Art and the World Around Us

Elizabeth Polo

Now I know what you’re all thinking, “Art is for old peopleWhy even bother taking an interest in it? There’s no point!” Trust meI was in the same boat as you about 2 years ago. Going to art museums and walking around on sore feet, looking at paintings with no apparent meaning for hours on end was the last thing I wanted to do. Little did I know was that art as a whole is one of the most influential subjects life can offer and that understanding the bigger picture can change your mind for the better! 


The Importance of Detail: 

In order to be a good artist, you need to form multiple skill sets. A major part of art is analysis. Having the ability to analyze an artwork or performance forces you to look at things from a different perspective and to notice and appreciate the smaller, lesser-known details. By appreciating the little things not only in art, but in life as a whole, you tend to realize how everything ties into the bigger picture, and how one detail can change the entire meaning of a piece. One of my favorite artworks that features a well-needed detail is Giovanni Strazza’s marble statue of the “Veiled Virgin”, which depicts the Virgin Mary covered in a silk veil, looking somewhat solemn. Strazza’s ability to make solid stone look translucent is an impeccable detail that gives the statue an emotional, lively presence to it.  

The Veiled Virgin.


Understanding Emotion: 

One of the main components of art is the inclusion of emotion. Art in its simplest definition is defined as anything that provokes feelings, however positive or negative that may be. This can range anywhere from anger to bittersweetness, to even anxiety. “The Death of Barbara Radziwiłł” by Józef Simmler portrays King Sigismund II Agustus sitting beside his late wife in the moments of her death, with antagonizing feelings of grief. The soft glisten of light that encases the Queen contrasts with the dark, depressing room surrounding King Sigismund. This contrast symbolizes the inventible barrier between the two lovers: the peaceful rest of death, and the burden of loss. 

The Death of Barbara Radziwll.


“Art Imitates Life and Life Imitates Art”: 

Probably one of the most influential ways art has changed my life is by looking at my environment and noticing the beautiful opportunities that reside there. Daily things in my life, such as a tree or the time of day, became more noticeable and appreciated as I realized the artistic potential they had. I used this mindset to create my very first photo album as a photographer during my trip to Alaska over the summer, when I took photos of wildlife or the vast wilderness. Here are some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken:  

Mountain: Denali: The great one.
Bear: Alaskan Grizzley.
Eagle: Wild and free.


Capturing the pure beauty of the Earth and being able to share it with people is one of the most magical ways by which I hope my art will influence others. Whether it be taking pictures or daytoday business, I hope you all understand the importance of having an artist’s mindset!