Beauty is in the brain of the beholder

English: A painting created by Leonardo Da Vin...

It’s been a manic month and finding the time to write a full post has eluded me! So instead, here is something I’ve seen this month that I really want to share with you. Grab a coffee, sit back and watch: “What makes a masterpiece”  – in which Channel 4’s art editor Matthew Cain explores the relationship between neuro-aesthetics and visual art, which seems very pertinent to this blog.

I hope you’ll find it as fascinating as I did.

I believe, along with Matthew, that no matter what the critics may be telling you or whom the flavour of the month may currently be; that for art to be ‘good’ then it needs to touch me emotionally in some way.  So it is eye-opening to witness the effects of our culture over what we say we like (or possibly, even actually believe we like) when Matthew found himself tripped-up and rating Leonardo da Vinci’s John the Baptist (above) highly, when in fact, his brain activity showed that he really wasn’t particularly moved by it! We’re back to the notion that expectation has a dramatic effect over our perceptions – see previous post “A question of Christmas taste” –  just like a wine’s price tag the message that this is by Leonardo means therefore I must like it better. I’m going to confess, that I’m with Matthew on that too, and I can’t honestly say it does much for me either, though I can appreciate the skill involved in creating it.

In homage to Matthew experiment of creating ‘art’ based on scientific ideas I’ve tried it here myself and used the same principles:
• blue – the most liked colour
• contrast – to giving depth and cause the eye to move around and explore
• grouping – finding the shape within pattern
• puzzle solving  – the pleasure of the ah-ha moment or “can you see what is yet?”

Definitely not great art but I’m curious to know; do you like it or at least elements of it???????

Experiment or art?
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