Many people have an escape, somewhere they go or something they do that takes them away from reality and the chaotic everyday life.
For some teens, an escape could be reading a book — getting involved in the story and canceling out the real world. For others it could be sleeping, listening to or creating music, or even surfing the Internet.
For me, and I assume many others, my escape is art.
To me, art is a way of expressing yourself and your feelings or emotions without words. A work of art can be anything you make, whether it’s a simple sketch or a blurry photo. Art can be anything: It could be the vase of a potter, the metal works of a welder, or the flower bed of a gardener. You could even say that street-tagging is a form of art; it all depends on how you perceive it. It doesn’t matter what art is, but each creation is something unique.
Some people may think that art is something drawn or painted by an artist. When you hear or see the word art, what comes to your mind? Is it the famous Mona Lisa by the one and only Leonardo da Vinci? Or is it the uncontrolled scribbles of a toddler? Yes, even a child’s silly drawing could be viewed as a masterpiece. As Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist ...”
The definition of art in the art textbook “The Visual Experience” is “produced or intended primarily for aesthetic purposes rather than utility.” Aesthetic means “the theory of perceiving and enjoying something for its beauty and pleasurable qualities.”
So in other words, art is a way of producing something of beauty for pleasure instead of purpose.
Each piece of art tells its own story in one way or another, and each piece has a certain depth and beauty to it.
One of my favorite pieces of art is the painting by Andrew Wyeth, “Christina’s World.”
This beautiful picture was made as Wyeth looked out his window watching his neighbor Christina, a young woman who suffered from polio, crawl across the field by herself. The struggle that Christina must have gone through crossing that field and the curiosity of Wyeth on how she got there is what this picture is about.
By looking at this picture for the first time and not knowing the story or the history behind it, you would probably see a lone figure of a woman reaching out toward the house. As I said before, every work of art tells its own story; the only thing it needs is an understanding and uncritical view of the observer.
So the next time you see a “work” of art, take the time to stop and really look at it. Observe and take in the details. Ask yourself what is or was the artist trying to say or communicate with this piece? What is the mood, what is happening?
Do this and you will see art differently and it will be much more meaningful and important to you. You see, without art, this world would be a very bland place.
Brynn Whaley is a sophomore at Syracuse High School. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.