Wednesday, February 2, 2011

May I suggest?

While I would never want a world free of intelligent review and critique I think it is sad that critical analysis is our default mode for viewing art. I know it makes us feel like we are an informed insider to be able to dissect and knockdown a piece of art but I find it heartbreaking and think that in doing this we, as audience, rob ourselves of being able to sit inside the creation.

A humble suggestion, occasionally suspend your disbelief and accept a work of art as you would a birthday gift. Even if it isn't exactly what you might buy yourself, it hardly matters. What matters is that someone took the time, energy and thought to give you something that they hoped you might gain some benefit from.

I think this is where most artists come from when offering up the fruits of their labor, so why do we insist on putting up so many barriers to our own connection with a work? What are we depriving ourselves of when we insist on pulling the wings off of everything we see in order to determine if and why it can/not fly?

I am not saying we should watch every thing in this manner for the rest of our lives. I just think it is a nice experiment to try in hopes of gaining fresh eyes. Remember when you first went to the theater (gallery, record store…) and everything was mind-blowing? Don't you ever mourn the loss of that perspective? I do.

Art is a gift.

Sometimes it is ok to just say thank you when someone gives you a gift.