Alain de Botton explains how we should use art
The writer says art should serve the psyche in the same way as it once served the church
Alain de Botton knows that many of his readers who have the time, education and inclination to take an interest in contemporary art, think self-help books are for stupid people. He is also aware that his thoughts as put forward in our book Art As Therapy have sparked controversy in some places.
So, it is nice to see how agilely and humorously he negotiates these objections in the video below. In the talk, delivered last weekend as the School of Life's Sunday Lecture, Alain takes on many of the arguments set out in the book. In the 45-minute speech he goes from first principles right out to the finer points of his argument, and delivers quite a few zingers along the way.
One of our favourites is his idea that the Tate's Rothko paintings should have a plaque somewhere beside them, suggesting that, as Alain puts it, within these images, "two sadnesses can meet."
Watch the entire video above and, if you're intrigued, pick up a copy of the book from the people who made it, here.