Ever wondered why we are fascinated and confused by beautiful paintings that have ominous images?
Brain researchers in the field of Neuroscience have increasingly turned their eyes on art in an effort to understand how we see these works of art.
There is a deep portion of the brain, the amygdala, which triggers BOTH negative & positive emotions. So when we see a frightening image surrounded by beautiful bright complimentary color, the brain is perturbed. We hate it but we love it! What’s a brain to do?!
Paul Gauguin and Egon Schiele perhaps unconsciously combined the beautiful with the sinister.
Gauguin was a brilliant artist who is called The Father of Modern Art. He was also a pretty nefarious character deserting his wife and children so he could live in “ecstasy, calmness and art” on the island of Tahiti.
In the above painting, notice the sinister figure in the background. Kinda scary, huh? But, oh, what gorgeous color!
A melancholy eccentric, Egon Schiele (Austrian), often drew his models from the top of a ladder looking down capturing unusual, arresting compositions.
Look at the contorted, twisted figure in Egon Schiele’s drawing. The expression on the face is…confused? Angry? Sad? Yet the figure has a certain innocence and the combinations of color are thrilling!
A less noted artist (readers laugh!), your devoted blogger also discovered some sinister figures in her past work. See the threatening dark figure in the upper right-hand corner? Where did HE come from? What’s HE doing?
We know what the neuroscientists have to say about our brain and why we like these dark/light images; do you have any thoughts on why these images fascinate us? Leave a comment below.