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The day when art stopped being glamorous

People often ask me: "Barbs, what's the deal with art today?" Actually, no one ever asks me that, but if they did I would tell them the spotlight is set on the wrong things.

art glam

Art, or the modern media version of it: "glam", seems to be focusing on a peculiar set of things. These glamorous things are surely not accessible to everyone either because of their cost, or because of the assets that nature gave us. I'm talking about fast cars, bikini body, luxurious leisure time, and so on. Despite all this, glamorous lives are easily available to comparison thanks to social media.

The Dutch artist Vermeer pointed out how something that is actually available to everyone wouldn't be considered glamorous. And he said it centuries ago! He actually intended 'glam' in such a way that it shouldn't even be sought after. Think of everyday things like kindness and truth. Vermeer thought those were the right things people needed to direct their attention to. We live in a time where there is a constant and exciting urge for extraordinary and dramatic things. It's like we need them to fill our days forgetting that each one of us is a profoundly mysterious and unique being, and art, at least Vermeer's idea of art, was meant to identify what we overlooked. Art highlights what is genuinely worth being appreciated. Think of friendship but without the filters.


The other day, I was shocked when someone on my Facebook newsfeed wrote they have absolute no interest in going to see an art exhibition or a gallery. My eyes grew bigger than those of Wile e Coyote when he sees the Road Runner. Which is unamusingly not much bigger than their actual size. I'm not saying that if everyone were to visit art exhibition the world would be a better place. I am saying that if 'glamorous people' spent a little more time around another kind of artistic expression, Instagram might have turned out rather differently.


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