Embed KATHELEEN MITRO LUXURY ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM ART: The art world seems very unfriendly to "outsiders" or the people who are ignorant about the theoretical discourse that takes place around contemporary art. What can be done to change this?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The art world seems very unfriendly to "outsiders" or the people who are ignorant about the theoretical discourse that takes place around contemporary art. What can be done to change this?

I ran across an excellent answer to this question.
It was  so good in fact that I would like to post it here.

It is answered  by Juan Pablo Forero Juan Pablo Forero 

 It's difficult for artist to change the way the express themselves, some do a great job but do very complicated works, that, as you correctly point out, are difficult to understand. So museums and galleries should help people to understand this. In a moment I will tell you how I believe is the way.

Some people (I used to think this way), say that if you need someone who explains your work, you have failed as an artist. But if you are a trained person in the arts, have read about art, have immersed yourself in it, you will understand it without an explanation from someone else. But not all the people have the time nor the discipline or interest in doing this, and that's completely normal.

If you don't live for art, you will have only see things like Picasso, Goya, Rembrandt, etc, and enjoy them. But do you really understand them? Do you really know why Picasso did that kind of figures that for some are like children works? Most people don't. They don't even understand works from almost none artist that have existed, they only enjoy the esthetic part of the work, nothing more. So we need explanation for ALL fine art, for all ages. It's not a problem just with contemporary art, it's with all art. But the other types of art have been here longer, some may have the time to understand them because we have live with them for much longer, we have seen movies about them, read about this or that artist that lived centuries ago, so it would be much simpler to teach people about them.

So let's return to what to do. I remember one time I went to the Art Museum of Reina Sofia in Madrid. I rented those tape guide tours. Let me tell you, I have never enjoy SO much a visit to a museum. There were so many things I didn't know about those works. I thought I knew what those works were about but not completely. There were so many details, so many interesting aspects. I saw them with new eyes. To understand a piece of art, you have to know the biography of the artist, his influences, his obsessions. The more you know, the more you will get from him or her. So museums and galleries should have (they do, actually), seminars, audio tape guides, guides, etc, to help people come closer to the works we see now. But it takes time. Art is changing so rapidly, it doesn't gives us enough time. As I said, other forms of art have been here longer, they are easy to teach them and let people know why they are important, but to understand what's happening today, you have to understand the art before the XX century but also all the art of the XX Century, and that's a lot to grasp.

But, if you try to make people understand what's a single artist about, it will help them see other works differently, they will understand that they need to search more about this or that artist, and a new world will open for them. Why people of the Middle ages understood the art that they saw? Because they lived with it, they hear about the bible, his saints, his works (as you might know, people couldn't read the bible so the art works were the way the church make people understand they message). If we do the same now, teach people they don't need to be afraid of the art works of today, that with some information they will understand them, things will be different. I remember a few months ago, I saw an exposition of an artist (cannot recall his name), and I thought, "this is stupid", but I decided to enter. At the end I was thinking, "this is fantastic". The exposition had small texts that show what was the artist about, what he meant about his work.

So it should be a work of museums and galleries to make the art more accessible but it's up to the people to do the "homework" of reading and take the time to understand what's going on. When you enter this world, at first you will not understand much, but as you go, you will train yourself and it will become easier. But as I said, if you don't know nothing about the artist, it will be more difficult to really appreciate their work. I put you an example I put in another answer. Think about Botero and his "fat" people. And I say "fat" because he has never done a fat person in his life, he does wide plastic figures (see any painting of Botero and you will see everything is "fat", beds, lamps, etc. If you know that, for example, he based his work in Pierro della Francesca:

Portraits of Federico Montefeltro and his wife, Gemahlin Battista Sforza.

If you know about the Colombian history and it's relations of power, the importance of church, politics, army, high class, etc, and the critics he does about them, you will really understand what is this artist really about and why is he so famous.

I hope I have help you to clarify more this point. I am not an expert.

Juan Pablo Forero  Juan Pablo Forero