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Wednesday Mar 14, 2012

Art Appreciation

iron will
Iron Will

It’s come up repeatedly, most especially from the public. How do I look at art?

Art can be intimidating for those who have always relied on someone else’s opinion to make sense of the artwork. How do you know it’s art? The answer is that you must have an unwavering dedication and passion to find out. When you do, fine art appreciation is the reward.

Meanwhile, some suggestions for viewing art:

1) Don’t think and don’t have opinions immediately. Feel the work without words. You are after a transcendental experience, not a lecture about details.

2) Don’t start looking for things and naming them, as if this was a contest like Where’s Waldo. This is the analytical brain at work, which interferes with the aesthetic, art experience.

3) If you see it, it’s there. For example, in modern abstract art, it’s what you see is what you get. Nothing more or less. If you don’t see it, it’s not there. Your view is as valid as anyone else’s.

4) No one knows more about the art that you are viewing than you—not the museum director, curator, gallery owner, or even the artist. This is an awareness that you must own. At least, you now know where the art truth is coming from so you won’t be distracted by nonsense.

Put these observations to work the next time you are called—and prove them to your own self.