Ever wonder if you are doing the looking part of art right? Honestly, there is really no wrong way of looking at art, but here are a few tips that might assist you in getting more out of your immersive and intimate experience with an artwork.
Give it Time
When you step into your favourite gallery, you are instantly overwhelmed by all the options and rooms full of potential awe-inspiring art. You also feel that crushing feeling that you are not going to see it all! Well, guess what? You aren’t. So, pick a select few artworks and really spend time with them. The artworks you give time to are the ones you will recall when you leave.
On average, visitors spend 8 seconds on an artwork before moving on. So instead pick an artwork that draws you in and sit with it. Get comfy on a nearby bench or relax in a comfortable stance. And start to consider all the finer details. This will help you make discoveries and connections with the artwork.
Consider basic art principals
Get back to the basics and begin to point out some of the Basic Art Principals in the artwork you are slowly looking at. Balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, rhythm, unity, and variety. How has the artist used them or not? Does it make the artwork better?
Move the Body
You do not have to be a static statue next to the sculpture or any other media. Take the time to walk up close, walk around and stand far away. See how your field of vision changes with your body movement.
Use the didactic
Oh, gosh there can be so much reading in an art gallery! Well, those words next to the painting are there for a reason. Notes on the artist’s background and title can help lead your interpretation in a different direction from your first impression.
Lastly, assess how you feel.
Take the time to be patient with an artwork, hopefully you come away with something new that you might not have known about yourself, discovered something you might have not noticed at first and seen a glimpse into the artist’s mind on why they created the artwork.