Cartoon about the problem of seeing real objects in pure abstract paintings
Cartoon about abstract art & the problem of seeing shapes resembling real objects in it.
Cartoon showing people in an art gallery looking at a work of abstract art.
Even though the artist intended the painting to be purely abstract the audience can’t seem to help seeing objects in it.
This is a major problem with pure abstract art – the fact that no matter how much the artist tries it’s almost impossible to create shapes that don’t suggest objects or forms in the real world.
The reason for this is linked to evolutionary psychology – because of a perfectly natural and sensible aspect of human psychology. It is the evolutionary result of the need to recognise real objects. Our sense of vision has evolved to interpret all shapes and forms as potentially real things, because in the everyday world that’s all there is.
Some things are more important to notice in the real world than others. Human faces are one. That’s why we see faces everywhere, in abstract paintings, in Rorschach tests (inkblot tests), in clouds, in wallpaper. These sightings of faces are what are known as false positives. The reason we see them is that it’s better for the brain to be over-sensitive and to mistakenly see a face where there isn’t one than to not see a face where there is one (it may be an enemy lurching in the undergrowth).