Visitors experience Olafur Eliasson’s “The Weather Project” at the Tate Modern

WEEK 2: View art in person

These days, much art viewing occurs online. This makes sense in one way– the internet offers potentially global reach to virtually every artist. You can Google “Gerhard Richter” and see almost his entire catalogue instantly.

Despite this wide accessibility and the fact that the internet is an incredible tool for artists, there are also drawbacks to viewing art online. For one, the presence of a work is entirely eliminated when viewing it in JPG format. Viewing artworks online is viewing a representation of them, a much different experience from viewing the work in person.

Subtle nuances, brush strokes, medium, materials, and installation are just a few things that you get to take in when viewing a work of art in person. I would venture to say it is an entirely different and overall better experience to view a work of art properly installed in a gallery or museum, and should be chosen over viewing online whenever possible.

As I firmly believe that viewing artwork in person is a much better learning experience, I recommend visiting a gallery or museum. Take your time and closely look at each piece. Learn what you can from every aspect of your visit and viewing, paying attention to as many details as possible. How do other artist’s works compare to your own? How are other works of art installed compared to how you show your work? How about framing and presentation?

Project for the week: visit a museum or gallery. Take your time, consider the questions above, and enjoy the experience!

In case you missed it, check out the week 1 project: contacting artists you admire.

Image by Nick Winchester

4 thoughts on “10 Ways to Improve your Artistic Career – Week 2

  1. Internet is an incredible tool, bit it was never meant to replace the real life experience…i hope!
    We should never lose touch with the real thing…like standing in front of a palpable canvas, like hugging a real friend in your arms,…
    I surf the internet to know what shows are on. And then when there’s something I want to see, i am running out of that door as soon as possible!!

  2. I totally agree, I love visiting museums and that is always the first (and often only) thing I do when I visit a city.
    Too bad right now I am out in the country and it has gotten quite difficult for me to get to a city and a museum, but I can’t complain either.. I keep myself busy with the art galleries around here which are pretty good.

    Although yes, yes and yes again. Hurray for museums!

  3. I am often challenged when i say photography is not an art. I spent over 25 yrs as a photographer and then became a brush artist. I’ve travelled to virtually all the museums in the world and I learned one thing early on, if you’re standing before a Tischen or a Pollock there just seems to be a tremendos amount of energy coming off those paintings. No one has ever stood before a Van Gogh and not felt something magical take place. No matter how wonderful any printing process may be or a Retina display you will never get the energy from being face to face with a painting in person. Photography doesn’t hit the mark because it is the result of a mechanical process. YES composition can be interpreted in an artistic way…and subject matter can entice. But NOTHING compares to a personal encounter with oil and canvas. A CD can give you the experience of a Golliwog’s Cakewalk by DeBussy nothing will ever match a live performance. An acoustic guitar is sweet to the ear, a painting in person is sweet to the eye and penetrates the soul of the viewer. For what it’s worth…

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