Art Basel Miami Beach, one of the most prestigious art exhibits in the world, is just around the corner. It’s been nine years since Art Basel has been visiting us during the first week of December (2-5). Art Miami and a variety of other art fairs have decided to participate this week with the same objective in mind—to capture worldly collectors’ and buyers’ attentions. Miami is transformed: We breathe a different air and we see unfamiliar faces. Art and culture prevail during this week in our sunny city. No discipline is left behind—we see painting, sculpture, photography, and installations.
The most anticipated art event is finally here in Miami.
But what happens when the general public, who is less knowledgeable about art, is interested in it but feels it somewhat inaccessible?
How can they enjoy art without feeling overwhelmed?
Artist Keith Haring once said: “The meaning of art as it is experienced by the viewer, not the artist. The artist’s ideas are not essential to the art as seen by the viewer. The viewer is an artist in the sense that he conceives a given piece of his own way that is unique to him. His own imagination determines what it is, what it means…”
I personally think that it is not necessary to be a scholar in order to enjoy art that interests and speaks to you. Usually, having that prejudgment is the worst enemy when it’s time to go see art. The best thing to do is relax and let oneself be taken away by the new sensations.
Even though there are no specific guidelines for going to an Art fair, I think that there are some tips that will help you make your visit more enjoyable:
1. It might be helpful to predetermine what will interest you the most. There are very few days and the options are innumerable. The traffic is terrible, so planning a walking tour (when possible) would be ideal.
2. Once at the fair, scanning the exhibits and going straight to what interests you is key. It’s impossible to see everything in detail. So, let yourself be guided by what attracts you since there’s not a lot of time to dedicate to each piece.
3. Once you’re in front of a piece of art, try to understand what interests you about it, and what feelings it stirs, whether they be pleasure, acceptance, or rejection. The beautiful often attracts, but not all art is beautiful, which is why that shouldn’t be your main source of attraction to it. Look at it up close and then from afar. Analyze the color, form, and material composition. If it is a painting, analyze the brushstrokes, color transition, and light sources, among other things.
4. After developing a personal relationship with the painting, it could be helpful to contextualize. Looking at the exhibition label, which includes title, medium, artist and year, could make you see the painting in another light. If you still want more information, you may try to find out about the artist’s painting process, or about his or her future exhibits.
Finally, after enjoying different pieces it might surprise you that art speaks to us in different languages. If we are willing to hear them and let all our senses as well as our soul be touched, it’s probable that we can reach new heights. After all, it’s a journey of self-discovery and a visual pleasure in which enjoying yourself is the key.
For more information about art fairs visit: http://gomiami.about.com/od/artsculture/ a/WinterArtShows.htm