There’s something about a good piece of art that speaks to me. No, it’s more than that, much more: there’s something about it that resonates, a positive feedback loop. My initial visceral gestalt stimulates my mind and senses, filtering them through that raw emotion so that the detail becomes imbued with context.
The tone of the piece in its entirety informs each part, marking and tying it into the coherent assemblage. Reductionism is destined to fall at the first hurdle: just as an individual instrument cannot hope to convey the sense of the entire orchestra, so one component of an artwork can only offer a faint hint of the scope of the whole.
As I ingest the artwork through my senses — seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting — it becomes part of me while simultaneously I see myself reflected in it, part of it. There can be no illusions here, no falsehood. We are both laid bare, opened to deep scrutiny, and the further I stare into the piece the further I see into the very core of my own being.
This is communication of the highest order, as far beyond language and words as the works of Shakespeare are beyond the first scribblings of a child. And yet there is a simplicity to this dialog verging on the magical. A conjunction of my mind and that of the artist, synchronized through the medium of the art.
The experience of art is one that transcends language to wash through the mind, and when it is over the signs of its passage remain. The person who stepped up to the piece is not the same one who later walks away.