We enjoy art. We try to produce art. We collect art. We admire those who create art. What is it that makes us so drawn to art?
Art welcomes us a to new realm full of new ideas, new concepts, new ideologies, new possibilities. We suddenly find ourselves in the inner world of a fellow human being. All humanity sharing a common thread, we identify ourselves with the artist. A soft voice whispers inside us “Ah, that is so true”. “Uncannily apt”. And we realise we are not alone in how we perceive, how we interpret and how we feel. An exquisite piece of art often symbolies that which is universal, yet so rare; ideas we all know, but never realised. It delves into our subconscious and brings up details that were till now collectively unknown to the human consciousness.
Every human being interprets art in his own way, adding his own unique flavour to his interpretation. There are no contenders to art when it comes to her ability to make us realise our uniqueness while still retaining our identity with a universal whole. While enjoying an artwork, we lose ourselves in a tiny self created world, where there is just us and the work before us.
A true piece of art lets us forget our emotional baggages, our weariness from life’s journeys and lets us pry ourselves away from the commonalities of everyday life. We feel emotionally distanced, spiritually charged and physically rejuvenated. When we gaze at a wondrous painting or listen to a beautiful composition or lose ourselves in the rhythm of a dazzling dance, we feel truly lost, yet fully aware.
Every artpiece is incomplete in itself. When we enjoy art, we extend it. We improve it. And we make it our own. There is only so much an artist can do. Art attains its eternal nirvana only when an onlooker enjoys it as much as the artist did and actualizes that which the artist intended. It is akin to running the last lap of a relay race for a winning team. The farther behind we were when the baton was passed to us, the more satisfied we are with our own splendid final role. A good artist passes the baton way ahead, letting us run the race to the finish line alone.
Art is a celebration of human achievements – a proclamation that we managed to go beyond fulfilling just our basic primal needs. It is to us a luxury that is a reward for the many strides that humanity has made. It is the golden star that makes us unique from other fellow beings and lends us an air of superiority.
And finally art is captivating because of its mysterious allure. Like a little girl playing hide and seek with her boisterous brothers, art refuses to give in to definition, to reason, to restraint or to direction. Art gives us the roads, yet not the map. As the bewitching seductress toys with us, her subjects, we follow her blindly and blissfully into the unknown.
We admire art, yet we may never know why.