The Student News Site of Denmark High School

Subjective Art Vs. the Objective Mind

Art is a human way of expressing emotion, fears, and desires. Not only do we have the curiosity for creating it, but we can also create tools and modify our surroundings. Through art, humans can experience life to new levels. 


The first civilizations to make art were the Homo erectus, the Neanderthals, and ancient Egyptians. These societies did not need to make art to survive. But as humans, they needed art. Human nature is to see meaningless objects and derive meaning from them. These civilizations made art from what was important to them to sustain an orderly life. Take, for example, the ancient Egyptians. The correspondence in their anatomic proportions suggests order was an influential part of their life. 


Our DNA is coded to appreciate the connection between art and real life, but there will always be a part of us that wants more. What is the beauty of a regular flower if we can exaggerate the color by a few hues? Why look at a human when a “perfect” human exists? Proving art tends to be more “real” than reality itself. 

“The reality is we humans don’t like reality. The shared biological instinct to prefer carefully exaggerated images links us inexorably with our ancient ancestors, and yet what we choose to exaggerate is where science gets left behind,”

This preference for exaggeration is where most judgment stems. The urge for a “perfect” piece allows for unwanted opinions showered on the artist. These negative thoughts can be detrimental to the artist’s creative process, resulting in profound measures.


Denmark’s visual arts teacher, Ms.Jumper, says, “I’ve been judged many times in my career. One that stands out to me was my art teacher back when I was in school. At the end of the projects, my teacher would gather us all around and let us have a critique session. When it was my turn, the teacher would judge harshly, saying things like this side of the bowl was not level to the other; trivial things as such. And as a shy student already, this would lower my confidence; it would often result in me harshly criticizing my work.” 


Furthermore, she explains, “At the end, the teacher came up to me and told me that they were only judging as the world does, to prepare me for being an artist.” This exaggeration of perfection is a prime example of how negative connotations can wither the mindset of an artist. Human creation cannot be perfect, for that is human nature. There will always be a dent in the clay or a rushed brushstroke. This nature of imperfectness is what creates meaning out of art. 


Many artists also struggle with backlash from other careers. Modern society has come to accept careers such as a lawyer or businessman are more “respectable” than any other minority job. Many psychologists recommend annihilating this mindset, for it dwells seriously on mental health. Getting over the fact that artists can have a stable paying job, and not all of them are prone to “illnesses” or “addictions” can move our society on from its toxic judgment patterns. 

Anybody has the ability to be an artist, it involves creativity, process, and the final product.

— Ms. Jumper

Recognizing the talent and effort put into an art piece can help battle judgment. When presented with this, freshman Arya Nagarkar responds, ” I started as a complete newbie, which is obvious cause you can’t be the best the moment you try art. I’ve been drawing for about 2 years, and my art style has been constantly fluctuating. Looking back at my drawings reminds me how far I’ve come.” Making art has no step-by-step process; it all comes down to motivation and passion for creating something. Passion is the driving force that makes art express complex emotions. For what is a brush without the paint that fuels it? Art requires blood, sweat, and tears; regardless of how majestic or bland. Appreciating the time and patience of the artist can help minimize judgment and help oversee appreciation for the piece. 


Art connects us as humanity; it allows us to share vulnerability and fragility in a way that is commonly understood. If only society gets past internalized and externalized judgment, art can be influential and thoroughly connect us all. 


To delve deeper into the psychology behind art and human judgment, explore the links down below. 


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