Abstract thought is a unique human trait, and it's one of the things that challenges our brain the most.
When looking at an abstract painting our mind is racing to make sense of it by searching for patterns it can hang on to, and build a personal relationship with. We call it interpretation.
It's the perfect example of how we use our mental capacities to establish an emotional reality we can use as an anchor point for our understanding.
We build a new mental interpretation of ourselves and establish a new emotional reality on the basis of it. This again becomes an anchor point for the choices we make from that point and on.