Ernest Hemingway once said, „All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.“
Well, there it is: I have no clue.
Art remains a mystery to me, even after three years of studying European art history in Germany. I haven’t figured it out yet, maybe not even the smallest parts of it. There’s always something new in every single artwork. There’s something you haven’t recognized before, or you see it in a different way because you’ve changed, at least your opinion and your view on the world and on art.
Aren’t the most exciting conversations the ones with people who see things differently? You can decide; you’re free to fight or open up. It’s like a gift by the other person, saying, „Here’s the door, I introduce you, I invite you, to see my point of view, see my world.“
It can be an opportunity or a situation you’d love to leave as soon as possible.
And wouldn’t even a fight be better than just turning your back and going?
Are you able to embrace silence, or do you feel better with talking and listening, listening and talking?
Well, not even museums are the quiet places they once used to be. Years ago, I was in the Städel in Frankfurt, visiting an exhibition of Renoir, and I got the spontaneous idea, inspired by the environment and the mood of the people that surrounded me, that club music, finger foods and cocktails would go well here. Like at an art gallery’s opening reception. Maybe yes, maybe no. I have no clue. Perhaps we must simply try some things, embrace them, let go, try again, differently, to know that sometimes it’s the wrong thing to do.
Does everything deserve a second chance?
So, how do you fall in love with art? Look at it and be in awe? Try connecting the dots of art history with the current spirit of the times, the environment around the artist, or just the things you see related to something you once saw?
An attempt .. :
But don’t get too attached to it; instead, set it free. Free your mind and feel with your heart and soul, absorb it and drift away, deeper and deeper. It’s like falling in love with somebody wonderful for you, having no clue what happens, losing your head, spinning around in all your creative thoughts, and coming back.
„Yesterday,“ I talked to a director about an interesting painting that the artist created layer by layer, 80 – 100. This is exciting! isn’t it? So much curiosity about what’s beneath this final surface. It’s like a game of hide and seek.
Will the artist tell you the truth about it?
What were the former 79 or 99 layers about?
Will he even open up?
Today, I visited the LACMA in L.A, and it was just wow. I entered a happy place where both kids and adults were entertained by a kind of a huge car race track. Why have I never seen that kind of art in a museum before? I have no clue!
During a live Sotheby’s auction I watched online a year ago or two, one of the comments from viewers on the internet said, „This is not about science; this is an art auction,“ regarding a high-priced Rothko painting that sold for 42 million. And who has a clue what this painting will be worth in 5, 10, 50 years?
Art seems to be worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
Art seems to be interpreted in so many different ways.
Art seems to be connected to the history of art but can also be refused.
Art seems, is, free and elusive, even if you think you’ve got it right, “Catch me if you can!“ the artist may have meant it differently, or even if you talk to them, they might not be honest with you, keeping their secret, or you might just get it wrong.
There’s this wonderful thing in dating or just getting to know someone: „If we vibe, we vibe.“
Have you ever had the feeling that you’re able to vibe with different kinds of art, some more, some less as well?
Have you ever fallen in love with art at first sight and then gotten bored later?
Have you ever disliked an artwork, only to get to know it better and wish you could live with it now?
Have you ever been triggered, hurt, or felt understood by an artwork or the entire body of work by an artist?
Is difficult art the most satisfying?
Can beautiful art make your day, save you and even the world?
And what about the emotional approach, feeling, falling, getting lost, finding your point of view again, even if you’ve got no clue?
That’s why I always say, enjoy art, have fun, be as free as art itself, discover it anew every time you look at it. Try to capture it with your thoughts, try to feel it with your soul, even if you, like me, think you have no clue.
Maybe see art with the eyes of a child.
So, guess I was wrong, and the most truthful sentence should not be that I have no clue, because there are ideas, approaches. Maybe it is that I know that I don’t know.
Do you? And, maybe more importantly:
Do you like art?
Are you curious about an artwork and its hidden story?
Do you fall for art?