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How to appreciate art in the modern age

by Caleb Hamilton |

Don’t forget the primary goal:
to enlighten,

or lighten
the spirit.

Approach a painting from the top-right corner,
cut a diagonal to the bottom-left,
and examine the borders.
The subject is the absolute last thing you want to see.

For sculptures, identify what appears to be the primary feature.
Ignore it.
Find something more interesting.
Art is in the nuances, the little things.

Concrete poetry
is about as aesthetically pleasing

as the rough gray slop after which it is named.
Leave a palm print on the “visual” installation.

When reading a cartoon,
always chuckle once or twice
(gently, though; laughter is insensible)
and walk away smiling.
But if the comic is political, frown and take a moment. Snort if you like.
Avoid seeming intelligent at all costs.

Above all
you mustn’t read the descriptions
accompanying each work.
You will look silly, as if you don’t understand the masterpiece,
and really those plaques are no help.
Who writes them anyway?

Who could be so pretentious:
that is, who would dare to write a guide on
how to appreciate art?

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