Thursday, January 09, 2014

For Art's Sake

My younger brother is an artist. He dabbles in all manner of artistic endeavors. I was a studio art major as a freshman in college. I grew up surrounded by art and artists. Why then, would you suppose that I have such a hard time at exhibitions and museums?
Maybe I'm a snob of some sort. It is very likely that I am attention-challenged. It is also possible that I am tired of art and I am yearning for something new. It's probably more likely a bit of the first two. The third is more of a "get out of museum free" card that allows me to feel clever and superior, which really brings us right back to that whole snobbery issue. How could this be? I love my brother and the work that he creates. I am always proud and happy to be invited to his gallery openings and shows. This may be, in part, due to the cheese cubes that are offered up at such galas. It probably has even more to do with the very personal nature of the experience. I know the guy who made that. I don't have to guess at his motivations or intent. I have talked with him about them as they have burst forth from his imagination, and I have heard the challenges and struggles he has endured to bring each new piece to light.
I like the stories. That is probably why I ended up getting a creative writing degree instead of one in studio art. I like the stories of Picasso and the legends of Da Vinci. Why don't I seek out chances to take in their work, up close and personal? I love hearing the trials and tribulations of my brother's creations and I can only imagine that every artist has these kind of tales to tell, but instead I stand there in front of a painting or sculpture, wondering what the backstory is.
Perhaps I should try taking my art history book with me to the museum from now on.

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