How I Fell In Love With Art

Dan Colen ArtMail
Dan Colen ArtMail

Dan Colen ‘Orgasm Addict’ 2014 as seen at MTV reDefine 2016

I grew up with average exposure to art; going to the art museum once or twice a year, finding a cool work on the internet without any knowledge of the artist or history, seeing art galleries as intimidating and sterile spaces. No-one in my family had ever worked in art, no-one in my family even collected, save the occasional tourist grab on vacation of a watercolor beachscape or small oil cityscape. I always knew art was important, but I never knew why.

Sure, I was always a creative soul, moving from wanting to be an architect to an interior designer to a photographer, but I never truly understood or appreciated art. I was curious, but I had no idea where to even start.

That was, until I decided to take an art history class in junior high school based off a dare and the pleading of one of my friends. It was rumored to be the most difficult and time-intensive class offered, she didn’t want to take it alone. Sadly, the rumors were right. A year of memorizing hundreds, if not thousands of artists, dates, styles, and connections. I still have the stack of flashcards I used to study, and I can honestly tell you it was a class from hell based on the difficulty alone. Don’t get me wrong, there were some incredible moments when images of spectacular works flashed up on the screen, especially the work, “Laocoön Group.” A tragic backstory carved in marble, it showed more emotion and energy than most people I knew. I kept coming back to the work long after the class ended, that was my first favorite piece.

I never realized its true power or significance until I saw it in person. There was something ancient yet current, an intense struggle to survive against all odds which lasted centuries. Seeing a powerful work in front of you is an unforgettable experience, from the technique to the raw emotion, it’s awe-inspiring. When I returned home, I chose to spend my first paycheck (at 15) on an impressionistic oil painting of New York.

I decided it was time to live with art instead of just seeing it on a screen or at a museum, and it was the best decision I ever made.

Seeing the city that never sleeps stopped in time, the colorful brushstrokes, the wild energy, gave me inspiration. The exuberance I saw everyday would drive me forward, helping me believe anything is possible if you work hard enough. The brilliant colors would cheer me up when I was down. I often wondered who the artist was – not the name, the person. I wished the piece had more information to help me develop a deeper connection to it. Time passed, I wanted to purchase more art, I wanted more inspiration, but I didn’t know where to look. After countless hours of research, I knew what I wanted, and what I wanted was to learn more.

Fast forward 5 years of sweat, tears, and a big learning curve. Art continues to inspire me daily, it allowed me to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Art History, work at an art gallery, accept a position as an International Art Editor for Nakid Magazine, and establish ArtMail. Now, I work tirelessly to bring others joy and inspiration from art, and make it easy (no flashcards) to learn more about it.

Our team of avid art hunters does the hard work – finding incredible international artists, running a museum-quality printing facility, and choosing art for your personal taste. My mission is simply to make your life better, art did it for me and the right art can do it for you too. I highly encourage you to sign-up for our art subscription and join the ArtMail family today, you never know how art can improve your life!

I am curious though, have you found that one incredible piece of art? How has it changed you? Start a conversation, I’d love to chat!

Much love,

Ekaterina Kouznetsova

Founder, ArtMail