I don't know anything about arts

The recent open studio once again was a sheer pleasure. Welcoming people to my home and chatting about the meanings and interests was yet another lesson for myself. There is this one thing that I keep seeing that I have to address. Now and again people that come to my shows express lack of confidence. At least that’s what I think what’s going on. When I ask about what do they like in arts they would reply: “Oh, I don’t really know about arts, I only know if I like something”. What made so many people doubt in their judgment I ask… Why in the context of a gallery show would we suddenly deny ourselves a basic human right, which is a good old subjective opinion?

The art world has been well insulated for centuries. Curators and gallery directors made a whole mission out of confusing people. Not only that, they conditioned people to feel insecure about their tastes and things that simply click. By building the environment for the elites the art-world gatekeepers have raised a bar for many people to freely appreciate art. 

But here comes the good news: 

Knowing if you like something is all you need to know about arts! 

I have a Masters in Fine Arts and have been practising and learning about art for more than 2 decades, and I can tell with all my confidence it all comes down to a gut feeling. Art is a vehicle to transfer of emotions. And there is no place to be wrong here. We all share this unmistakable particle of humanity; a fancy, a whim an impulse, an inclination. Whatever you want to call it’s got has nothing to do with the logical mind. All the theory and art history won’t make up for what you feel when you look at an art piece. There could be a deeper connection formed after you learn more about an artist or their practice. Perhaps you can discover some of the artist’s inspiration or other things you have in common. But unless you’re buying a very expensive piece for an investment – art has to talk to you in the first place and that’s the main guidance to appreciate an artwork. If it makes you feel good – or evokes anything you might want to feel – you most likely have found something for yourself.

It’s good to talk about art and understand the way it’s created by attending shows or talks. Tons of beautiful ideas are born during the art-making process. Artists more often have a wonderful sensitivity and courage to explore the subject that others don’t want to or don’t have time to even wonder about. But let’s not get obsessed about the “knowing”. “Feeling” is the way to receive art.