How Not to Appreciate Art

This little blog is coming up on its third birthday in a couple weeks! Over the last three years I’ve discovered some incredible artists and artwork. What an absolute delight. Here are a few things I’ve learned since beginning this blog three short years ago.

  1. It’s okay to like art and not the artist, or vice versa. Diego Rivera, for instance. I couldn’t disagree with his politics more, but you know what? He was a decent artist. I don’t need to have replicas of his stuff over my mantel, but I can appreciate that the guy could put up a killer mural. We are really going to limit the beauty in our lives if we only take in art made by top-notch people. Take Caravaggio, for another instance. He was not a fun hang. His art? Life-changing.
Some artists suck, but are geniuses at say- lighting.

2. The other day my kids ate a can of Spaghettios. I used to love Spaghettios when I was little! Now? Not so much. Art is like a can of Spaghettios. It’s okay to let your taste evolve. For instance, I used to strongly dislike surrealism. But artists like Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, and Heimir Bjorgulfsson have become some of my favorite artists! I used to think Ivan Albright was too dark and twisty for my Pollyanna sensibilities, but it turns out I can get down with some death and decay. So don’t write that trippy abstract art off quite yet. Or be so quick to think still-lifes are boring-schmoring. Unless we’re talking video art. That stuff is crap. (Haha.) (But seriously, I haven’t changed my mind on that yet.)

3. It’s true- The Louvre has some decent art. Same for Chicago, Detroit, the Met… all the biggies. But I don’t need to tell you there is incredible art all over the place! Some of the best art I’ve ever seen has been in small cities or in alleyways, under bridges, or on my fridge (thanks, kids!) Gone are the days of “stuffy” art (which, btw, I also love). Art doesn’t have to be swanky or intimidating, or housed in colossal museums with marble pillars. Art can be a cool figure in downtown Northfield, Minnesota, or in a sculpture park you happen upon in Lincoln, Nebraska. For a long time I wrote these pieces off as “lesser thans” because I was holding out for the National Galleries of the world. Sad!

Have you reconsidered the way you look at or appreciate art? I can’t wait to discover more in the next three years!

Posted in: art

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