Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Universally Pleasing

I read Malcolm Gladwell's article The Ketchup Conundrum last night. It got me thinking.... the reason that Heinz can't be beat is that it satisfies all the categories of taste - bitter, sweet, salty, sour and savory (aka "umami"). Can a painting be similarly all-together universally satisfying? I think so. Color and design have a lot to do with it. I know what it takes for one of my paintings to satisfy me - I need complimentary colors, I need a black & white or neutral somewhere to ground me, I need a surprise, and I need it to be thoughtfully and lovingly put together (that would be the "umami" aspect). But I'm still not sure if a painting (or any piece of art for that matter) can be univerally pleasing. This maybe a question that I grapple with for the rest of my life.

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