Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London has recently unveiled research that demonstrates how significant art is to our collective happiness and well-being. In fact, he posits that when we look at art, the effect on our brain is analogous to being in love, as art stimulates the pleasure centers of our brains. If that’s the case, then for years I’ve been having an illicit affair with Banksy, and he doesn’t even know it.
Zeki says, “We’ve recently found that when we look at things that we consider beautiful, the activity in the pleasure and reward centers of the brain goes up. There’s a lot of dopamine, which is also known as a feel-good neuro-transmitter, in these areas, so it essentially, the feel-good centers are being stimulated . . . [Dopamine] is also released in states of love and desire.”
Artist Grayson Perry adds, quite astutely, “Life without art would be a series of emails. Quite boring.”
Yes, quite boring indeed, but what I want to know is: When can Banksy and I conjugate our affair already?