contemporary art

Five tips to enjoy a contemporary artwork

Go with an open mind, let yourself be carried away by the senses, and trust your own criteria are some of the recommendations.

This is done the same by my four-year-old nephew.” “They call anything art. ” When we talk about contemporary artwork, reactions of contempt or even rejection are usually common. It is not the objective of this article to enter into a debate about the virtues and defects of the most modern artistic expressions but to offer a few tips to be able to take full advantage of the experience if we decide to visit the 39th edition of the International Contemporary Art Fair, ARCOmadrid, which opened this Wednesday, February 26 and will run until next Sunday, March 1.

In psychology, a mental state is called a comfort zone in which the person uses fear and anxiety avoidance behaviors, generating a routine behavior in which they do not assume any risk. It is what is known as “living with automatic pilot”, keeping us within a personal space in which we feel comfortable because we feel safe.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with feeling comfortable and safe, but it is not so clear that it benefits us to always do the same simply out of fear or from the need to control everything that happens around us. This phenomenon could partly explain why so many people reject contemporary art outright. Do we dare to leave our comfort zone? A good way to start maybe by exposing ourselves to some type of art that we are not used to.

Alexandra Schader, director of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s, takes advantage of the artistic event to share five recommendations aimed at visitors less used to these artistic expressions:

1. Go with an open mind

In order to enjoy the ARCO experience, it is necessary to come ready to be surprised. Not only can you see many formats of art – be it sculpture, painting, or any other – but also each author is a world. Any work can surprise even the most skeptical.

2. Do not prejudge by the first impression

Although the first reaction to a contemporary artwork may be negative, that does not mean that it has to be completely discarded or that we should prejudge the author for it. It is advisable for any visitor to ARCO, says Schader, to ask themselves some of the following questions: Why am I being rejected? Is it designed to do it? Does it make me feel uncomfortable because something is stirring inside of me? Or is it really because I just don’t like it? Like people, work can make a bad first impression and end up making the viewer fall in love.

3. Get informed

contemporary artwork festival

It is advisable not to go blindly to an event or fair of these characteristics. It can be difficult to understand a work of art in its fullness without knowing absolutely nothing about the author. In addition, it is essential to see many works of art before refining the eye. Visiting galleries, fairs or auctions will allow, over time, to define your own taste.

4. Seek advice

To become familiar with and enter the world of contemporary art, it is highly recommended to consult the opinion of experts. A gallery owner, art consultant, curator, or auction house art expert can be used. Any specialist can help guide both beginners and collectors and be a source of learning.

5. Get carried away by passion

The world of art is only enjoyed with passion and letting the works make us fall in love. When viewing, and much more when buying a work, it is essential not only to think about the possible investment or the price but about the passion that has aroused in those who contemplate it.

Other advice to keep in mind, according to other experts, is to relax and always trust your own instinct. To enjoy art it is not necessary to be an expert, or even to understand what we are seeing.

Finally, it is worth remembering that, although enjoying art is above all an intuitive and sensory act, it is also a skill that we need to train and develop. In part, it is due to the artistic education we receive, which, according to many artists, has become outdated and tends to appreciate art as it was a hundred years ago, leaving aside, in general, contemporary artwork.

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