No one understands everything, but everyone wants to understand something. Spend a little time discussing one of those fascinating subjects which you just don’t get. Why does it interest you? What don’t you understand?
I don’t understand art. I’m not talking about conceptual art or postmodern art, or any of those strange art movements that nobody understands, but people pretend to in order to sound smart. I’m talking about plain ol’ regular, classical, art that anybody who has eyeballs can appreciate. I have been to numerous museums and art galleries, including the ROM in Toronto, the Met in New York City, and the Getty in Los Angeles. And in all those experiences, I just didn’t get it. My first priority at the Met was to take pictures on its steps pretending to be Blair Waldorf reading a Gossip Girl blast.
When I did go inside the actual museum, my friends and I just went to the ancient Greek statues and took pictures of ourselves pointing at their genitals and laughing. Because we’re classy and mature like that.
Since I am fortunate enough to still have vision, I can understand when a picture is aesthetically pleasing. I can look at a Monet or a Van Gogh and say “oh that’s pretty”. But that’s it. I can’t get anything more out of a picture besides the fact that it’s pretty. That the sunset looks like a really nice sunset, as opposed to my painting of a sunset, which would just look like yellow paint threw up on a canvas, is the only thing about art that I understand separates the good from the bad. I look at art the same way a child watches The Lion King. A child can’t appreciate the film’s rich characters, plot, dialogue, or animation; the kid only knows it’s a good movie because Timon puts on a grass skirt and Pumbaa farts.
I think my problem is that I’m really unartistic. Something simple like putting together a nice outfit is practically impossible for me. My personal wardrobe consists of almost nothing but jeans and mono-coloured shirts. If I’m feeling feisty, the shirt will be a pattern of 2 or more colours, but that’s if I’m dressed to impress, or if all my other shirts are dirty. I dress so boringly because I don’t understand what colours and patterns work well together. I’m also really unobservant. I don’t notice small details like make up, accessories, or shoes unless they are Lady-Gaga like in strangeness. Like how I never notice the details of what others are wearing, I don’t notice the details in a piece of art that make it special. I never notice how the shades and tones compliment or contrast, I don’t notice brush strokes, and I will even miss details related to what is happening in the picture, unless someone else points them out to me.
Another reason why I think I’m an art dummy is the fact that I get easily overwhelmed by visual stimulation (that sentence sounds a lot dirtier than I intended it to, but I’m too lazy to change it). Like many kids my age, I grew up playing a lot of Super Mario Bros on my NES. Unlike most kids, I found the experience extremely stressful. The 8-bit graphics on my TV were terrifying to me. It was sensory overload. By the time I was in fourth grade, and Nintendo 64 had become popular, I was in way over my head. 64 bit graphics? 3 DIMENSIONAL MARIO!? I could not focus on my television screen with that much complicated stuff happening on it. To this day, I have no interest in owning a PS3 or an XBOX 360 because the fancy graphics honestly make the games too difficult for me. I can’t appreciate good art because there is just too much stuff happening in it, and I can’t focus on it all at once.
Being this incapable of understanding art is a bit of a bummer, because I have friends who are so talented in this field, and I wish I could appreciate their work and have more to say about it besides, “Wow! That is really, really, pretty. I mean, really.” But at the end of the day, I think I’m just genetically inclined to be an art dummy forever.