I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I’m just not much of an “art person”. This realization came back to me yesterday as I explored London’s famous National Gallery (above), where the walls were lined with over 2,300 paintings from famous classical artists. Normally, covering all areas of the gallery and truly appreciating each piece of artwork in it (or even half of them) would take at least an entire day, maybe more. In all, it took me probably an hour and 10 minutes, tops. How? Let me tell you my secret:
Most people who could be considered “artsy” would look at a particular painting and describe it along the lines of the following manner, “The endless hollowness of the felines’ eyes portrays the longing for a lost companion, perhaps a mother, whom has disappeared from the night’s street looking for new life, symbolized by the faint glow of the street lamp in the far reached end of this masterpiece.” I would’ve made that example a little better, but I ran out of big words I use. Let me grab a Thesaurus and I’ll come back to this. I’m also sure there is a “shallow and pedantic” reference in there somewhere (for you Family Guy fans). Anyway, after this description I’m sure the artsy folks would’ve stared at this piece for at least another 20 minutes, visualizing every detail, brush stroke, lines drawn. Shoot, I bet they would’ve jumped for joy at the opportunity to watch the paint dry on this thing. Then they would eventually move along to the next piece to do the same, exact, thing. 2,299 (at least) to go.
Now, here is how I would study the same particular work. I would look it over for about all of five seconds to conclude, “Oh, that’s a pretty kitty!” I’d take about another 10 seconds to fantasize about playing with the kitten, then move on to the next one. Some would call this way unappreciative, uncultured perhaps, I call it efficiency, along with not wasting of my bloody time.
Now this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate art. To be honest, I actually really enjoy theatre works. I’ve seen Wicked, The Lion King, among other shows. In fact, my first week here I went over the hill to a city called Huddersfield and watched a popular show called Bouncers (stage above). To be fair, Bouncers was not Wicked, or The Lion King. In fact, it was four middle-aged Yorkshire men using every sexual innuendo and stereotype they could muster. True, crude British humor at its finest. Needless to say, I was in tears at the end of the show from laughing so hard.
Hey, it’s “art”.