Maria Popova’s post on Alain de Botton’s “Art as Therapy” addresses Alain’s theories on ‘what is art for’. What I love about this work is that it addresss art as a useful device that actively impacts one’s existence. Alain describes the ” Seven Psychological Functions of Art”.
De Botton’s approach, though he is an art historian, is not about styles of art, or art history, but how it impacts our mental well being. I remember being so taken with De Botton’s work when I first discovered it, because of the way he articulated a subtle but once described, glaringly obvious quality to certain art. Through our lens It answered questions about why you can create types of business change through art in a way that you cannot in reasoned written documents, or through stock photos. (which is the choice of most business comms execs)
It is the application of art to business that so interesting. Art has the power to compel people to care intensely about otherwise mundane things. It creates excitement that often causes colleagues to stand up and say, ‘hell yeah’, I want to be part of change. Be part of something larger.
Many people will never understand the power that art has to compel change in rich and varied contexts (politics, business, and social change). But for those who do, they see that art is perhaps the most powerful tool available to leaders to affect change at scale.