- What: Look at the art and ask: "What am I looking at?" Share these thoughts with other people. Try to describe it and keep an open mind.
- How: how was it made? Take a look at the label to see the materials, but also think about the actual construction of the piece. How do you think the artist made it? How can you imaging yourself physically building it?
- When: when was it made? Don't just view it from today's standards, but think about the time the artist created it. Does the art fit into what you imaging the time was like, how, and why? And compare and contrast what other artists did from that time.
- Why: Think independently. Don't be critical just to be critical, but try to form your own opinion on why the artist might have created the piece. Sometimes this is related to the above questions, but sometimes not as well.
Have you ever wondered how something can be called "art" when it apparently looks like something you could have created using the leftover paint from painting your garage? Well, in this great video by University of Pittsburgh Professor Terry Smith, at the Andy Warhol Museum, he explains how to look at art using four simple steps:
This is a shame. According to the ArtNews.com (my link is to the LA Times), one-third of all solo museum exhibits in the United States are by artists from five different galleries. In other words, there's a lot of power in the hands of very, very few.
Sure, you can argue that there's diversity in the art world still, just like you can argue there's diversity in the workplace - until you walk into your company's board room and suddenly realize that you either completely belong or you don't at all.
From October 1, 2014 to December 21, 2014, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive will showcase a collection of folk art dating from 1776 to 1861. It includes pieces from portraits to landscapes to sculptures and to even weather vanes. You can check out more here ate the BAM/PFA website.
So the exhibit ended on May 10, 2014. It was a successful exhibit for a couple of reasons. One is that I now have two paintings no longer in my possession. Barcelona Rooftops was sold to a private collector and Cidade à Noite became a part of the museum's permanent collection. The owner of the museum, Guido Viaro (the grandson of the Brazilian painter of the same name for whom the museum is dedicated to), has been gracious enough with his time to introduce me to various galleries across Curitiba, as well. My exposure was good and I'm happy with the results. Opening night saw more people come than any other opener I've done, and it wasn't just friends and family either, but a slew of people in the art community who I've never met before. Of course this is good as now more people have had the opportunity to see my work and spread the word.
Thanks to all who came, helped, and participated. There's only one direction to go now, and that's straight up.
Greg Mason Burns is an American-born painter living in the south of Brasil. These are his thoughts on life as an artist.