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A Bourgeois Philistine at an Art Show

Somewhere in Ben Franklin's Autobiography he rises to the defense of Pride as a Virtue, rather than Humility as a Virtue. I see his point, for I have just finished going to an art show that my friend invited me to, and am feeling like a Big Shot because I actually enjoyed looking at something there.

In fact I came perilously close to even buying something there. It is hard to believe. 

There was one table full of ceramic bowls, plates, and mugs. The colors appealed to me, even though I am usually indifferent to colors. Perhaps it helped that the colors were somewhat muted earth tones instead of the garish and girlish colors that are more usual at an art show.

Or maybe it was the possible functionality of the ceramic work. If only my brain didn't automatically go into "optimize the equations" mode, and block any kitchen receptacles other than melamine, the lightest and most durable material for a traveler.

Another way of looking at art is to de-emphasize the end result and try to imagine producing the art. After all, we are usually fixated on the End Result when appraising somebody else's work, while being coldly indifferent to the means they went through to get the end result. With our own work, the Means takes up 98% of the effort, before the End pops out.
It is fun to imagine a spinning pottery wheel, with your hands in that mud (a la kindergarten), forming and shaping it with your arms and hands.

Well, there you have it: my great success as a connoisseur of art. To get past the 5 or 10% level I will have to renounce being a male sexist pig, a bourgeois philistine, or a utilitarian kill-joy.


Anonymous said…
Please don't overthink this exceptional experience. Your readers like you being who you are.

Didn't a wise man once say, I overthink therefore I am, or something like that?