Neuroscientists using neuroaesthetics, a new scientific field, are attempting to unravel why a Picasso appeals to the human brain. “The job of an artist,” Jonah Lehrer writes for Psychology Today, “is to take mundane forms of reality—whether a facial expression or a bowl of fruit—and make those forms irresistible to the human brain.” Lehrer draws off research by V.S. Ramachandran who found that artists employ “deliberate hyperbole” that makes it easier for people’s minds to decipher what an image really is. "A Martian who came to earth would be very curious about why all these people go to museums and look at 2D representations," Ramachandran says. "Why does art work? That's the question we're trying to answer."
Source: Psychology Today