Your work is “beautiful”…
This is a common response that I get about my work. Is saying art is beautiful a (backhanded) compliment? Does it flatten the work? Make it have less depth? Is beauty a bad thing?
In thinking about beauty I also started thinking about ugliness and if that gives work more depth. In searching I found this article Ugliness Is Underrated: In Defense of Ugly Paintings by Katy Kelleher.
I found it extremely interesting that our neurological response to ugly and beauty lights up the same parts of our brains.
“Beauty does not occupy a different area of the brain than ugliness. Both are part of a continuum representing the values the brain attributes to them.” Although we experience them differently, beauty and ugliness both tap into our emotional center, an area deeply involved in analyzing other’s motives and actions and generating both sympathy and empathy.