Why do Gopnik and Viveros-Fauné spend an entire hour discussing a single work? Because that is what art deserves. Consider that people spend weeks, even months, with a novel; hours with a movie or a play; and countless hours playing video games
But when it comes to visual art, the treatment—the time devoted to a viewing—can approximate the length of a drive-by shooting or a turn on the catwalk. Too often people literally take a spin around the room of a gallery or a museum and then dine out on the experience—”We saw Pollock!” They say. “And Judd and Albers and Soutine!” Of course, they did see those artists’ works; they just didn’t spend much time with those artists and artworks. They didn’t, as it were, slow down and hang out (sorry) with those artworks for a meaningful length of time.
The amount of work it takes to create any piece of art is significant. For a movie, it may take years to make the 90 minute film. For a painting, several weeks or months.
The world is moving in the wrong direction in terms of speed of consumption and in terms of how it is consumed. A selfie with a piece of art is about you. Not about the art.
Art deserves more.
photo credit : jackson-pollock.org