When we think of art, we typically think of an oil canvas painting hanging in a museum. This week, we challenged students to expand their notion of art and to identify it in everyday places like a subway station wall. They discussed the different kinds of artwork they observed on a daily basis in our #DoNowAbstract post. We asked students, Where do you find beautiful patterns and shapes? What kinds of abstraction do you consider beautiful? Snap a photo of abstraction in your everyday life and explain why it is aesthetically appealing to you.

In the latest KQED Art School, experimental animator Jodie Mack explained how she creates her abstract films, highlighting the relationship between art and everyday life. But what is abstract art? According to world- renowned painter Francis Bacon, “Abstract painting is an entirely aesthetic thing. It always remains on one level. It is only really interesting in the beauty of its patterns or its shapes.” Abstract art is anything nonfigurative. Often it may seem confusing as the piece is not grounded in a reality we are familiar with. As patterns and shapes exist all around us, abstraction can be found in everyday objects such as dish towels or carpets.

From patterns on t-shirts to paperback books, students tweeted a wide variety of everyday patterns and shapes they believed could be considered abstract art. The majority of students agreed that art can be found anywhere, as long as you are open to looking at the world in a different perspective.

Where can we find art?

Many students discussed how art can be found everywhere.

What did you find?

Students tweeted colorful examples of the abstract art they found around them.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

Other students talked about how it all depends on how the person perceives their surroundings.


Laura Robledo

Laura Robledo studied English at UC Berkeley. When she is not reading, looking up new music, or running half marathons, she loves to explore the beautiful city of San Francisco.

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