A while ago, I came across the quote “Real art has the capacity to make us nervous.” It has stuck with me for a long time, reappearing every now and again when I contemplate the vulnerabilities and sensitivities behind a piece of artwork.
When speaking of art, I think this can relate not only to images, paintings or sketches, but also writing and blogging. They all involve creative sharing. So what makes them real enough to make us nervous, and why do they make us nervous?
Arguably, all art is real. It exists, therefore it’s real, right? However, in the context of this quote, real is perhaps referring to a depth of emotion. It is real because it originates from real feelings and experiences. It is real because it is the artist’s soul on a page.
I think real art makes us nervous because it acknowledges pain that we haven’t yet acknowledged in ourselves. It may be seen as a weakness or a shocking revelation, but if it is seen in this way, perhaps it is only because the onlooker hasn’t yet acknowledged their own struggles. Real art reveals the repressed. It challenges your thoughts in order to find ways you can relate to it. And if not relatable to yourself, to someone in your life.
Real art can be scary. It throws emotions at your face that, ironically, you don’t want to face. It embodies the kind of bravery and confidence we all wish we had. And I think this is what makes real art so beautiful. It doesn’t make me nervous, but it makes me happy – to see someone else accept and embrace themselves regardless of judgements.
How do you feel about real art? Does it make you nervous?