See and Be Seen at Art Openings

If you have ever attended an art opening, you will find that you are among a “select” group of people. You are often invited to such an opening because of your in­terest in art, or  because you have money and/or “social standing.”

How many times I’ve attended such gatherings only to realise that the majority of the people in attendance were doing a “food/drink balancing act while checking around the space to see who else was there! Half the fun is seeing and being seen at an “Art Opening”.

Some people  spend a lot of time in line for food or drink. People hundle in small groups of two or three while others look for a possible “pick-up”. Among the group will be self-styled critics who try their best to make comments that could be considered knowledgeable about the various pieces of work on display.

If it is a modern art open­ing, there will be a few viewers who are really fascinated and intrigued by the “bigger” implications suggested by undefined remnants in space. A loose, curled wire makes a shadow. A mound of clay is stuffed with footprints and an invisible object is wrapped with can­vas and tied with rope.

By isolating and focusing upon various phenomena that we may or may not see in our everyday lives can result as a “work of art”.

Often, the underlying message confronting the viewer is “See how much work (or overwork) I’ve done?” “Do I not impress you with my cleverness?” “And, if not, do you not know that I shall see that you are corrected in your opinion  by witnessing my ability to create, produce and market my artistic product?” 

You need not feel intimidated if you choose to attend an art opening. In fact, it is quite an “eye-opener” for you. You may experience a shock to your men­tal barriers. The viewed objects will penetrate into brain areas reserved for amazement.

Your artistic sense, possibly numbed by inac­tivity, may become alert. It is nearly impossible to view something totally “alien” without some vivid response, even if that response is total disgust. The problem, I find, is shaking images years later. Who can forget squiggles of colored playdough in plex­iglass or a picture of teethmarks where a man bit himself? At least it gives the viewer reason to pause!

If you are queasy about the whole idea about going to a crowded art opening, go later to the gallery alone and quietly look.

Go to an art opening to see the art, to see and be with people, and to grow increase you understanding of creativity.

To become a “regular” of art openings, you can become a paying member of for an art museum or gallery. At private gallery openings add your name to their mailing list.   Try a variety of art openings or shows so that you can really begin to appreciate present-day artists. You may decide to add some of their works to your own art collection.