Chaos to Order drawing

How Does Unconscious Symbolism Influence Visual Art?

The Essential Nature of Unconscious Symbolism in Visual Art

Unconscious symbolism in visual art refers to symbols or imagery that are unconsciously used by the artist and may have personal or cultural meaning but can also evoke universal emotions or ideas. It influences visual art by adding layers of meaning and emotional impact to the artwork beyond its literal subject matter. This can make the artwork more powerful, personal, and open to interpretation by the viewer. Unconscious symbolism can also reflect the artist’s subconscious desires, fears, and experiences, adding authenticity to the artwork.


Symbols from the unconscious mind are considered more authentic and genuine to the artist’s inner self. They can reveal more profound truths and emotions that the artist may not have been aware of or able to express deliberately.

Connection to the viewer

Unconscious symbols can also connect with the viewer on a deeper level, evoking emotions, memories, and associations specific to the viewer’s unconscious mind. This can create a more robust and meaningful connection between the viewer and the artwork.

Exploration of the human condition

Unconscious symbols can be used to explore the human condition and the nature of existence. They can provide insight into the universal human experience, which can be illuminating and thought-provoking for the viewer.

Emotional impact

Unconscious symbols can create a powerful emotional impact in the viewer, evoking a sense of mystery, wonder, and awe. They can also be used to create a sense of transcendence or to evoke a spiritual response.

Connection to the collective unconscious

Unconscious symbols can connect to the collective unconscious, a common understanding or shared experience among humans. They can create a sense of belonging and a connection to the human experience, which can be healing and empowering for the viewer.

In Summary

Using unconscious symbolism in visual art is important because it allows for authenticity, connection to the viewer, exploration of the human condition, emotional impact, and connection to the collective unconscious. These symbols can reveal more profound truths and emotions, evoke powerful emotions and provide insight into the human experience.