- Hipster-ize the Look.
Don’t be silly by walking into an art museum wearing a tee and jeans. There’ll be Ray-Bans and flower headbands galore, so here’s how to stand out. Invest in a DSLR — one of those unnecessarily expensive long-lens ones — so you can selfie with your favorite nude statue. Next, accessorize with a Starbucks cup, nose ring and fedora. Better yet, shoot for some more androgynous hipster apparel like a collared button-down and skinny jeans. And heed this extremely critical point: The pants should never reach the ankles. Hipsters prefer to roll them up and sport them with a pair of Wingtips, Toms or combat boots. One more tip: Avoid brand-named clothing lines, such as Hollister or Versace. On second thought, Versace could pass. Now you look like you actually understand art.
- Take a Selfie with Your Favorite Work of Art.
Whether you pose next to “homie Jesus” at his Last Supper or use perception to make it seem like you’re extra friendly with the statue of David, make it good. In fact, make it absurd. So absurd that it’d be awkward for the security guard to approach you and tell you to stop. After all, the guard just doesn’t understand genuine appreciation of art. Here’s the logic: Selfie-ing is the practice of narcissism, yes? Then by the transitive property, a=b and b=c, and with several theories within the metapsychology of narcissism … you are merely appreciating art.
- Spend a Good Portion of Your Time and Money at the Museum Café and Souvenir Shop.
Sorry to break the news to you — museum shops are expensive. But look, true hipsters are willing to spend over $50 for a pair of Toms. That is dedication (and a serious waste of money #worth). With that, make your way to the museum café or gift shop and spend your lifetime’s savings away. Pick up some crappy coffee served in a cute little mason jar, and try not to get frustrated when you realize you don’t get to keep the mason jar, even if you just paid triple the amount of the mason jar for the coffee. But, after all, it’s the image that counts. So while sipping on your deluxe coffee, pull out your sketch pad and pretend to do art. Passersby will notice your utter devotion and secretly admire you.
Later, check out the museum gift shop. Literally, check out every single item there is at the cashier. How else will you remember what you saw that day? What was that one portrait of this manly-looking woman with the creepy smile by What’s-His-Face? Oh! Let me just pull out my overpriced knock-off print of the Mona Lisa and reminiscence about the moment I glanced at the so-called glorious painting and guiltily thought, “This shit is art?”
- Jog from Exhibit to Exhibit.
Time is of the essence, my friends. Most art museums are endless, virtually impossible to finish within a day; it is suggested that visitors jog, or ideally run, from exhibit to exhibit. Spend a maximum of two minutes indulging each work, leaving most of that time for the most important part of the process: Selfie-ing. Besides, more sweat means more passion.
- Use all Five Senses.
How are you to grasp the brilliance of the painting just by looking at it? Run your fingers along the paintings. Scratch and prod the paintings. Caress and run your fingers along every curvature of the statue’s body. Manhandle Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. And, if you ever get the chance to climb inside the sacred Egyptian sarcophagi, don’t forget to inscribe your name. Allow yourself to taste the paintings. How can you take an art inspector’s word that this work of art is legitimate? Lick it to see if this oil painting actually tastes like oil. Sip it to see if this watercolor piece actually quenches your thirst. Listen to the artwork. If it’s surely a work of art, it will speak to you. The act of such scrutiny is just another demonstration of appreciation. You’ve got to literally embrace l’objet d’art.
Sophie Felice Ho hands out good advice every Thursday.