It’s a kind of wordless wonder. A powerful swelling in your chest that brings you to tears, though you can’t quite explain why. That feeling–perhaps it’s connection or validation–is experienced by so many of us when we encounter meaningful art. Whether it’s a metal sculpture reflecting light off its many sides, or an oil painting set ablaze by its colorful subjects, quality artwork elicits an emotional response. We often can’t describe this feeling, but we know it when it fills our hearts.
I really think, after spending so much of my time studying and collecting art, that feeling is an innate sense of humanness. Artists often try to communicate powerful messages through subtle brush strokes. Or perhaps they try to express their individualism, their courage through bold sculptures. Whatever the medium, when you connect with a piece of art you’re connecting to the artist’s humanness. That experience is a powerful feeling, and it’s one that in turn, makes us more human too.
At Gallery Veronique, we hope to offer a chance for you to experience that innate humanness with every piece we curate. Many of our pieces come from artists around the world, allowing you to connect with their human experience despite cultural or language barriers. This is one of many reasons art makes us better human beings. It allows you to see through our differences, even for a little bit, and share common feelings. You hear their feelings. You become more empathetic.
One of the main functions of art then, is to make us better human beings. Even strolling through a gallery for less than an hour can remind us what it means to be human. Maybe the strengthened empathy comes from our realization that man can create beautiful art. Someone out there experienced the same pain or joy that we did, and conveyed it in a way we understand. That validation may inspire you to remind others they’re not alone either.
An artist that comes to mind is Nemo, formally known as Victor Colesnicenco. A few of his paintings have been featured at the Gallery. His Urban Landscapes are created with a mix of oil and acrylic paints, but the feeling he elicits makes me want to fall into his art. I remember when I saw his painting “Departure in Three Minutes,” it was very emotional. The scene of two lovers awash in colors against the backdrop of an airport so powerfully conveys the feeling of a rushed goodbye. The last seconds we can hold onto the world as we know it. As that painting reminds me of moments in my life, a wordless wonder storms my heart again.
Of course, this may not be the way you connect to his painting. Maybe you see a happier story. One where the lovers only have a few minutes before reuniting. That’s what makes art art. The beauty of the art is created by the beholder.
It’s also how it continues to make us better humans. Our interpretation may be different than the artist’s intention, which is in human nature.
Sometimes, the artist’s intention is to tell a powerful story or reflect on society.
You might say Craig Alan’s work, featured at the Gallery, attempts to convey this message with his graphic realism pieces. His work always leaves a deep impression on me, regardless of how many I’ve seen . The pieces feature a face with an almost pained look. However, the face is a composite of hundreds of people. As if to say, we are made up of all the different people we know and love. Our personality is also a composite of all who pass through our lives like the people forming the face in Alan’s artwork. This could be interpreted as a call to treat others with kindness, as that has a lasting impact on the individual person. Even if we don’t realize it. Or that we can’t go thru life alone, we are part of a bigger picture.
The idea that we’re a blend of all the different people we’ve known and loved is the innate humanness we’ve all experienced. However, wanting to contribute to someone’s happiness makes you a better human being. Art motivates you to understand others very different from yourself–or even better, inspires you to leave a positive mark on others.
Art also has the power to shift abstract, nameless feelings to reality. At the Gallery, we find our abstract pieces and sculptures capture this experience well. For example, Ken Rausch creates abstract paintings on copper then turns the metal into sculptures. So many of the things you experience are hard to explain–Rausch captures those feelings in a language that speaks to our hearts in a wordless language.
Beyond empathy for other humans, it gives you empathy for nature. Estella Fransbergen’s sculptures, also featured at the Gallery, represent the beauty of the human soul and the beauty of mother nature. Her flowing designs capture the nature of branches, leaves and feathers. Seeing the beauty in her work helps you see the beauty in nature, and leaves you wanting to care for the Earth more. Whether it’s inspiring you to take care of other humans or the world we all share, connecting to it makes us better human beings.
Sometimes, you can put a name to the feeling you get while experiencing artwork. Longing. Joy. Empathy. Sometimes, you can’t. Sometimes art is about realizing just how human you are, and how deeply human the rest of us are–even strangers from across the world. We hope you’ll experience that if you come by Gallery Veronique, even just for a little bit.