Viewing art can be an engaging and meaningful experience, but not everyone knows how to look at art. Just glancing at the pretty pictures doesn’t help you experience art in any lasting way; it doesn’t challenge you to think about what you’re seeing. If you want to learn more about how art can make you think, explore this four-step process from the FrameStore today.
Table of Contents
1. Take Your Time Looking
Museums and exhibits can be very overwhelming, with rooms upon rooms of sculptures, paintings, and more. Don’t rush through a space to say that you saw everything! Study an entire work before moving on, paying close attention to details and asking yourself what you notice that might make the piece special.
An easy way to ensure you’re taking your time to experience art is to give yourself 30 seconds to look at a piece before turning away and trying to remember every detail you observed. Now, turn back. What did you miss?
2. Describing What You See
The next step in creating an art experience is describing or writing down what you see. Consider the shapes, colors, materials, composition, lines, and subject matter of the work. How do the physical details of the piece come together to create art? Ask yourself how the frame surrounding the work enhances the art. How do the colors work together — do they complement one another or provide dissonance? What does the medium add to the work?
3. Think About Interpretation & Meaning
As you’re looking at the art around you, there are many things to ask yourself besides the physical representation of the work. Interpretation and meaning are a substantial part of the art experience and can change how you see the world. Ask yourself some questions, including:
- What is the setting of the piece? Period? Location?
- What is the emotion of the work? Sad? Happy? Menacing? How do you know?
- What do you think the artist was trying to say?
4. Connecting Art to Life
The best way to experience art is to figure out how it relates to your life. Consider whether the piece reminds you of anything you’ve encountered, and ask yourself what exactly about the work makes you think of your own life. You can also compare this particular work to others you’ve seen displayed. Are they similar? Do the different pieces relate to the same event or make you feel the same way?
Art During COVID
You may not be able to go to a physical location during quarantine, but many museums and galleries offer free online experiences. Now that you know how to look at art, visit MOMA, The Getty Center, The Natural History Museum, or LACMA virtually to view slideshows of featured art pieces and experiment with connecting to each piece.
At FrameStore, we’ve worked with museums and exhibits all over California to help them enhance and preserve their artwork through the perfect frame. Our expertise can help you learn to appreciate art more fully and ensure you find the ideal frame for a piece that hangs in your own home. Reach out to us today to learn more!