Letters to the Editor

Re: An artist’s perception of space

arts» Nov. 30, 2011

Our personal-subjective reality

I read with interest the article by Sarah Ciantar on various art projects completed and on display by students in the Painting: The Spaces We Live In, course. A noteworthy is the interview with third-year student, Stephanie Anacleto, who talked about her “Steph in a Box” piece, calling it “a representation of her personal space.”

Anacleto explained that her project “represents her internal mind,” how the portraits and lyrics that make up her project have served as inspiration to her creative process. Taking what she says, and applying it to what is known as “Object Relations Psychology,” or ORP, it is apparent—according to ORP theory—that the interplay of our mental representations of things, events, and people, accompanied by an effective or emotional tone associated with the aforementioned, is what constitutes our personal-subjective reality.

According to ORP, we do not react to people, events, and things, per se, but rather as to how we perceive/represent them in mind. Anacleto has made her mind—her private representations—visible through art and thus, we, the observer of her art, have some sense of her “object relations;” how she represents herself and those that are important to her. She has given us a window into her mind, using art as a way of externalizing and thus representing her private self.

—Frank Marchese, PhD

Dept. of Psychology

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