Artsy Editorial

This Artwork Changed My Life

Art
Jay Lynn Gomez’s “Las Meninas” Revitalized My Passion for the Arts
Jay Lynn Gomez’s “Las Meninas” speaks to the tension of my lived experiences; it validates my disparate identities as a domestic worker and a “knowledge worker.”
Joanna García Cherán
Nov 10, 2020
Art
René Magritte’s “Pandora’s Box” Helped Me Connect with Art for the First Time
My first experience of Magritte’s “Pandora’s Box” was revelatory. In a way, the painting made no sense, but it was the kind of nonsense of a beautiful dream.
Sophie Haigney
Jun 23, 2020
Art
Frida Kahlo’s “My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree)” Helped Me Bridge Divisions in My Biracial Family
Frida Kahlo’s “My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree)” sent me on a journey to understand that so many good and bad things can be true within my Mixed identity.
Alex Temblador
Oct 13, 2020
Art
Jenny Saville’s “Strategy” Helped Me See the Beauty of My Body
Looking at Jenny Saville’s bodies, I finally see my own body stripped of the fear and shame I felt so acutely growing up.
Emily Kirkpatrick
Jul 07, 2020
Art
Aïda Muluneh’s “Knowing The Way To Tomorrow” Inspires Me to Embrace My Identity
In Aïda Muluneh’s “Knowing The Way To Tomorrow,” I see an ode to the women of ruralAfrican communities who collect clean water for their families.
Wabwire Joseph Ian
Sep 15, 2020
Art
Nam June Paik’s “Modulation in Sync” Validated My Childhood Obsession with TV
Nam June Paik’s “Modulation in Sync” shocked me with validation and helped me understand my childhood obsession.
Shannon Lee
Dec 08, 2020
Art
Ana Mendieta’s “Siluetas” Helped Me Come to Terms with My Chronic Pain
I discovered the “Silueta” series shortly before I learned that I had fibromyalgia; before I knew the pain that eddied around my body had a name.
Jennifer Brough
Sep 01, 2020
Art
Josef Albers’s Teachings on Color Helped Me See a Way to Address Social Change
Josef Albers’s 1963 book Interaction of Color has not only changed my life, it has also affected my world view.
Odili Donald Odita
Jul 21, 2020
Visual Culture
Sally Mann’s “Immediate Family” Challenged My Understanding of Photography
Sally Mann’s 1992 book Immediate Family overflows with photographs that capture the ecstatic bliss of youth, in all of its wildness fragility, and innocence.
Matt Williams
Jan 07, 2020
Visual Culture
Graciela Iturbide’s “Nuestra Señora de Las Iguanas” Helped Me Feel Closer to My Latinx Heritage
Graciela Iturbide’s photograph “Nuestra Señora de Las Iguanas” has inspired me to tap into my personal history and pursue my creative passions.
Eva Recinos
Feb 18, 2020
About the Series

Artsy and Elephant have come together to present “This Artwork Changed My Life,” a creative collaboration that shares stories of life-changing encounters with art. In each essay, the writer recalls how an artwork impacted them personally—be that through shifting their perspective, opening their eyes, or setting their career in motion. A new piece is published every two weeks on both Artsy and Elephant. Together, our publications are eager to celebrate the transformative power of art.

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