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Alain de Botton Believes Art is Therapeutic

23rd October 2013

Keynote speaker and author, Alain de Bottom has written a new book called ‘Art as Therapy’, he believes that the way in which we view art can hold the solution to our life problems.

Alain doesn’t think you need to be an expert in order to understand art, he believes that we need to think about how a piece of art makes us feel. Alain says “You don’t have to know a lot about where it comes from. You should simply ask ‘What is this doing to me?’ ‘How does it make me feel?’”

He sees art as a method of therapy, if we are feeling depressed, we should use art as a guide to remind us of the better version of ourselves.  Alain states “It can make you remember what’s important and can ground you when life is getting out of hand.”

Alain himself uses American artist, Agnes Martin’s works of art to help him when things get on top of him, he says “She is an abstract painter who does hand-drawn straight lines, almost like a carpet. To me, looking at one of her paintings is an invitation to relax, take more time, realise that I’ll get there eventually.”

Alain admits that he too has been “left cold” when presented with a piece of art that has not lived up to expectations. He finished saying “Art should serve psychology as art used to serve religion. We should look to it for reassurance, comfort reconciliation with death; it should awaken our senses, draw our imaginations, help us understand others. But we’re confused, even embarrassed, not sure what we should be doing or thinking. So we miss out on things.”

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