Why is art so powerful in conveying emotion?

A central feature of aesthetic experiences is their ability to awaken emotions in perceivers. Whatever you're feeling these days, it can be difficult to carry with you. Expressing emotions through art is an incredible way to release those feelings before they get too deep and start to create other problems. As art communicates emotions, it encourages the viewer to realize that everyone has their own unique life and complex activities.

Understanding someone and transferring their emotions from their mind to a work of art can be a fascinating and rewarding experience. If you're obsessed with staying “safe” with art or worried about what others think your art should be, you'll end up not revealing much about yourself. That said, nostalgia in art could be seen as a trick that makes people like your art more than they should because it's familiar. Whether you're an art enthusiast or an occasional observer, embracing the full emotional reach of art can profoundly improve your experience and your appreciation of it.

Dr. Dirk Bernhardt-Walther and Dr. Claudia Damiano, from the University of Toronto (Canada), and Dr. Pinaki Gayen, from Visva Bharati University of India, combine their expertise in cognitive neuroscience and visual art to investigate the patterns of how abstract art transmits specific emotions.

The team recruited 46 art students from the Ontario College of Art and Design and 45 STEM students from the University of Toronto to participate in the experiment. People often associate art with meaning and emotions because artists can use their emotions to create exceptional works of art. Emotionalism is a critical and aesthetic theory of art that emphasizes the expressive qualities of art. Abstract art is a poorly defined field of art that does not attempt to represent physical reality, but rather aims to convey emotions and effects through shapes, colors and other properties.