It might come as a shock, but yes, art is for everyone. At least, it should be. But some out there feel the need to be gatekeepers. You know, party-poopers.
Here is our take on the whole thing.
Do you even know Van Gogh, bro?
Onli real fans know na middle name nya lang yung Van Gogh.
First name is Peach, last name Pie. charoth https://t.co/cOC2TrzheJ
— Anissa V (@issaberds) October 7, 2019
So some people are incensed about the whole Van Gogh Alive Exhibit, saying a bunch of stuff about how it’s sad that Van Gogh has gone mainstream (Was he even ever indie?) and that people will just end up not appreciating the exhibit because we are basically trash people who only do things for our IG stories.
I mean, okay artiste person, but what about it? Why are we getting told off about being normal people? Oh right, that’s because we aren’t a part of the yacht club that is the art world.
You are not better than any of us for knowing more about art
It’s a privilege lottery. You do not get to pop off about how people don’t even know an entire artist’s body of work (Since when was that even a prerequisite to enjoying art?), and dictate who can and who can’t come see an exhibit.
Not everyone has the time, money, and opportunity to study art. If you did, then that’s honestly great for you. Art is amazing and it should be thrilling to be studying it on top of enjoying it. But that doesn’t make you a better human being. You know what would make you a better person? If you actually took the time to analyze art as institution of exclusivity rather than navel gaze in a gallery about form.
Why are we keeping art from people?
If you love art so much, then why are you pressed that more people want to see it? There is a dangerous tendency to create false dichotomies about “high art” and “low art”. Okay, popular culture may sometimes be cringy but you can’t police people about what they like. Stop calling us poor by wanting to experience the Van Gogh exhibit.
Let 👏 people 👏 enjoy 👏 things 👏. Even if that means you’ll have to relinquish the exclusivity that you had with Van Gogh and art to the mainstream. (I have to repeat it, was he even ever indie?)
So what if we want to take pictures?
In case you were ironically out of touch with the world’s digital era, then I bring you the horrifying news that because there is a portable camera on our person at all times, well, people love documenting every bit of their lives nowadays. Sometimes, it’s annoying (I don’t care about what my officemate had for lunch today), and it really does take the full experience of appreciating art away, but you can’t police people about what they want to do. Sila bida ng buhay nila eh.
There’s also a growing movement within museums themselves about encouraging photography. Before, it was strictly forbidden because of copyright and light sensitive material, but you know, the Van Gogh exhibit is digital so there’s really none of that here.
There is no “proper” way to consume art.
A better issue to use as a jumping off point to discuss this is the whole kerfuffle about people constantly taking selfies at the 2017 Art Fair. Pretty much the same sentiments about whether art should be photographed or not. It’s a double-edged sword that no one really has the answer to.
On one hand, you have to realize that it really is off that people turn art into mere backdrops. It removes people from the point of art, that is to evoke. But you can’t really do that when your brain is focused on what it will look like on your feed.
But then again, we can’t police people on how they want to experience art. Maybe some prefer to keep a safe distance and take it in from afar, while others just really don’t view it with such pretension. Sure, it definitely is some form of disrespect to the artist and art as a whole but god who fucking put them on a pedestal anyway? I can’t tell someone how to respond to art any more than the artist can, and we should all accept that.
Art is also meant to be questioned.
Museums and galleries in its entirety are fortresses of the cultural elite, and those defending its “purity” have been fooled into doing so. There is always talk of art appreciation, but never really criticism. We have a tendency to get trapped into believing that aesthetics are what we should be talking about when we talk about art, but this removes us from the social realities of privatized art spaces.
You don’t have to have a critical mind every waking minute, but it pays to take a step further when participating in art. Ask yourself, where do these paintings come from anyway? The grim answer is simply, from the pockets of landlords who’ve turned the wealth they built from the backs of laborers into pretty shiny ornaments for their mansions.
You’re part of the problem if you see art this way.
How lucky you are that you get to maintain such a stance with fervor. I’m not sugar-coating it — you’re an elitist and it’s clear you’re detached from society.
Kung ganyan na kayo ka-matapobre sa kapwa niyo art hoes at “locals”(tangina who says that still) pano pa kung sakali sa mga janitor, construction worker, etc.
bakit sobrang detached sa idea na ang ganda kung lahat ng bagay afford ng lahat.
Ano meron ke van gogh na deep ba haha
— nicolai (@nicolaimaverick) October 7, 2019
Wouldn’t it be great if art was something everyone had the ability to enjoy, and not just a select few? If you had the privilege of becoming attuned with the art world or even become a participant in it, then the last thing you should be doing is gatekeeping it. You got there because of circumstance. I’m not saying you don’t deserve to be there, but you need to think about why you’re so hellbent on maintaining the status quo, especially if you just happened to be born in the right family.
Just sit down and let people enjoy things.
The world is cruel enough, so di ka na namin kukuyugin. Afterall, maybe it was just some knee-jerk reaction brought about by ivory towers and a romanticized view of art. It’s okay to be wrong, most of us are when we don’t really get the chance to talk about art, let alone in the way that I just did. But you really shouldn’t be popping off about art like you know better, especially if you’re gonna be broadcasting your matapobre views to the world on social media.
Instead, get acquainted with the reality of art and its implications — outside of Twitter threads, that is. It also pays to ask your friends first about whether what you’re about to say is dumb. We’re all victims of the way art operates, so just do better next time and become a better arthoe. Also, maybe don’t delete your tweets and pretend nothing happened. Please also don’t post a non-apology that doesn’t even discuss anything aside from the fact that you got caught red-handed. This really sends the message that you have no interest in understanding art.
In the words of the famous philosopher, Rufa Mae Quinto: Van Gogh Go Go out of your echo chamber and see art for what it is.
What are your thoughts on the whole issue? Tell us your thoughts below!