To tell someone that their art is ‘therapy’ is generally seen as an insult, it is a way of saying their work is self-indulgent, that it is too much about them (the artist) and not enough about us (the spectator, reader or viewer). There is of course nothing wrong with therapy but, like masturbation, it is something we mainly feel should be done in private (or among close friends.)
But what if there was another sense in which art might be analogous to therapy, that through the activity of making art the artist works through certain things, feels better, and this ‘feeling better’ is contagious, pushes through to have a positive effect on the viewer.
Those who know me will know that this is not particularly my own experience of making art. It’s only that I often find myself wondering why.