Art – it’s how it makes you FEEL

Netflix knows me pretty well.  It watches what I watch and does a fairly decent job of picking shows I will like.  For example, it noticed that I like superhero movies and suggested that I might give the Netflix series “Daredevil” a try.  Not wanting to offend my virtual video “Big Brother”, I gave it a try.  And you know something – Netflix was right again.  I loved it!

That didn’t really surprise me.  I was a big fan of Daredevil, the blind superhero, back in the days when Frank Miller reinvented the character. Those were the days when mutants, teen Titans and ninjas ruled the world. Where do you think the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came from, eh?  So I was already emotionally invested in those characters and stories.

One scene triggered a new insight into the artistic process.  The Kingpin is standing next to his soon-to-be love interest Vanessa in her art gallery.  He is looking for some guidance into buying a painting.  Vanessa says “It’s not about the subject, or who painted it, the medium or how difficult it was to create.  None of that matters.  All that matters is how does it make you feel.”

Something finally clicked with me.  All those times I’d looked at a piece of art that seemed like someone just wallowed in oil paints, or welded a bunch of bolts together, I had never understood how anyone could be interested in that as “art”.  But maybe it’s like Vanessa said – those creations make some people feel a certain kind of emotion.  And in the final analysis, that’s what art is supposed to do.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not going to buy that bunch of bolts or hang that wallow rag on my wall.  But the reason is that those things don’t speak to me.  There are other things that do.  That’s what I’ll look at.

I guess it should have been obvious even to a blind man. 😉

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