Sunday, May 04, 2014

Your Heart Will Tell You Good Art

Credit: Lotus Series by Singapore artist, Ling Yang Chang from Cape of Good Hope Gallery

How do you tell if a piece of art is good or bad? How do you know if you should buy it? Some of my friends who are interested in art and are contemplating buying art, have asked me this question.

I think you know from your gut or perhaps, more accurately, your heart.

A good piece of art will speak to you. You walk away and come back to it again. If you still have the same buzz or ring in your heart, then this is it. A good piece of art grows on you and you will not tire of looking at it. It says something to you, sometimes you don't have to be able to verbalise what exactly about it that you like. You just do.

I remember learning at my first painting class, an epiphany of sorts that came to me - that art is both science and art. I recall my teacher being rather impressed that a novice student pointed that out to him at a first lesson. Telling if a piece of art is good or bad is a lot like that too. There are technical aspects you can consider - the science part of it. But for the art part of the evaluation, your heart will be able to tell you.

This painting from Ling Yang Chang's Lotus series was one of his first works I encountered by chance one morning of wandering around the art galleries. It definitely spoke to me. Even after 2 months, I think about it. Your heart is never wrong when it's like this.

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