Four misconceptions about people who enjoy art

FullSizeRenderEduardo Kobra 2012
25th and 10th, Manhattan, New York City

Misconception 1:  You have to have a degree in Art History to understand and appreciate art.

Not true. It is true that the art world can seem daunting and even unwelcoming. You can hear a pin drop in most galleries and curators seem to size you up by asking questions to assess your knowledge.   Many people would rather skip the embarrassment of not recognizing the stylings of artists like Monet and Picasso than begin to explore the kinds of art and artists that inspire them.

Mona Lisa  1517
Leonardo DaVinci
Louvre Museum, Paris
SnapseedLes femmes d’Alger 1955
Pablo Picasso
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Don’t buy into the illusion!  Art is all about feeling something and textbooks can’t teach you that.  When you open your heart and mind to understanding what an artist is communicating, you become empathetic and able to connect with the human condition.  Art gives us food for thought and allows us to reflect on how our own experiences relate to another’s.  There are no prerequisites for absorbing artwork.  If you have a brain and a beating heart, you have all of the tools you need.

Reflections on Girl 1990, Reflections on Crash 1990, Reflections on Conversation 1990
Roy Lichtenstein
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Sleeping Hermaphroditus 1620
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Louvre Museum, Paris

Misconception 2: You have to have a lot of money to enjoy art.

Not true.  Just because you will most certainly never buy a Van Gogh and you might not even be able to afford an original from a local artist, don’t let that stop you from taking it all in. The beauty of art is that to savor it, all you have to do is see it. Private galleries generally do not charge admission and many museums offer occasional free days if you don’t want to fork out a few bucks.  When you do fall in love with a multi-million dollar painting, you can always get a print!

Wheat Field with Cypresses 1889
Vincent Van Gogh
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – SFMOMA

Misconception 3: You have to look like Andy Warhol to be an aesthete.

Not true. Turtlenecks and wayfarers have no impact on your ability to interpret an artist’s perspective. People from all walks of life enjoy art and people from all walks of life create art. The key is to find artwork and artists you can relate to. How you look or dress is irrelevant.  Forget posing “connoisseurs” that try to make you think otherwise.

Dolly Parton 1985
Andy Warhol
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Misconception 4:  You know if you like art.

“I’m not an arty person.”  We’ve all heard someone say this. Perhaps we’ve even said this ourselves. However, it’s a pretty bold statement because art is everywhere.  You may like things or create things you don’t even realize are art.  Art is not singular.  What is beautiful or appealing to one person may not be to another and that is okay. If you actually attempt to seek art that speaks to you, you may surprise yourself.  You just might like art and not even know it.

Bansky 2010
Main Street, Park City, Utah

When we relate to artwork, we achieve human confluence.  Don’t sell yourself short and miss out on something that can impact the way you see the world around you only because you misunderstand what it really is.  In pursuing art, you may even realize that you yourself are an artist…


*All photography is original may not be reproduced without consent.


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