Art and Friendship

Why do tastes differ so widely when it comes to art? One person may prefer the esoteric qualities of a painting whose entire content is a bright red spot in the center of a large white canvas. Another person may not even look at a painting unless it is flawlessly photorealistic. The answer can be partly found in how relationships between human beings are established and either grow or dissipate.

Friendships evolve initially from two strangers meeting and, experiencing rapport, developing and maintaining a bond. Of all the strangers at a party, for example, there might be only one or two individuals with whom you emotionally and/or intellectually "connect". While everyone else at the party is sure to be a fine person, the odds are that you will have true affinity with only a small few in the group. That affinity, or lack thereof, will also be felt in reverse - unless you possess an extraordinarily magnetic personality whom everyone wants to befriend.

One's attraction to certain works of art can be seen as a similar rapport experience. You may find that you have an immediate liking for the work of a particular artist. On the other hand, you may not care for the majority of an artist's work, but a specific piece they have created may draw your attention.

While in art there is no right and wrong to one's attractions, knowledge, experience and the evolution of personal interest can affect how art is viewed over time. One's perspective can change. Certain art, when first viewed as curious at best, might later be appreciated in a different context. One thing is certain, when someone says, "I don't know anything about art, I just know what I like," the simplicity and logic of such a statement should receive the same respect as if the person had said, "I don't know anything about people, I just know who my friends are." Exactly!

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