How to appreciate art?
A picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe that's why art is often referred to as a universal language that can connect with people everywhere on a deeper and emotional level. Which really begs the question that do you really need to 'understand art' to enjoy it? In other words, do you really need to be a connoisseur to appreciate art?
The short answer is no. You can be unenlightened about the art culture as a whole and still appreciate it at face value. Appreciation comes in many forms and levels so you can do as little as viewing art scrolling on your phone or and trying to find some meaning and value the aesthetics, it would still be engaging to some extent.
Now yes, understanding anything about anything in this world can give you a better sense of what it means. The same applies to art. When you are passionate enough about art and the culture surrounding it, you will get a broader grasp and be more interested in it. You may look at a famous artist's work and how it's changed over time, or you might find a certain technique more complex and meaningful. You will also be curious and seek out other forms of art, exploring different genres and styles.
Most importantly, you will have developed your own unique way of thinking and find your perspective on the art in front of you. All this comes from investing time into learning about art and engaging with people of different distinctive opinions.
On the flipside, if you are someone who is not really motivated by the artsy ways of things, that is okay. You do not need to understand every fibre on the canvas. You can simply take art for what is and appreciate the thought, the work and the vision that went behind creating it. Most artists themselves do not have a game plan when it comes to making art. They simply…do! It is more feeling than organising. Some of the most wholehearted experiences can come from unexpected sources.
You do not really have to find deeper hidden meanings in art. Some artists use their art for raising awareness about a cause or to promote positive social change. You can embed yourself with their idea and the motivation behind the art and that works perfectly fine too. Art is a very good way to broaden our thinking, challenge our points of view and inspire us to action.
All things considered you do not have to be a maestro of comprehending art to be able to appreciate it. You can let the art speak for itself and have your own point of view make sense of it. It all boils down to how the art can connect with you and how it sparks a connection with other people in the social paradigm.