Again Come in, but this time a little bit different
………the artist saw something, and you are left out.......
In Hungarian the extension –be/-ba means ‘to enter’ or ‘to go inside’. Megyek a boltba means: I enter the shop. I would like to discuss with you entering a piece of art. Because how do you look at an object? Looking at it is one thing, but seeing something? And you can also observe, look inside, as it were. When you learn how to look, you will see more and more, you get in-sight.
In secondary education art appreciation is part of the art classes. The students learn how to look at art, besides hands on creativity. It is a little bit too much to describe the entire subject content, but here are a few starting-points. The first thing you have to allow yourselve is time.
Take your time to look at an object for a long(er) time. A simple exercise:
Try to describe a statue in such a manner that someone who has not seen it, can imagine what it lookes like
This exercise takes time, and forces you to stand stil at an object, and only by describing it you already see more. And while you are describing you are already judging it. You have an opinion. Do you think it is nice or not, well done, artistic? This is a first step towards regarding.
Try to explain the statue, what is it about? Can you give it a title, do you see a subject? Use your own knowledge, your general development, and use your feelings.
Then it is time for the next step: regarding. In artistic terms this is called iconography. Curiosity and amazement are good grounds. Look at parts of the composition, like the form, the colour, the light, material, technique. But what about the presentation? What is it you see? Now it is all about looking for the meaning. For this you use source research: clarification by the artist, the gallery owner, art library, hall text, text in the cataloque, (art) historic text, art programmes on television, internet, the library. From the knowledge you gained by watching and research you come to an interpretation.
A nice pitfall when watching and interpreting a piece of art is that you ascribe a meaning to a statue while you only have little information, or too much knowing, understanding and time. I call that nice, because art history shows that interpretation varies in the course of time. So, feel free to believe in your own truth, and when you can, just enjoy looking and the experience.
I remember an experience I had in the Tate Modern in London . I was looking for Rothko’s work and in the hall, sitting in the midst of the nine paintings, I was impressed by the peace and quiet I experienced. That experience, something that is called the aura of the art piece , is unique for the time and place in which you see and experience the art. The peacefulness in that hall influenced the visitors; a young couple entering the hall laughing out loud was silent while taking two steps.
Now for the last exercise: try and look at this statue, and when you have the opportunity, come and see the gallery for yourself.
 Walter Bejamin: the piece of art in its time: https://sites.google.com/site/kunstfilosofiesite/Home/teksten/benjamin-het-kunstwerk-in-het-tijdperk-van-zijn-technische-reproduceerbaarheid