Next time you feel stressed, anxious or depressed, consider replacing a shrink session with a trip to the local gallery. According to the well-known and well-published modern-day philosopher, Alain de Botton, the point of art is to offer therapeutic assistance and is an extremely powerful tool in resetting our psyche.
Like a great piece of music that gets us through troubled times, Botton claims art can calm us, make us happier, or even less depressed simply by seeing someone else expressing similar feelings.
In fact, he’s so convinced gallery curators have got it wrong for centuries, by displaying art by era rather than by the feeling it evokes, he’s putting his money where his mouth is and reconfiguring galleries around the world.
This ‘arti-vention’ is currently taking place at a number of galleries including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Melbourne’s own National Gallery of Victoria (running until late September).