The phrase “art is boring” might offend art lovers! Whether you like it or not, art is constantly changing the world. It is an integral part of the collective human conscience. It works to affect social change when activists show images of children suffering, from poverty or oppression, in their campaigns.
When photographers publish photos of war-torn areas, it catches the attention of the masses whose hearts reach out for those in need of an escape.
Art can also serve as a respite from the humdrum of our normal day-to-day routines and can serve as a form of entertainment.
Why is it then, that some people find art to be boring?
Is it because they are not exposed to the unbound nature of different art forms.
Or is it because human emotions are so subjective that what fascinates the creator may not invoke the same emotions in the audience?
Does art have to be ‘good’ to be considered not boring, or does it have to be provocative or shocking to induce reactions?
Let’s look into some of the common narratives around – why art is boring?
Art is boring because I don’t understand it
Very few people are born with an innate sense of understanding all the existing art forms.
Expecting to understand art instinctively is akin to thinking that one might understand the views of another individual without talking to them.
Much like the skill of holding a conversation, appreciating art is something that is cultivated over time. If we are exposed to better ‘conversations’ with art as children or young adults, it becomes much easier to understand.
Also, it helps to derive value from various forms such as modern art, contemporary movement arts, etc. However, no one is too old to engage with art.
Art is boring because I can’t relate to it
When you know why a work of art was created or research the story behind its inspiration, you make it easier for your mind to understand. Only then does art cease to be boring.
So, the next time you see a piece of art that seems to catch your interest but you’re not sure why to ask yourself how this work of art came to be.
Who was the artist and what could their inspiration have been? How did these works impact other people who saw this before me?
Do I feel the same way when I see it or does it hold a different meaning to me?
Let see if you still art is boring or not.
Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll find that the piece of art is no longer as boring as you thought it was.
It is deeply personal and subject to the interpretation of the viewer.
Art is irrelevant in modern times
The famous theater director Anne Bogart, in her essay titled How to Embody Time, wrote that she experienced time in two different ways- horizontal and vertical.
Time flows horizontally when one is moving hurriedly from one task to another in their day.
However, there are moments of pause where there doesn’t seem to exist either a past or a future. These breaks can be from something as simple as meditation, or something as sensorial as art.
What she means is that art can become the very means of experiencing time. She says:
“Art creates the experience of vertical time for the perceiver by plunging a stake or dropping an anchor into the endless flow of time, thereby creating a sense of eternity in the human body.”
When we talk about art, we often forget that most, if not all works of art are bound by a fourth dimension- time.
Art is usually a reaction to the current trends and ethos of society. Artists can only react to things in their past or present.
Hence, when we look at realistic paintings from centuries bygone, we must remember that these were produced before the advent of the camera.
With the advent of industrialization and mass production in the 20th century, new technology made the emergence of new mediums much easier. Art moved away from being a realistic (or ‘boring’) representation of our world.
Artists went from using pastels and paints, into digital and 3D media, using imaging software and innovative materials to create works of art.
Contemporary artists are using insects, dirt, and even. It can’t be denied- art is a sign of the times.
Maybe art does not impact me directly
Online, almost all kinds of subjects are depicted in art, be it in the form of entertaining cartoons or culturally significant music and movies.
What’s more interesting, is that technology has democratized art that would otherwise be subject to the whims of a museum curator.
Most kinds of visual arts – from films and photographs to paintings (and even memes!) – are now being presented and circulated online.
While classic galleries still exist in most cities, most artists find that it’s much easier for new creations to gain attention through the internet.
In the recent past, works of art- either temporal or permanent- posted on social media apps have become instrumental in leading social movements and protests.
The art world is no longer steeped in economic and racial discrimination but has become a level playing field.
This has led to a diverse range of voices from all over the globe; anyone can now create and find an audience that relates to their lived experiences.
Too much money for something ‘My Two-Year-Old Could Have Made’
As you read this, art continues to find ways to change and enhance the human experience.
And yes, it can enhance your life as well.
Art is not just confined to white gallery walls or stuffy classical music and serious plays.
Therefore, we don’t just showcase inspiration, we make it accessible.
We envision a world that is full of artists and patrons from all walks of life, who can understand and purchase art that moves them, even if it is not something that is very expensive.