Make Room for Art
A good friend of mine lives a normal life. He has a stable job, lots of spare time, and enjoys the same things most people do, from watching a good movie to playing sports for fun to having a drink or two with his friends.
In other words, my friend is not what you’d call an eccentric, but if you walk into his office, you’ll spot a glass cabinet that holds something special: From his first Pokémon card to his latest video game, my friend has kept all of his collectibles over the years, and now that he lives in his own flat, he has chosen to display and preserve them at the same time.
Between the tinted glass to protect the trading cards from sun damage and the neat arrangement of all the items, as soon as you see the display, you’ll know: Here lives a man who makes room for art — and in today’s average-cluttered world, that is by no means a matter of course.
Art is for everyone because it’s a form of human connection. When we look at art, however we may personally define it, we feel less alone. Unfortunately, in an ever-busy, almost fully data-driven world, art gets commoditized and marginalized, pushed to the sidelines in public and filed under also-ran in our private lives.
The problem is that art feels optional when it’s not. What’s obvious in our real-world connections — when we don’t interact with other humans, we become lonely and depressed — feels like a nice-to-have when that connection isn’t as tangible — but the connection still works when it’s a painting you’re looking at, and the emotional rewards are just as real.
When you can’t or don’t want to interact with other people — and we all do at times — you can still engage with something beautiful that’s human-made. It’s a different form of connection but ultimately another part of our social balance, and an essential one at that.
If you’re an artist, you’ll feel that “art is banned to the bench” almost everywhere you go. Youtube is laden with productivity hacks, make-money-fast schemes, and formulaic-format videos in every niche. Offices, coffee shops, and AirBnBs all look the same. On writing platforms, you can publish a run-of-the-mill listicle and get lots of likes, but post an…