In all of the Art History classes taken, and I had a bunch, I never remember the instructor say once what made a piece of art great. It makes one wonder what does make a great piece of art work. This is a pretty big question when art is so subjective.
We all know famous artists and their work. We all have our favorites, and not-so favorites. What draws you to those artists you like, and repulse you from those you don’t really care for? Can we actually explain our tastes in good art? This is a tough question.
Take a look at style. Some of us choose a particular artist or work because it is easy to understand. There needs to be no explanation of what you are looking at. Plain and simple and to the point. Many, actually most, like this better. Even though there are a good many people into the abstract art work, the realists have the corner I believe. So, assuming then the people who appreciate the realists just want to look at the artwork and enjoy it for face value. It is better to them to not have to struggle to get meaning from the work. This is fine, and for sure there is a big market for these types of art pieces. The majority I am guessing.
What then, makes a person drawn to abstract work? The work is so complex, never has a straightforward meaning. You can’t just look at it and recognize something, or if you can it is usually distorted. The people who choose these works are probably the same group who love word puzzles and things like those little metal toys you have to untwist to get separated. Complex thinkers, deep thinkers, like to dig in and analyze what isn’t stated. It would be just as interesting to study this group of people as it is to study that work. Something different in them makes them tick. They enjoy the enigma.
If you think about it, and you are drawn to a particular style of artwork, chances are you also appreciate the time period in which it was created. If you enjoy DaVinci or Michelangelo, you probably love the Renaissance period clothes, music, everything about it. If you love Picasso and other abstractionists and cubists, you probably enjoy the period of the early to mid-1900’s. Art styles usually reflect the time periods, as does all art including music. Really interesting how that works.
So, as an experiment, I would like to have you post in the comments below the artists/styles that are your favorites. It can be more than one. I certainly have more than one, but that would not be fair because I am an art teacher and have a little different perspective than the normal folk.
Also, in your comments I would like you to please try to explain why you like that artist(s) and time periods. Is your interest across the board with clothing, music, hairstyles, all of the same period?
Just a little experiment to see who likes what and whom. It may, or may not, say something about you personally.