Art – Alive or Dead?


I am not an “art” person. I do enjoy looking at art and various styles of art. I have some artistic works that are displayed in my home.

What is it that makes a piece come “alive” and meaningful, not only to the artist who created the work of art, but to the viewer as well?

Realistic art, abstract art, expressionistic art and other artistic classes all have a way of speaking or communicating to me the viewer. I enjoy artistic works that upon first glance will stir an emotion or a thought. What causes me to stay and engage with a particular work is this element of “aliveness”. Can I smell? Can I taste? Can I touch or be touched?

ImageRecently I was shopping with a friend and she was interested in picking out a painting for her home. She loves wild cats (along with other animals) and we came across a large painting of a tiger. This was a beautiful full facial rendition of a tiger staring directly at you. It was very realistic, beautiful colors, details and the eyes were intense. This painting was going to possibly go in her living room. Although this was a gorgeous cat, I expressed my opinion. I felt if it was in my home it would give me a sense of anxiousness just thinking about what if this cat came alive and just pounced right on out of the painting. Personally, in my home I would prefer something a bit more relaxing, or peaceful.


Of course, if you came to visit my home the first thing to greet you on my living room wall is a very larger painting of a wolf staring at you. I love this painting. For some the wolf would convey the same anxious feelings as the tiger. For me it gives me a sense of peace. Hmmm… Both of these wild animals are dangerous if encountered in their natural habitats. I wonder what makes me feel peaceful with one and anxious with the other?