Art, as we have discovered, has the power to provide the viewer with the same kind of pleasure as falling in love. Since all art is created with the sole purpose of being viewed it seems there’s a kind of intimate and romantic reciprocity going on between artists and their audiences. At least, there is when the piece of art in question produces a positive reaction.
That won’t always be the case, of course. In fact, the same piece can delight and thrill one person but leave another indifferent, irritated or even disturbed. When you think about it, that’s a bit like falling in love as well. Who can say why we find one person attractive while another leaves us cold? Still, most of us put some effort into finding someone with whom we can fall, and stay, in love. And there are a few good reasons to put a bit of effort into doing the same with art.
The best reason is that the right painting, or sculpture or other visual art allows us to feel really alive thanks to the dopamine release that accompanies our encounter with it. And that, in turn, makes it much easier to engage with the art in a way that does all those other wonderful things for the human brain and the human psyche which we talked about previously. And then, falling in love with art does have one advantage over the art of falling in love with another person.
Most of us want to fall in love and stay in love with just one person, (eventually). The love of art, however, is increased and very definitely improved by sheer, wanton promiscuity; the more art we fall head over heels about the better! Which isn’t to say that it doesn’t require just that little bit of effort.