Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Art enthusiasts need to lighten up

If art enthusiasts let go of their tight egos they would discover they possess a greater type of ego capable of opening up their minds, creativity and happiness underneath.

I recently attended a lecture on Caravaggio at the Nelsen Atkins Museum of Art. Anyway, the lecture was scheduled at such a time that I could attend that and then visit the Young Friends of the Arts Second Fridays event held at the museum afterwards. It would be a complete understatement to admit that I've been going through a lengthy period of reevaluation, but I applied a bit of what I taught myself to these two events. Instead of dressing in an expensive sleek, black number, I instead went bold (even in my own standards) and mixed multiple layers, patterns, and colors in an ensemble that was sure to get whispers of arrogant ignorance.

I pulled into the parking garage, looked down at my attire, felt fortunate that it was cool outside so that I could reveal my outfit at my own convenience with the removal of my near floor-length coat-- and I--I chickened out! A pickup truck drove by at that exact moment with a No Fear sticker in the window, and apparantly that was all the boost I needed to walk in, because I attended the events alone.

I interestingly found myself not drawn to the topic so much but rather to the presentation of the material. Having a somewhat dry delivery myself, I can appreciate the sounds of amusment to the speaker's wit. As I listened to the material, I took notes of what I saw around me.

Enthusiasts dressed nicely, mostly in dark colors like black, and I could tell that they probably spent a pretty benjamin on their attire. But how--BORING. What I'm trying to say is that the event was at a museum, full of expression, full of opinion, full of everything but boring. What I don't understand is if these enthusiasts enjoy art as much as they say they do, is it because they feel that they themselves are constricted in speech and originality on a normal basis? Do they long to free themselves by making opinions to the world no matter how many feathers they ruffle because they live in a world where unoriginal people shun originality? It seems to me that certain types of people are allowed to be original, like artists and rock stars, but they are also unfairly, and WRONGLY I might add, looked down upon when in fact, their ability to show their originality demonstrates the STRENGTH that most people lack.

When it comes down to becoming original, you should look for things you like and admire, but you should also pay attention to what you dislike and why. You can copy what you like and then make your own ammendments as you go. This is your own testing period until you start to see a pattern that you like. That pattern starts to become your style and is unique to you.

My hunch is that at home, most people already know what they like. The difficult part is showing that side of themselves in public where the unoriginal people can be very cruel. There are ways to combat this, too.

In applying this information with the Nelson Atkins Museum, I suggest that the Young Friends of the Arts create their own unique niche in the social scene by suggesting that participants come to their events with a splash of originality, or even a whole ensemble dripping of personal voice. Not only would this be personally freeing, but it would also give others deeply insightful talking points. Afterall, the museum IS a place of expression. If you can't express yourself there, then where can you?

No comments: