And now for some lynx musings on all types of art! *
- Art for beauty’s sake is OK. Not all art needs to have deep, layered, meanings or messages. Art for pleasure and the visceral experience is a thing, and it can be a great thing.
- Art that is rife with intended meaning is also a great thing. Art that causes us to reflect, discover, that shakes our foundations, that leaves us moved, that are profound, are all great.
- Move around. Stand close to the work. Stand far away from the work. See it in context. Focus in on a little detail. Watch the light fall across it. Whole new experiences can be had just by observing differently.
- It’s OK to love something. You don’t need to erect a barrier between you and it through intellect, or identity, or etc. Think of Anton Ego from Ratatouille – his big transformation comes when he drops his identity as a critic and returns to liking food (and being able to enjoy it).
- Very importantly adding to the previous: you can like something without needing to define it in opposition to something else. Avoid that trap.
- Liking something, and critiquing something, are two different things. Critiquing is its own and developed skill that requires contemplation and consideration of the work from several angles. To make a critique is to put yourself on the line, vulnerable. At the same time, you must also stand outside of yourself; a critique may include whether you like it or not, but the bulk of the critique is irrespective of that (dis)like.
- Art is hard. Ever create something? From scratch? It can be HARD. A struggle, even. Remember that it is often difficult enough just trying to communicate something to a friend through words, let alone trying to emote or connect to a stranger through artwork. Remember this before you dismiss a work.
- If visiting a gallery, remember to pay attention to the gallery itself. The architecture can be a piece of art in its own right!
- Variety makes life awesome. That things exist outside the “ordinary” bounds or definitions – or outside of what you like/find lovely – is vital. Let diversity flourish, even if its not your thing. And (at least occasionally) engage with it… who knows, you may find yourself coming around to it.
- Installation art and spatial art are the best. (Ok, natch, this one’s not a musing… but I do love them!)
* Including painting, sculpture, photography, cooking, architecture, writing, movies…