Alexis Kuperfis’ advices for enjoying art exhibitions at the museum
Everyone has at least been to museum once in their lifetime. However, for many people, this may have been the last time they attended an art exhibition. And for good reason, not being in the mood to go to a museum is perfectly normal. This type of activity is far from today’s concerns. In addition, simply going to a museum is not particularly pleasant between the queues, the immensity of the building and the multitude of artworks on display. Or you find yourself in such a small and empty museum, that you wonder if you are at the right place. Finally, there is also the art problem, with a capital A. Quite often, when you stay in front of a work of art, nothing happens. At the same time, with the surrounding noise, it is quite difficult to feel anything. Consequently, how can you enjoy your visits to the museum? Alexis Kuperfis, as an art exhibitions lover, gives you some advices.
Choose your museum
Before going to an exhibition, it is relevant to ask yourself a question: what do I want to see? Alexis Kuperfis thinks that there is not enough questioning about the reasons we go to the museum. Do I want to see beautiful works? To see or re-see specific works? To see things that I know or on the other hand I do not know? Do I want to be surprised?
Whatever the answers to these questions, they can help you choose what you will see. If you know what you are looking for, you will have more chance to find it. Moreover, if you do not have the answers to these questions, it is undoubtedly because you are looking for something new, which is an excellent reason to go to museum.
Not wanting to see everything
Once you are at the museum, you will have to get used to the idea that you will not be able to see all the works of art. In particular, if you visit the Louvre, which houses over 460,000 works, including only 35,000 exhibited. Even if you spend only 10 seconds in front of each one, it will take you three day and two nights without any break to see everything.
To be honest, it is not compulsory to see everything in a museum. Let yourself wander, lose yourself if the heart tells you to, in order to be sure to come across something unexpected. When your look is attracted by a work of art, stop. Look at how the works of art are settled. If you have the impression that some are isolated from others, it may be because they matter more than the others. A good reason to take a look around.
Take some breaks
Visiting a museum is quite exhausting. First, physically, because we do not walk in a museum as we should: we walk in small steps, slowly, we spend our time stopping and standing. In short, the ideal combination for back pains. Thus, if you are in pain, there are a little chance that you will be intellectually and emotionally available to connect yourself with the works of art. Moreover, looking at art requires a lot of concentration. It is comparable to reading a book dealing with a specific topic. So, take breaks!
Feel free to sit down often and come with good shoes. While you are sitting, look at the rooms as a whole.
Take your time
As Alexis Kuperfis points it out, most people have a false idea of the effect that art can have on them. Indeed, they expect that when they stand in front of a work of art, they will be directly upset and transported by the work. But this rarely happens. Most often, finding oneself in front of a painting, a sculpture or an installation product few effects. At best, we think to ourselves “it is pretty” or “it is quite interesting”. Sometimes we do not feel anything… And since we do not feel the emotions we think we should feel, we are looking for some explanations, we feel guilty, we tell ourselves that we do not have the knowledge to understand or that we do not have the artistic fibre. “Art is not for me” is a sentence it is often heard from uninitiated people. Personally, Alexis Kuperfis considers that if some works strike us because they are immense, disturbing, technically virtuosic, most of them can only be appreciated only if we spend some time in front of them. During an exhibition: stop in front a work and look at it. Your eyes will first go through it in all directions, then you will have the impression that you have seen it all and you will want to leave. It is at that very moment that you have to force yourself a little: stay and take a closer look if you want, take the time, analyse the colours, the materials, the light, the details. This is when you will begin to discover things and that you will become familiar with the work.
Beware of plaques
The plaques are small signs found in museum next to the works of art. They give you information such as title, artist, date, technique, and eventually the period of time, the movement in which the work is part of and sometimes even a short explanatory text.
The plaque is very useful for obtaining this information. However, in order to have explanations about the work, especially in modern and contemporary art, it is not very helpful for the visitor. Most of the time, it loses him even more. Therefore, Alexis Kuperfis advices to pay attention only to the simple and concise plaques, that give clear information.
Make the works yours
Often, we do not know in which direction to look at a painting or a sculpture. The advice is may be to take some pictures. Think about what you are photographing, the framing, the light, etc. Do not take neutral pictures, think yourself as an artist.
You can also take a notebook and a pencil, in order to draw the works you like. Even if you don’t draw, approach them as if you were going to reproduce them on paper. It is namely efficient for sculpture. For instance, turn around by trying to think about where you would stand if you had to draw it. Moreover, get emotionally involved, have fun. It allows you to keep memories and to have a good time.
Images are seen everyday, whether through photography, television, cinema or advertising. As a result, even if we don’t realize it, we already have all the skills required to understand these images. So trust yourself. With a little bit of practice, you will soon be perfectly comfortable in museums. And do not forget that the first impression is often the right one. If a work makes you feel uncomfortable, amuses you, confuses you, use your feelings and analyse them. Which elements in the work make you feel what you feel?
If you don’t know how to take a work, ask yourself simple questions about what you see, without looking for any analyse. What are the materials used? Are there some elements of the daily life? Which ones? Have they been transformed? How? How big is the work? Can I turn around the work? Although not all of these questions will necessarily help you to understand all the questions the artist wanted to rise, it will gives you good leads to understand what you are in front of and what you can feel.
In order to enjoy at best your visit to art museums, do not think that this type of activity is not for you. Just let yourself go, walk around the rooms and do not overthink. Give way to your feelings. By following Alexis Kuperfis’ advices, you may be able to discover a new passion for yourself.
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