But in all of this study, and after all these years of looking at art, sometimes I forget how important and powerful it can be. I am fortunate in that every single day of my job, I get to handle original artworks, but most of the time, I don't even think about it. It's just my job. I never walk in and think, "I GET TO LOOK AT AND TOUCH ARTWORK TODAY!!!!!!!!" Today though, I realized I should.
I often think about art more in the abstract, like an idea to be discussed, rather than actual, physical objects. Strange, since I argue all the time about object-based focused in art. In all of my studying, writing, and working, I've forgotten how powerful the original artwork can be--and is.
Today, I got to touch an M.C. Escher print. And a Van Gogh print. Two things that the artist also touched. Two things that the artist designed, created, and have survived in amazing condition. I stared at both for minutes on end, poring over each little detail, marveling at how Van Gogh's faces all seem sad, sunken, and full of a world-weariness. Escher's print was like standing on the top of a roof and looking both down and out, with the perspective working perfectly--simultaneously! That is the beauty of Escher, he understood how math made amazing art. Something I still don't grasp in my own work.
The irony of working in a museum is that you can become numb to some of the things you see on a daily basis. Artwork becomes part of a job, not a thing of beauty. Today I was reminded that artwork is a real thing, to be admired, savored, and learned from.