It's OK to look

Summer Wheat, Bully, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, 2011. Courtesy Samson Projects.
One of the “getting to know you” questions we always ask people when we first meet someone who wants to start buying or collecting is “what has your experience been buying  art locally?”.  For that matter, we even ask people who haven’t bought any art this question…we really like to ask it of everyone. 

Negative or positive the act of visiting a gallery is a curious one. How often do you walk into a very quiet pristine space just to look at something?  The very setting gives the impression that it’s a rarefied experience, and probably an expensive one. Walking into a gallery can be intimidating – even for a seasoned art-professional.  One’s reaction to art is personal, and for many people, not something they want to share – yet we are forced to when we enter a gallery space.  We are being watched (or feel we are) while we look at something. Weird.

So take a minute and turn this around – the gallery has the art up so you can look at it.  Their only other option for showing art is to put work up online – and really, the experience of seeing it live is totally superior.   So go ahead and look – walk in, and walk out five minutes later if you hate it, or linger if you love it.  Really, it’s OK to look.