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Two Art Shows

Posted March 9th, 2018 at 12:31 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
I recently went to an art gallery, something I do every once in a while. I like it because itís quiet and I get to walk around and experience the art at my own speed- if itís awful I move through quickly , if itís good I can take as much time as I want.

Also, unlike the movies or theatre when youíre walking around in an art gallery you can look at the other people who are there and see how they feel about it. Sometimes theyíre talking about the art and you get to hear multiple view points about it. If you bring a friend you can discuss.

A lot of people donít seem to like art galleries. They find them boring and they donít get the art and therefore they think that they themselves are stupid or uncultured or something. Let me assure you if you donít get the art itís because the art is crappy. Itís all about how it makes you feel and anyone who tells you otherwise is full of bad art.

There were two art shows in this gallery at the same time. One was a lifetime retrospective by two artists, who were married. They had fifty years of work on display. Theyíd both been art instructors at a university, among other jobs throughout their lives. The other show was exclusively done by Syrian teenage refugees.

The two artistsí work was on big canvases; six feet by four feet, or eight feet; some really big pictures. Most of it was just blobs of colour, though there were a bunch of female nudes. I suppose the work exhibited great technique or whatever but it left me cold. It was the kind of big art you see in office buildings. Itís ignorable decoration. All the work was for sale. By eavesdropping, I learned some of the back story. The wife had already died and the husband was on his deathbed. The family wanted to get rid of the art. It had just been in storage.

The Syrian refugeesí show was mostly done on regular sized pieces of paper. Their technique was roughly equivalent to what I can do- not much. Even though the show had been created by about thirty different artists, the theme was consistent. Simple pictures portrayed the death of loved ones, homesickness, and suffering from the violence of the war. There were a few images of ďhappy to be hereĒ but often in the same picture there would be tears for their lost homes.

Iím sure you can guess from what youíve read thus far that I wasnít that keen on the work of the married couple. I found their paintings unengaging and meaningless. It was easy to walk past them. There was a sale sheet beside each one where you could bid on the pictures. There were a few bids. All of them started over three hundred dollars.

The Syrian refugeesí work required me to walk really slowly. The pictures were dense with obvious meaning. I looked at each picture carefully because they were interesting. It most cases it was possible to feel the artistsí pain. None of them were for sale. It was a strong show.

The section of the gallery where the couplesí work was displayed was rather empty. People passed through quickly. The section with the refugeesí work was quite full and people moved slowly. Many people were visibly moved and left thoughtfully.

What is art? It can be many things; I suppose itís decorative but to me itís mostly something that makes me feel something. The refugee show not only moved me but I learned a lot about how they feel. I donít feel like I learned much from the couplesí show. I mostly got the feeling that the children of the artists just wanted to get rid of the pictures. I donít blame them. What does a person do with fifty big pictures of colour splotches?
Total Comments 2


TheAverageFan's Avatar
Fascinating read. I did a shoot once for a mentor's gallery. A lot of it wasn't terribly good, but a lot of the patrons seemed to have money to spare. They paid a lot for some of the pieces because they were told that they were worth a lot of money. I was unmoved.

Posted March 9th, 2018 at 07:38 PM by TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline
Tornado's Avatar
Good read.
Art is certainly an individual experience.
Posted March 10th, 2018 at 03:12 PM by Tornado Tornado is offline
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