I think that art should be integrated into the daily lives of people. I do not mean that everyone needs a copy of a great masterwork in their living room, either. I mean art in the truest sense: the pieces that make us feel something meaningful. That beautify our surroundings. That make a place feel like home. The main reason why I got a job in a gallery instead of a museum was because I think art should be part of life and not behind a velvet rope or locked away.
I am not picky, either. I am not going to argue with anybody about taste. With all of my education, I certainly have an appreciation for pieces done by the masters. But that might not reflect your real life. And that’s fine with me. I don’t care if you still have your kid’s handprint turkey on the wall and they are now 40. If you walk past that turkey with a smile and think, “I remember the day he brought that home. He was so proud of himself. Look at how small his little hand was!” It is evoking an emotion in you. Guess what that means? That handprint turkey is art. It is something woven into the fabric of your life and your home. Rather than tell you to take it down and put up a Matisse reprint, I’d tell you to hang more.
Art isn’t about how much you spent on a piece or whose signature is on it. What matters is what speaks to you. The art that you like is a reflection of you and what you value. Make the space that you live and work a reflection of you and the things you care about. I don’t care what you choose as long as you choose something. Look around the walls in the places you spend the most time: the living room. Your desk at work. Your bedroom. Are the walls blank? Have you hung anything? What does that space say about you? And the more important question: do you like what it says about you?
If you go on vacation and you take a gorgeous picture of the landscape, don’t doom it forever to life on your memory card. Or worse, sit on a hard drive somewhere. Get it printed. Heck, get it enlarged. Put it in a frame. Get it matted. Go crazy and get it printed on canvas. Make it look like the art that it is. Hang it somewhere people can see it and then brag about it. Every time you see it, you will remember that moment and how you felt. It will make the dark days a little brighter and shine a light on those tough times at work.If you can’t make holes in the walls, use that 3M stuff. Buy cheap posters if you are low on funds. Buy your favorite children’s book, gently remove your favorite page and frame it for your baby’s room. Take apart an old calendar and hang the pictures. Put postcards (either side, who cares!) in frames. Paint something. Paint anything. Go on a paint night with friends. Paint with your kids. Use a 3d printer to make something. Use a computer drawing program and print it out. There are so many ways to add life and color to your surroundings. Look around you. Change your space. Add art. Change your life.