Wired magazine (which I think is fabulous) has an article, Under Pressure by Jonah Lehrer about stress. Lehrer introduces Robert Sapolsky who did fieldwork in Nairobi with a "hypothesis that the stress involved in being at the bottom of the baboon hierarchy led to health problems." He deduced being status-less led to stress manifest in being more sickly, skittish, skinny and sex starved. That was 1978.
Since then "Sapolsky's speculation has become scientifice fact." - "Chroinic stress.... is an extrememly dangerous condition. And not just for baboons; People are as vulnerable to its effects as those low-ranking male apes." Stress doesn't cause diseases but it sure doesn't help them. (You should read the article for the particulars but don't get side tracked right now. Stay focused, we're talking about art.)
Have you ever been stressed out viewing art? Didn't think so.
Have you ever noticed a rowdy crowd in a gallery? Don't think so. They're pretty much a mellow group.
Any screaming matches in a museum? No. It's quite like there - low voice, low motion, low lights - you could nap there.
Has anyone ever had a heart attack buying art? Personally I would at some of those prices but those who buy it usually can afford it. It's not a forced by for them.
How many times have you heard someone say they "love" a piece of art they purchased? Well, you have to know people who buy art but it happens all the time.
So, in my most scientific of methods I have concluded art is
1) a health investment for lowering stress and
2) a social investment for elevating status.
There ya go. Science Magazine will be calling me up any moment for my profound conclusions.
Here's 5 ways to reduce stress with art-
• go to museums and mingle among the masters
• go to galleries, art openings, art fairs and enjoy
• surround yourself with art of all kinds
• buy art that particularly moves you
• create some art (oh, I take that back, I've been known to
throw a paintbrush in frustrated stress before)
• talk about art you admire with others
So don't be a baboon. Get some stress reducing, health inducing art attitude.