We talked about choosing the right genre of art which goes well with the mood and space in your home last time, now the next step is to choose a good piece of art. So let’s talk about some guidelines for identifying and picking a good piece of Art today. As before I will cover the ‘scientific’ part of making a choice while I will leave the aesthetics to you.
Left Images – Right text or empty space
In the entire real estate of the art piece, it’s important that the object be on the left, with empty space or text residing on the right. Here’s why: the right side of our brains is used to process images and the brain processes visual information inversely. In order for the brain to process an image on the right side of the art piece, it would first have to flip the image over again before doing so. This saves your brain work, and makes it less likely that its 100 billion neurons will shift focus to something else.
Choose ambiguous facial expressions
When the brain encounters a face, it goes through a mental checklist of all the facial expressions it’s seen previously. If the brain sees a smiley face or a frown, it immediately recognizes that the person in question is happy or sad, and then goes on to something else. But using an ambiguous facial expression forces the brain to investigate your image further. Like the Mona Lisa. How many hours have people spent over the years trying to figure out what she’s thinking?
Less is more
Anyone who had ever seen the cluttered websites inundated with hundreds of ads will vouch that they will actually seek any attention. The entire real estate of the Art should appear spacious and less cluttered for an impact on the viewer. This is more applicable with walls which are already cluttered (with other art, cupboards, doors, windows).
Rounded Objects Are Best
Over the course of time, evolution has taught human beings that sharp, pointy things tend to hurt and should be avoided if at all possible. Because of this, using sharp edges in art creates an avoidance reflex that causes the brain to send a signal to the viewer to momentarily retreat. As an example of design If you’ve noticed, Apple never used pointed edges in any of its products, using rounded edges to draw people in instead of pushing them away. Similarly most visually-pleasing cars do not have sharp edges rather they are rounded of curves.
The Rule of 5
Empirical research has found that an art that is viewed for 5 seconds or more is much likelier to have an impact on the audience. Art that is viewed for less than five seconds does not have a recollection factor with the audience. Those that are viewed for more than two seconds or more are what tend to take a person’s cognition.
A kind contribution from Subhash Kasturi for Housedelic!