Arts Room 101 – Art Farts

If, like me, you find yourself spending much of your free time visiting art galleries, exhibitions and museums, then you will know that people watching is vital.  The stereotypes are unmissable: the three main types falling to school trips, people that know nothing and the opposite; the know it all.  The school kids, apart from occupying much of the floor space, are harmless along with the clueless. However it is the know it alls, commonly known as the art farts, who should definitely be condemned to Arts Room 101.  I cannot argue that they do not dress the part, often fashioning an oversized trench coat, thick-brimmed glasses, novelty socks and a vintage satchel, but this particular stereotype is sure to get on anyone’s nerves. Three of their main blood-boiling character traits include:

Argument 1 – Nose Touching

This is a special sight to see and most likely occurs at sought after exhibitions.  The Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in 2011, for example, was crawling with art farts deeming it acceptable to push their faces so close to the paintings that their noses almost touch.  As much as I can appreciate the importance of a genuine painting it is completely unnecessary to spend over 10 minutes staring at one brush stroke, especially when others in the room have not paid to see the back of someone’s head.

They serve no other purpose but to prove their pomposity

Argument 2 – Modern art is not in their vocabulary.

For the majority of the time art farts see modern art as expensive, ill-skilled and nonsensical. At times I am sure that many people including myself agree, however modern art and all the absurdities that follow are crucial to a historical understanding of art.  Modern art is controversial, ground-breaking and challenging- everything I love about art.  Art snobs turn their noses up at anything that does not comply with conventions but fail to see what is around them now.  They are so stuck in their conventional ways that it makes me wonder whether they are just missing the point.

Argument 3- Philosophical jargon

We all enjoy the odd eavesdrop, especially in a gallery, but when conversation talks of nothing but the abstract, Freudian notions of a picture of a boat I cannot help but think is it not just utter nonsense.  As well as using words no one has ever heard of (because they serve no other purpose but to prove their pomposity) they completely redefine the meaning of whispering, almost breathing down your neck as they start their next pretentious debate.  So, you have been warned, avoid at all costs unless you just want to be told you are wrong about everything.

Antonia Hodges

Image courtesy of dchrisoh via Flickr

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