art is good for you

“[ ] seeing art isn’t just a luxury, a social outing or fodder for your next Instagram upload. It’s medicine for the eyes, the mind, the heart and possibly even the body.”

The idea that experiencing art can promote physical – not just mental or emotional – health is intriguing. But for best results, look at art that inspires wonder and amazement.

Read about it here.


open your eyes

I like Julian Barnes. I like art. So a book on art by Barnes should be a good read. I’m looking forward to Keeping an Eye Open.


“Mr. Barnes writes with an easy understanding of the tension between life and art and the strange alchemy of imagination; he also conveys an appreciation of artists’ technique, as it has been learned from predecessors and developed through experimentation and serendipity. He effortlessly situates a masterwork in the context of its creator’s career, and that career within the larger arc of art history — all, with a light but authoritative hand.”

More here.

both behind and in front of the window

Earlier this year I came across the video blog of Nerdwriter, who expounds on… lots of stuff. And lots of that lots of stuff is art-related. Or even, sometimes, Art.

For example, see this insightful critique of Edward Hopper’s most famous work, “Nighthawks.” This is a piece of art that you probably know, but may not have thought about in this particular light, through this particular window:

drawing the best out of doctors

I came across an interesting story about Ted Meyer, guest artist at UCLA’s Medical School. Meyer is doing work as a sort of intermediary between artists and doctors – he uses the patients’ artworks as a means to open the physicians up to the human side of their patients, to bring them around to other ways of understanding what the patients are going through in dealing with their disease or trauma.

“There has been art therapy designed to help patients, but I thought maybe there is something to teach the doctors here. Perhaps they can look at patients’ artworks and see something beyond the clinical. It’s not just ‘oh, they have multiple sclerosis’ or ‘it’s a broken neck.’ In a way, it’s like art therapy for doctors.”

The healing power of art, indeed. Read the story here.

fight the ugly

“The life of a designer is a life of fight, to fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, visual disease is what we have all around, and what we try to do is to cure it somehow with design, by eliminating, as much as possible, the people who make it. Not physically, but at least limiting their possibility of polluting the world. It’s a mission. Is it arrogant? Perhaps. Is it pretension? Perhaps. But so is every other field. You find the same attitude in music; you find the same attitude in literature; you find it in any kind of art, and in architecture. There’s a continuous fight against ugliness, a continuous fight against noise instead of music.”

– Massimo Vignelli
from an interview with Gary Hustwit in Helvetica/Objectifed/Urbanized: The Complete Interviews, as posted on

spiekermann speaks

“For a designer it’s a good thing to have constraints: rules, clients, limited budgets, a specific audience. Because if you don’t have those, you stop being a designer. You’re an artist.”

– Erik Spiekermann, from My Fonts Creative Characters

a bit of both

I’m looking forward to seeing the documentary Art and Craft, about Mark Landis. His legacy as an artist is one as a forger… and the instigator of one of the most elaborate, longest-running hoaxes in the annals of Art. As one of filmmakers puts it, “I was immediately interested because of the potential to explore all sorts of fundamental questions about art itself: how we determine value, how we interpret originality, how we define and protect notions of creativity, authenticity and authorship.”


Read more here.