Anytime I find myself wanting to do something fun or interesting or engaging these days, I end up somehow keeping my mind occupied by something stimulating. At first, it was just reading books I had stored in some old cardboard boxes. This kept me interested in something new with each read-through of an old book. It stimulated me in ways that not much else would and, to be honest, brought me back to a time that I had the free time to read as much as I wanted.
But then I started to take on a new hobby, and that was going to museums and gardens to view art. Art is, honestly, complex enough to seem pointless or confusing or “dumb” to people who don’t take the time to appreciate it, understand it, or “get” it.
I can’t blame them, though. I used to be one of them. I don’t think I ever thought of art as dumb. It was just confusing to me and left me with more questions than I came with. Little did I know, however, that that meant the art was working. It made me question it, question things. It made me feel things without me realizing that I was feeling them. And that, honestly, is the essence of art.
Perhaps it took me visiting a few art museums with my fiancee to see the true beauty of it all. Perhaps it was the fact that we gave each piece a healthy amount of time to sink in, which allowed us to think about it and discuss it afterwards. Perhaps it was neither of those things and I just haven’t visited an art museum in a long while. Yet now that I’ve read more and grown more and thought more and seen more and experienced more, I understand it better than I would have when I was younger.
No matter the case, I’ve a newfound obsession with viewing art. I no longer want to just stick to my books from my cardboard boxes. Instead, I want to go out and apply the knowledge I’ve gained from those books. I want to think about things. I want to appreciate things. I want to understand what it is that makes these things called art so good, so high culture.
With a little help from my experiences growing up, the things I learned in class from college, and the books and articles I continue to read, I think I can learn to appreciate art to its fullest. It’ll take time, and it’ll likely take multiple viewings, but I want to be able to achieve that.