Since I was a youth, I knew there was something special about art. I could look at an art piece and be in a trance for minutes upon minutes. Even then, I knew art was more than a simple creative expression. I could look at certain art pieces and become over flooded with different emotions. Even today I still get those same feelings. Though I knew what I experiences I get when looking at art, I figured it was only me that caused these feelings. I figured art was simply an artistic expression and nothing more. However, upon reading Art and Agency by Alfred Gell, I finally understood why art makes me feel the way it does. Alfred Gell explains art in almost a mathematical like formula which helps art lovers better understand the emotions art produces. Art is a living substance and this is something everyone must understand.
Art is often seen as just a symbol for something or to an even lesser extent, a simple drawing or sculpture. Few people understand the layers and depth in which artist go to produce certain pieces. Even more, many people have no idea of the extent that art piece plays in their everyday life. For years there have been symbolic art pieces that have been engrained in our minds. But what is the significance of these art pieces? Why do they captivate me so much and evoke so much emotion? Though these questions are often thought of and quickly forgotten, our subconscious holds on the thoughts, which in turn can play apart in shaping our moral fabric. .
In Art and Agency art is broken down into main concepts which are agents, index, prototype, artist and recipients. An agent is the art piece[Gel98]. Agents are more like people with the power to induce and captivate the recipient or viewer. The index is a physical or visible object produced by the agent. The prototype is the entity that the prototype represents or stand for. The artist is the person responsible for the index. The recipient of course is the viewer of the art.