Tag Archives: advise

Museums Get Tough on the Selfie Stick

Walking through museums behind young children scares me. Weird huh? Well, young children have young minds. Those minds have not quite matured enough to figure out that running into the 3000 year old vase swinging your toy is not a good idea.

Children usually lack that bit of common sense and need an adult to guide them through this experimental period of their lives. My years as an educator have taught me that sometimes this common sense passes on to the next generation and sometimes it doesn’t.

In the prehistoric world very few people lived to see 30 years old. Why? Because back then, without medicine and technology, one grand act of stupidity took them out of the human breeding population for good.

But, we’ve moved on. We invented. We, as a species, overcame the chance that doing a stupid thing results in your untimely death. There are no more Wooly Rhinoceroses to play cow tipping with.

Likewise, we now have rules of no running in the museum. Museums hired guards to patrol the art galleries to enforce this rule. Calmness and serenity should descend in the art museum. Unfortunately, human ingenuity is known for creating both chaos and order.

Enter the latest act of social silliness, the selfie stick. According to Molly Shilo of the Observer the MoMA is the latest in a long string of museums including the Frick and the Guggenheim that have seen the potential danger in our latest social craze. In response, they have all outlawed the use of selfie sticks in the museum.

No more can the young carefree mind swing a selfie stick around and carelessly carve up a Caravaggio. No one will accidentally poke a Pollock. That 3,000-year-old vase of the sheer genius and artistic style of a civilization long dead is still viewable to everyone.

In the end, this is a good thing. It’s a sign that the museums are responding to popular outside trends and are trying to save both the world of art history and the youth of today.  It saves the art world from unmitigated disaster and any youths from making a stupid life-changing mistake in the name of a selfie.

The young student of the arts may not understand what the big deal is. They may even rebel at the idea of not being allowed to have this fun. I wish to encourage a sense of patience to these future protectors of human ingenuity. Your selfie is not worth it.

In order to explain this concept, one must understand  that while we have a better chance of surviving the consequences of our actions. If you mutilate a $41.1 million Matisse with your selfie stick you may wish you didn’t survive.   Your allowance sure won’t.

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Maybelle Loves Patrons, Work and Theme Connections

Have you ever looked at an artwork and thought, “Ehh…”?  You don’t hate the work, but you certainly don’t love it either.  You’re not alone. This happens every time I look at art online. Why does this happen?   It’s because a connection did not form between you and the artist.

When an artist creates artwork, they are working towards creating a connection on some psychological level between themselves, their artwork, and hopefully, a patron.  The connection is an internal meaning that both the patron and the artist can mutually identify with.   It’s of paramount importance to creating any art form and specifically to continuing the artist’s particular artistic vision.

Making a connection is a risky affair for most artists. It means sacrificing the need to please everyone approach of your work and instead selecting a particular topic as the subject of the artwork.

Sadly, not every piece of art produced will create the connection that the artist so fervently works for. It’s even possible for the artwork to make connections with other viewers that was never actually grasped by the buyer. That’s the gamble and struggle of art.

Some artists seem to create these connections effortlessly.  For example, Leonardo Da Vinci was famous for creating art that glorified his patrons while insulting them at the same time. He was obviously a genius at making meaningful connections to be able to produce such results consistently. But for the rest of us, why are these connections so difficult to create or manage?

It’s not really our ability to create that is the problem. Instead, the answer lies in our individuality as a consumer. As Carolyn Edlund of Artsy Shark suggests, it’s about themes. When we go art shopping, we usually unconsciously purchase things according the theme in us.

If a rancher goes online looking for western artwork, he or she is probably very attached to art portraying life on a ranch. It’s something the rancher can identify with and it becomes personally important. This makes it highly unlikely that he/she will purchase Japanese Anime.

Maybelle
Maybelle

Anime is not an interest of the rancher and has very little sway in making his or her purchasing decisions. On the other hand, a wonderful metal print of a cow that is for sale will grab the rancher’s attention. People only tend to purchase what they are truly interested in.

Every patron of the arts will differ in opinion about what is worthy of their consideration as a collector and what is not. It’s simply a matter of personal preference.

So, when a photographic artist looks at an image and wonders whether to sell it or not, they must try to select what theme would produce the greatest chance of that shot being sold.   In fact, the mere act of placing a picture under a particular theme is also an example of the artist trying to make that ever-elusive connection.

So, what’s your favorite art theme?

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