"The excellency of every art is its intensity,
Capable of making all disagreeable evaporate."
John Keats (English Poet - 1795-1821)
Art, any form of art, is an intense expression which influences our lives, presently and in the past. We learn from historical figures, they inspire us to this day, in painting, in sculpting, in music, in poetry, in literature and in the theater. The question remains "Is Art Feminine?"
Art can bring gasps of awe and wonder, tears of joy or sadness, respect and delight. Art transcends the chronological time of creation and impacts individuals of every culture, country, tradition, language, faith, religion or agnosticism. What is it that touches the human soul, eye, ear and spirit despite differences in the viewer's lives? Is it the aesthetics or technical brilliance? Whatever it may be that the sensation, while the viewer looks at art or experiences it or listens to music, allows her or him to be fully present. The mind is stilled. Daily concerns are for that moment of time forgotten, the heart is energized and aroused. Art leaves a profound impression of emotional, psychological and lasting imprint on us. The topic is broad and immense. It is also the soul of culture.
Women are more sensitive by nature than men due to their traditional roles as mothers, nurturers, partners or muse. For centuries women were placed outside of artistic circles and were not allowed to participate in music or fine art- salons until the turn of the 20th century, nor were they able to attend art academies. Women were present as art-patrons, or muse as encouragers of artists. Today, we have come a long way and participate in all facets of the arts.
Yet, when we think of art, painting or music, we think of the great art-movements of the past century...the beloved period of impressionism, of cubism, the period of the Blaue Reiter, then again of the modern or contemporary or minimalist movement, few women artists come to mind. Classical music of centuries past still keep us in its spell. Music reminds us of a time of romance or great enjoyment or loss, it helps us to relive moments of deep emotions. All art-forms are footprints of a time, on our heart, a culture or ideas. In many languages where the word "art" has an article, either masculine or feminine, it is feminine. The muse is always feminine, and furthermore art itself comes from intuition and a need to fulfill this inner calling.
Gwen Marcus, Sculptor expresses the following:
"Art itself does not have a gender, much art appeals to one's sense of beauty. The feminine form is the most traditional idealization of beauty...though much art reaches beyond tradition. When successful, it strikes a deep chord within the viewer that is felt by many. It evokes a variety of emotions and is universal to all."
Carole Pinto, Private Art Dealer/Advisor speaks of art:
"Appreciation of art is a highly sensual experience encompassing visual, tactile, auditory sensory perceptions. Opening oneself to the beautiful exuberance or powerful majesty of a work requires ridding oneself of preconceptions and letting new sensations flow through the body and mind, allowing the art do its magic."
Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis, Psychologist answers the question:
"I believe that often, though not always -it is simply the art itself that creates our emotional response to it, but what we think about it and our interpretations of it, this is, which creates our emotions and feelings. Art of any form is neither feminine nor masculine, but may contain elements of each and both. In its elegance and honesty it can uplift and elevate those who would receive it in the spirit of openness and child-like naivety."
Contemplating or questing if 'art is feminine' it also means to say... it is receptive, nurturing, open and creative...then the answer could often be YES. However one defines art...being either feminine or masculine ...and if masculine implies assertive, aggressive, action oriented and directive-an affirmative answer could often apply to the question "Is Art Masculine?"
The key to understand and learn about art ... art in any form ...is to stand back, look and listen and enjoy. It takes time and sometimes contemplation to feel that art is positive and gives our lives a deeper understanding of the impact it has on emotions and decisions.
"No great art has ever been made
Without the artist having known danger."
Rainer Maria Rilke (Austrian Poet and Author 1875-1926)