Visually quiet is a term that has been bandied about for years to support the concept of blank walls, but art engagement has also been proven in scientific studies to not only give one meaning and improve one’s quality of life but also to alleviate anxiety, depression and stress.
There is increasing evidence in the field of neuroscience that art raises serotonin levels and enhances brain function by impacting brain wave patterns, emotions, and the nervous system and much like music can produce effects of happiness and calmness.
“Art should be like a holiday: something to give a man the opportunity to see things differently and to change his point of view.” Paul Klee
Why not have a holiday every day? I had a good friend come to my apartment years ago when I was in the city and she said, “I just love coming here because everywhere I look there is something to see.” I lost that dear friend ten years ago to cancer, but I have never forgotten her words and I still embody that spirit of engagement. And just between you and me I think urinals would be a lot more appealing if there was some art hanging above, at say eye level.
Jacob Devaney, founder and director of Culture Creative, said “when you observe a profound piece of art you are potentially firing the same neurons as the artist did when they created it thus making new neural pathways and stimulating a state of inspiration. This sense of being drawn into a painting is called “embodied cognition.”
Dr. Dacher Keltner, a psychologist at California University in Berkeley said, “beholding art has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy” and Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist professor at the University College of London said “when viewing art one considers most beautiful, the blood flow increases in a certain part of the brain by as much as 10%. This is the equivalent to gazing at a loved one. It tells us art induces a feel-good sensation direct to the brain.”
Even The Wall Street Journal weighed in on the topic with an article titled, “Can an utterly blank wall be chic?” with this point of view standing out among the others.
“A painted wall absent of art of any kind seems not only a waste of prime real estate, but incomplete and unfinished.”
Check out the YIN YANG Exhibit at The White Room Gallery, www.thewhiteroom.gallery