How to Pretend You Understand Art
How to Pretend to Understand Art
If you don’t have a lot of background in art, talking about art - whether at a museum or in conversation - can be a little stressful. You might be worried that you won’t “get” the art, or that you’ll look silly in front of others. Preparing for a museum trip by getting some background information and carefully studying art that's in front of you can help. You can also use conversational techniques to make it seem like you “get” art.
Preparing for a Museum Trip
Study the artist’s background beforehand.Knowing something about the artist when you visit the museum can help you understand the context of their artwork. It can also give you something to say during conversations about the artist and their work..
Browse the museum’s or artists’ collections online.Depending on which museum or gallery you’re visiting, you might be able to preview the collection you’re seeing on a website. This gives you more time to look at and think about the pieces you’ll be seeing. And you can do so without the pressure of feeling like you have to contribute to the conversation happening around you.
- For example, if you are about to visit MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art in NYC) you could do some research about modern art in general and research some of the pieces in the gallery.
Studying the Art Work
Look carefully at the piece.Once you get to the museum or gallery you’re visiting, choose a piece of art and really look at it. Even if you have no previous knowledge of the artist or the collection, you can ask yourself some questions about it. What is it? A painting, a photograph, a sculpture? What’s it made of? Paint, pencil, plastic? How did the artist approach the medium? Does it look rushed? Like it took a lot of time? Looking at the piece and asking yourself questions can give you some material to work with when you’re talking to your friends.
Consider the piece as a whole.Once you've noted what the piece is, what it's made out of, and how the artist might have approached it, look at the piece as a whole. How do the different elements come together in one piece of art? How does it make you feel? Is there something sad about the medium used? Joyful? Consider the "big picture" of the piece of art and how the smaller components contribute to it. Being able to discuss those things can help you seem like you "get" art.
Interpret the piece.Try to place it in the historical context in which it was created. That’s where those plaques next to artwork come in handy. They might tell you about the artist’s life, why the artist used specific materials, or what was happening in the world when the piece was created. Use those context clues to draw meaning from the art.
Trust your instincts.It’s totally okay to look at a piece of art and decide that you like it – or don’t – based only on your instincts. But if you do feel that way, take some time looking at the piece and trying to figure out why you do or don’t like it. It could be because of the colors, or maybe the shape of the piece, or the way someone or something in it looks. Being able to articulate why you do or don’t like a piece of art can make you seem like you “get” it in conversation with others.
Employing Conversational Techniques
Ask what other people think.If you can't think of anything to say in conversation about art, ask others what they think. This takes the attention off of you and is a good conversational practice (you should interest in other people you're speaking to).
- Really pay attention to what others are saying. It's good manners and they might say something that gives you an idea for your own contribution to the conversation.
Draw comparisons to things you know better.If possible, draw comparisons between the art you're looking at and/or discussing and a topic you're more comfortable with. It gives you the chance to speak about something you're more comfortable with. It can also make you look like you understand art even more, because you can connect it to other things.
Give a general response.Sometimes you just might not be able to think of anything to say, and that's okay! You can say something like "I don't know much about that," or "I'm not really feeling it." Responding in a general way can also signal to other people that it's okay for them to talk a little more if they know more about the topic.
- You don’t have to look at every single piece of art in a gallery or museum. If you really want to seem like you understand what you’re seeing, focus on a few pieces, instead of trying to talk about all of them.
- Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to “get” art. There are some pieces that you just won’t understand, and that’s okay!
Video: Ask Steve Pittsburgh: How do I pretend art isn't so boring?! II STEVE HARVEY
Aurora Borealis. As observed March 1, 1872, at 9h. 25m. p.m
6 Mascara Mistakes We All Make — AndShouldn’t
The Stunning Standout Beauty Looks Spotted at NYFW Spring2019
How to Instantly Spot a Fake Handbag Online
How to Paint Your Nails With Shatter Polish
3 Ways to Be Casual
10 Fabulous DIY Body Scrub Recipes
How to Measure Head Circumference
Shin Stretches for Your Anterior Tibialis
Emily Ratajkowski Just Got the Coolest, Shoulder-LengthLob
How to Make a Hovercraft
Haute Couture History: How Much Haute Couture Costs