Art viewers should be respectful of artists' expression
Barcelona, Spain – You don’t have to “get” art. Sometimes there is nothing to “get.” Other times you’re just not trying hard enough.
I understand that a lot of art is abstract or bizzare or ugly, but too many people strive to understand every little detail about it only to give up and write it off as pointless. There are many reasons why they fail to enjoy the experience.
When you are not aesthetically pleased by a piece of artwork it is easy to dismiss it as an eyesore and not worth the time. Maybe that squiggle doesn’t look like a dog and the colors are garish.
I went to three museums of vastly different artists in Barcelona. Some of my peers kept saying, “I don’t get it” and “But what does it mean?” Although I didn’t comment then, I felt very defensive and irritated by the sentiment.
I like to think of art as someone’s world being interpreted for everyone else to observe. This is how the artist views the things around them. It’s their world, not yours. And by virtue of that, the viewer is merely a visitor. You wouldn’t walk into someone else’s house for dinner, decide it’s ugly and sprint out the front door. Well, at least in theory.
When artists display their work, they are inviting strangers into a very personal realm of expression. I understand the vulnerability because I have taken many art classes and braved critiques that can be less than flattering. Artists should be commended for letting people into their worlds and in turn those visitors should be respectful. I don’t mean that everyone should love every piece of art ever made. I just think that art should be appreciated as a risk.
As I leave Barcelona today and move on to Madrid, I’m hoping everyone in the group is ready to continue exploring other worlds of art with appreciation. Call me an art snob or whatever you want.
Just keep the “I don’t get it” to your self.