November 21 2014

Photographs which always get my attention are those of people looking at art in art galleries. I love the dynamic of how the art engages the viewer and how intimately personal it is. I have created galleries and galleries of photographs of this kind on Flickr. Check here and here and here and here.  For me there is something really beautiful about images like this. I can’t put my finger on why, but then I don’t need to. I just like it.

While in Copenhagen, I cycled out of town to an art gallery, whose name escapes me at the moment. It was a small building, housing a small collection of art. I like to visit galleries when I travel and usually try to find smaller ones. When there I love the opportunity to create images of people looking at the art. At times, looking at art  reminds me of how I feel when I see images of disaster and tragedy on television news; I know I should be feeling something, that I should react to what I am seeing, but I feel nothing. And from this nothingness comes a shallow feeling of shame. How can I see suffering and pain and not feel anything? Looking at art, can be like that and it can be compounded when you read the description which goes a little like this:

This piece questions the characterisation of the use of quotidian occurrences in a chaotic landscape of middleclass lives in which the participants’ own realisation plays an integral, albeit, disassociated role. Honestly! WTF!?

I have always believed that the art I view is mine. Once the creator passes it over for consumption, the interpretation is entirely mine. The creator retains ownership of the vehicle, but ceases to own the meaning conveyed. Whatever I get from engaging with the art, is the art’s intention. If I feel nothing, then that is OK. Art is a trigger that triggers other triggers. We all perceive and process things differently. Art is reception, not delivery.

Here is one of my own images of someone looking at art. I observed this man as he was looking at a white wall with scribbles and scrawls on it. Next to him was a step ladder. The description of the piece was written in Danish. I do not know what the artist intended and did not care. I liked how the man, when blurred out, seems to become part of the another image. The step ladder is a curious prop.

I write these blog posts in a very short time. Often, I feel it would be better to write these and then rewrite them. However, time is an issue.

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People looking at art

 

With the iPhone image, I am still on Stroget. I cannot believe how many images I got on that afternoon that I like. It is so very unusual to have so many images that I like from a short time frame. Thanks to all for the kind comments on this series.

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Copenhagen

 

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People looking at art

There Is No Abstract Artinsect-a-sideconfront02confrontationsfototentoonstelling~ walking around at the museum ~
always read the fine printDroste-effectLee Miller by Man ray at the NPGCandid SquareOde to Psychesummer solstice
Rainy Sunday Afternoon (B&W)Huis Marseille; Photo Museum AmsterdamGestalttableausound & visionDominic Nahr...

looking at art, a gallery on Flickr.

When Flickr first introduced galleries, I began to curate. Naturally, blur became prominent, but the ones I keep returning to are photographs of people looking at art. I have ten galleries of these.
What is it about images like these that appeals to me? I like the moment of quietness, of contemplation, of trying to see what can be seen.
Hope you like them too.