How I (Finally) Developed a Keen Eye for Abstract Art

I don’t ever remember actively going online and searching YouTube for cat videos and yet somehow I can count so many times when I stumbled upon a cat video that was worth sharing. One particular video was that of a dude who decided to film himself trying to feed about three or four of his cats, wearing a rather freaky-looking cat mask.

It was the funniest thing ever because the cats we almost hesitant to either stick around or run away, opting for the latter after the gentleman finished his speech and turned around to face the cats as he was filling their bowls with food. It’s almost as if the cats kind of knew who is under the mask, yet for some reason their instincts kick in and send them scurrying away from someone who seems like he is trying to feed them.

Consequently and in the unlikeliest of ways I guess, this is the video that kick-started what is now a growing love for abstract art, something which I’d previously not been partial to because I just didn’t get it.

In the same way that this video is worthy of a few shares following its ignition of some wicked chuckles, abstract art is all about one’s appreciation of the process of creation. Some level of creativity brewed inside the mind of this cat owner when he perhaps went to one of those open-air fairs where they sell some props which leave you wondering just who on earth buys these things. He must have immediately thought of his cats’ possible reactions to the freaky-looking mask on display and concluded that the price for the mask was worth finding out.

That’s how abstract art is – it requires one to look a little deeper at the outcome, be it a painting or something like a sculpture, and in so doing try to imagine what the artist was thinking when they created this piece of art, where they were, how they were feeling and whether or not they were doing it with the intention of selling it.

Okay, so as much as I labour on in my life with this newfound appreciation for abstract art, I do still draw the line somewhere, but that’s just my personal view and not an attempt at dictating to anyone else how they should enjoy their consumption or appreciation of art. I’m talking about those “artworks” which look like a three year old was given free reign with some watercolour paints and, between putting the brush in their mouth just to see why mommy said they shouldn’t, they concocted something that looks more like an accident than anything else!

There are limits to these things and the pain I suffer when I come across such artworks is further compounded by the hefty price tag I often see slapped on their frames!

Nevertheless, abstract art is indeed ABSTRACT and it takes some abstract thinking to be able to understand what is going on within the frame you’re looking into.

Shaun Greaves

Blogger of arts and liver of life. Singaporean at heart, but living in the UK. Life is art, appreciate it.
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