**here is a quote from my essay: "when there is few to no people in the gallery, a visitor cannot look to their peers for hints on how to act [around the artwork]. hence, they revert back to the behaviour they believe is expected of them."
in my "make art a part (of your life)" e-course i expanded on this type of behaviour: "there's no doubt about it, art can be intimidating. have you ever been to a gallery and found yourself standing in front of a piece of wildly inexplicable contemporary art, feeling totally awkward? you don't want to embarass yourself by not 'understanding' the piece. you're not sure what you are supposed to be thinking and you have no idea what to do with your body!"
my solution to this is two part. one: spread the word that galleries are fun, and that you don't have to "figure out the art" or know anything about art at all! you can just go in and enjoy looking at beautiful images. two: fill the gallery with people. once this occurs, facades are dropped and people become engaged with both the people and the artwork around them.
maybe i'm totally off base. what i do know is that last week i saw a man cup his hands around is eyes and lean up against the windows of the gallery and look inside so hard that his breath left condensation on the glass. he practically kissed the wall in order to have a peek inside. the kicker? the door was wide open just two feet away. and this week i saw two gentleman stand on the literal precipice of the door step and look inside. they both stood there for an inordinate amount of time, but did not come in.
i know that these people are scared of something. something that holds them back from entering this beautiful world of art.
so please don't be afraid. there is so much to fall in love with and if you shed your inhibitions and anxiety, i guaruntee the experience will brighten your day!
*the way architecture and curatorial decisions affect the same traveling exhibition.
** funnily enough this photograph was actually staged. these people do look far too comfortable and that doesn't match the reality of how people are within a silent, mostly empty gallery space.