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Power

Each year, Art Review magazine compiles a list of the most powerful people in the world of art. Sometimes artists make that list. Past winners include Jeff Koons, Ai Wiwei , and Cindy Sherman. These are not necessarily artists, but people with the ability to harness the power of art. Art has a powerful effect on the human psyche.

When a person looks at a picture, they feel rewarded. What happens in the brain? Imagine a person looking at a painting of an apple. Different wavelengths of light hit the retina, which then transmit signals to the brain. The color of the apple, as seen by the person, is affected by the surrounding colors. Painters like Matisse painted black lines around his figures to keep the brain from registering surrounding colors. While the effect made the paintings look flat, the colors remained vibrant. Others like Cezanne used the technique of painting patches of color to represent trees or mountains. The eye sees these patches and the brain pieces together the image.

Wow, powerful stuff.

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