Looking At Art (With Your Eyes Closed)
Includes 52 exercises for your next visit to the modern art museum.
Paperback: 128 pages
Size: 148mm X 115mm
This book is about the power of art.
The room, the art gallery, only has four walls but it can expand, through your perceptions, to contain much more.
Perhaps it can be everything?
My volume confers value on you, the viewer, the potential artist. It makes you, for the moment of looking, the centre of things. It encourages you to trust your own intuition.
Step into a new version of reality.
In my own history, the gallery has been an important place, an area of discovery, of experiment. When I couldn’t access these ideas in real life, the exhibition space gave me the opportunity to take a chance, to play. And so allowed me to explore the boundaries of myself – through visual image, philosophy, new experiences, shock.
I became the artist by being there.
Therefore, I offer this book to you with a full heart, knowing the impact that art has had on me. I trust that it can have the same effect on you.
Look, see, feel.
What's The Feeling? / It's The Totality Of The Experience That Counts / Trust Your First Impressions / Be Pretentious / Spend 30 Minutes In Each Room / Sit Down (If Necessary On The Floor) / Close Your Eyes / As Things Pop Up, Write Them Down / Use Your Own Voice / Give It Another Name / What Is Un-Say-Able / Use The 'I' Word / Liquidity / Detune Your Eyes / Put Yourself In The Frame / Take A Step Forward / Slow Down / Draw It / Turn It Upside Down / Or Turn Yourself Upside Down / Make A Map / Change Figurative To Abstract / Get Your Hands Dirty / Don't Read The Label Or Listen To The Guide / Don't Take Photographs /
Make a List Of Qualities / Choose Something That Repels / Imagine What You Are Looking At Doesn't Exist / Use The Gallery And Its Double / Climb Down The Ladder / Become The Main Event / Mirror Yourself / Cave Painting / Describe It In One Word / Visit A Single Item / Start At The End And Work Backwards / Zoom Out / Ask A Child's Opinion / Use Your Curiosity / Be Authentic / Step Inside The Image / Leave The Room And Come Back / Be Prepared To Exit / Take Away 90% Of The Image / Shrink It / Ask A Stranger What They Think / Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow / Leave The Gallery / Aftermath / You, The Artist / The Wound / Endings
EPILOGUE – USING MENTAL TECHNIQUES
WHAT’S THE FEELING?
You are in the gallery and the work is in front of you.
How do you proceed?
At this moment it’s worth remembering that it’s the feeling that the piece evokes in you that's important.
Nothing else matters.
Of course, there is content, form, colour – but put that aside just now. What does the painting or sculpture provoke in you?
Don’t confuse a thought for a feeling; don’t allow an intellectual process to take the place of an emotion.
If you start with –
• The artist intends
• A formal conceit
• Their colour palette
then you are on the wrong track.
Instead, start with ‘I’.
‘I feel’, ‘I understand’, ‘I believe’.
Make yourself the subject.
The artwork is merely a vehicle to get you to the best version of yourself.