Earlier today, I crossed paths with someone I've seen on numerous occasions.
This person is not a friend or even an acquaintance; just someone I run into from time to time and greet with a cordial, "Hello."
I barely get a "Hello" in return. In fact, this person is one of the most joyless people I've ever ... not met. Never a smile. I almost get a sense of snarky cynicism designed to create the illusion of sophistication. Whatever the case, I wish the person well. You never know what people are dealing with in their lives.
All of this brings to mind the same kind of disposition I see in many folks in the art world. You know, in all of my years as an art lover, art writer and even interviewer, I've NEVER heard anyone say they love art because it's "FUN."
Before I go on, let's just define "fun" for the sake of clarity. Dictionary.com defines "fun" as "something that provides amusement." Also, "enjoyment or playfulness."
The very definition of fun provides an answer to why many adults - especially in the art world - don't use it very much, if at all. Playfulness. Playfulness is most often reserved for kids. Not many adults out there want to be thought of as "playful or fun." First and foremost, we want to be taken "seriously" and somehow, we think that seriousness and sophistication cannot coexist with playfulness or fun.
We all have so many responsibilities, challenges and problems we’re faced with on a daily basis. Who has time for something as comparatively frivolous as “fun”? Remember fun? What ever happened to fun?
This is such a shame because life is SO short. We don't get to come back and do this over again. We may as well be having fun whenever and wherever we can. I love contemporary art, writing about art, running my website, ArtBookGuy and chatting with artists and art people because above everything else ...
There, I said it. Call me silly, call me stupid, call me unsophisticated and gullible, but guess what? I bet I'm having more fun than you.
It's time for the art world to regain its confidence and drop the snobby pretense that fools no one.
Let's have fun people!
How can we expect people to buy art from stuck up, constipated-looking art dealers? How can we expect people to even visit art galleries or museums when they're greeted by joyless, indifferent and yes, sometimes rude art people?
Fun is so simple and free. It's easy to do. Fun is a choice. Fun is the ultimate in sophistication because it requires inner assurance and joy that comes from knowing that life is precious. Fun is about throwing caution to the wind and being vulnerable in the face of uncertainty.
In order to have fun, you must have faith that in the end, everything is going to be okay. It's the art of living.
Sometimes, in our determination to be taken seriously, we come across as joyless and worse yet, BORING. Oh my God. Is there anything worse than being called, "boring"? Or even "bored"? Yikes.
I keep thinking about that joyless soul I see from time to time. Maybe I should say something. On second thought, I think I'll just continue to be cordial and mind my own business. I think this person has been put into my life so that I could write these words that you're reading. After all, life is a learning experience for us all, No?
The next time I see this person, I'll just smile and remind myself that life is too short to go around frowning all the time.
With that, I'll suggest to us all ... Lighten up! Go out every once in a while and ...