Art Therapy on the web

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Art therapy is a fast growing trend in which paintings, sculptures and other artwork is used to help deal with everyday stresses. Now people will seek help through a new web application.
The Art as Therapy site has been created by Swiss author Alain De Botton and can be used on any browser.
A user chooses a category that is worrying them, such as work, love or politics, and selects a sentence that best describes their anxieties in order to see a handpicked piece of artwork, designed to offer them comfort.
Each piece of art has been chosen based on the story behind the image, or the message it conveys.
For instance, if a user is worried about work and chooses the 'I wish I could be more creative' statement, the app shows a self portrait of 19th Century Dutch painter Wouter van Troostwijk, painted in 1805.
In the description, the application explains: 'Imagine your life is one in which you can be decently rewarded for being creative, for turning your inner life into money .
It continues: 'But there aren’t many opportunities to do this in the world.
'A handful of notable artists (along with fashion models and rock stars) have glamourised a particular kind of career - in which one is paid well for essentially being oneself. This is extremely appealing, yet few people can access it.
'The painting should come with a warning: ‘You won’t be like me’. We owe ourselves a certain amount of sympathy, just for being caught in a dilemma not of our own making.
'We need portraits of accountants, tram-drivers and IT managers to bring out the quiet heroism of just getting by.'
Other categories include art as a cure for work, self, love, anxiety, free time and politics.
The application has been created to endorse De Botton's book, Art as Therapy, and in explaining the concept the author claims: 'This is a tool to put you in contact with particular works of art that are helpful to look at when facing certain problems.
'We believe the point of art in general is to offer therapeutic assistance; it should help us to better endure and enjoy our lives.'
The book has been written with British philosopher and art historian John Armstrong.
They propose that the 'squeamish belief that art should be 'for art's sake' has unnecessarily held back art from revealing its latent therapeutic potential.'

Source: Daily Mail

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