Monday, July 23, 2012

Can artwork make you cry?

Has a work of art ever moved you to tears? That's a question that I asked last week while quoting James Elkins, author of Pictures and Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings. Some interesting responses motivated me to post this poll about artwork and emotions. Besides tears, does artwork ever make you laugh, feel excited, angry, frightened, confused, dizzy...? Share your experiences in the poll below or in the comments.

When I saw the painting below at the Louvre I felt dizzy and seasick. The large scale - about 16 by 24' and the strong diagonal lines tipping toward the viewer added to the sensation, as did the color.

 The Raft of the Medusa Jean Louis Theodore Géricault
Join the discussion in the comments here or on my Facebook page and post there any artwork that has given you a strong emotional response.

What emotions have you experienced while viewing art?


Hannah Hunter said...

Katherine, I can honestly say yes to all of the questions above. I'm so relieved to hear about your experience of dizziness in the Louvre. I've often wondered if some of my reactions weren't just a little over the top. And fortunately, for every work that makes me a bit seasick there are many more that make me feel elated, altered, iridescent, well, you get the picture!

Katherine Kean said...

Hi Hannah! Welcome and thanks for sharing your experience. You're not alone. It may be a minority, yet plenty of people experience strong reactions viewing artwork, and as you say, there are so many that are uplifting.

Anne M Bray said...

I can't remember if I've cried... The others, yes.
YOUR art brings me peace and calm!

Katherine Kean said...

Thanks for your comment Anne!

Your road paintings make me feel happy and the work from your last show makes me feel tranquil and meditative - a bit like Lee Mullican's work does.

r garriott said...

Yes to all of the above... depending on the art. Another feeling I might add is that of 'inspiration'; as an artist if I can go out and see just one truly fabulous work of art (any style/media/etc), it can move me to rush back to my own studio, ready to dive in again.

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