Even though you and I are looking at the same object in the world, we are creating slightly different visual impressions in our mind, emotional impressions in our mind by looking at this.
Viewers use creativity in perceiving art:
When you look at a painting, you are undergoing a creative experience that is—at least in outline—similar to the painter. The painter exercises a dramatic amount of creativity in doing a portrait. But you yourself generate a fair amount of creativity in reconstructing it in your head, and reconstructing it in a way that is unique for you and slightly different for me.
Kandel goes on to explain why he believes the Mona Lisa has become one of the most famous images in history. What he says might surprise you.