Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Art: It's Good for You...No, Really | Open Thread

I've noted it several times, that many of the collectors we work with view gallery hopping and buying art as a way to relax, which is why we try to get younger artists with unrealistic demands about the way their work is collected to understand how that can hurt their markets. When it stops being fun and/or relaxing for them, many collectors stop collecting. Which is understandable when you realize how many of them have high-profile, high-stress jobs.

Now there is evidence that art can indeed help you relax and make you a healthier person in the process...well, for men anyway. From MSNBC:
Men who enjoy taking in the ballet or browsing art museums are more likely to be happy with their lives and satisfied with their health than men who don't enjoy the finer things in life, a new study finds.

And although greater enjoyment of cultural activities is associated with higher income, the arts have a beneficial effect regardless of other factors that might influence health and happiness, including socioeconomic status.

The results suggest that encouraging cultural participation may be one way to encourage healthfulness, the authors reported online May 23 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

"There has been a focus on physical activity as an instrument to promote good health in the last decades, but who is sure that all people are equally capable of doing five days a week of intensive training?" said study author Koenraad Cuypers of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in an email to LiveScience. "I doubt it! Studies suggest that 50 percent of leisure time is spent in other activities than physical activity, so we aimed at investigating whether participation in cultural activities would also be asociated with good health/good satisfaction with life/low anxiety and depression.
The gender disparity here is hard to figure out, though:
"Men seemed to get more of a percieved health benefit from being involved in different receptive cultural activites than women did," Cuypers said, adding that in both genders, there was a dose-response effect: The more activities a person participated in, the happier they tended to be.

Health, happiness and gallery openings
In other studies, Cuypers wrote, high cultural participation has been linked to increased physical activity, suggesting that a taste for the arts is a marker for an otherwise healthy lifestyle.
The article doesn't suggest that art isn't also good for women, just that the benefits to men seem to be higher. Perhaps it's just how differently men are treated in arts settings from the way they're treated in the business world and/or home settings.

Consider this an open thread on why art is good for you.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

Studies show friendships are also very good for your health. I've become friendly with most all of the people that have purchased my art over the years. I would like to make 12 new friends today.

5/24/2011 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Gam said...

neet to see a study confirming this.
Meet I'd surmnise that it was the perspective that art offers society from itself. You get to see the water you are swimming in as it were.
When you can stand back and see more of the bigger picture instead of the daily thrash and flux of the lived moments, you can return to that flow of experience with renewed vigour or a new intent in mind.

You'd be better able to deal with the ebb and flow of it all.

I really think art is an evolutionary social advantage for any culture. (based on similar mechansim as play and humour) - you get to take risks in another paradigm of being & knowing, without being committed to any long term consequences. Art is healthy for both the individual and for society.

5/24/2011 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Specifically, the study finds that the arts correlate to improved health and more relaxation in Norsemen.

5/24/2011 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad artmaking is so stressful for the artists (not the studio time, but what it takes to make the studio time, and to live a life with so little money).

5/24/2011 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeing as how most men only think of crushing the competition,sex and making money. I can see how a little culture would take the edge off. The Arts are almost as good as a great massage with a happy ending.

5/24/2011 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Pawelec said...

Really interesting article. I think the reason art is so good for us is that it opens up the mind and soul to the endless possibilities of life, when our modern world tends to constrict them. Must be good for your health!

5/25/2011 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe as a relaxing diversion for rich people...but go to any art opening (which are populated mostly by artists) you'll see some pretty unhealthy looking people.

5/25/2011 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" that many of the collectors we work with view gallery hopping and buying art as a way to relax, which is why we try to get younger artists with unrealistic demands about the way their work is collected to understand how that can hurt their markets."

the art market is already hurt by the rich people who abused it. it is designed for the collectors to profit most from the artist's death. meanwhile the young artist slaves away in Jeff Koon's factory to keep himself alive instead of keeping the culture alive.

5/29/2011 04:00:00 PM  

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