Disclaimer: I freaking love art. (Insert tired joke about a California girl who loves avocados and gluten-free mosaics here).
I will say, however, that I don’t know @#$% about Van Gogh or Warhol. I wish I could recite some fun facts about impressionism so I could earn myself some street cred’, but what point is there in trying to prove I’m passionate about something by rambling off bullet points that belong on Wikipedia?
I actually walked up to the lovely lady working at the Broad, who sported a septum ring and the museum uniform of head-to-toe black, and said, “I don’t know anything about art but I love it. Can you tell me more about it?”
There is a certain wisdom in the ability to admit when you’re not the smartest person in the room. I know that I felt giddier than a five-year-old at Disneyland when I saw the three sculptures, but I had no idea why. I asked her if the change from bright pinks and yellows to twisted greens and charcoals represented a change in emotion or state of life, or if they stood as completely different pieces.
The girl smiled at me and said, “That’s the beauty in contemporary art. The concept is in the viewer and how you interpret it.”
I thought that was kind of beautiful. When I let my guard down and admitted I wanted to learn more, I was greeted with the realization that art is what you make of it.
Sure, I could learn about more eras in the art world and its model artists, and I probably will, but I don’t need that to validate why it holds a place in my heart.
Here’s my challenge; conquer the task of overcoming the taboo that surrounds curiosity. Stab that metaphorical dragon right in the eyeball! Enjoy these pictures of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University first, but after that…
Ask more questions.
Listen for the answers.
See that learning from others is remarkable instead of a reason for ridicule.