As humans, we all have talents, we all have things we’re good at. In the world we live in, however, some talents are valued over others. In the world of arts, although it seems unfair, it’s natural. The lead in a Broadway show is going to get more attention than the tech crew, and the prima ballerina is given more attention than the orchestra. Just because they are not valued in the same way, does not mean that in any way they are of lesser importance. The show simply would not happen without the tech crew. Without the orchestra, the ballet would be silent, losing the magic the music brings. Because this imbalance of valuing exists, there is an art form that I believe is undervalued, which I would like to acknowledge. Art would not exist in the same way if there weren’t people who appreciated it. This is not a new idea, but I wanted to dive into the idea that appreciating art is a form of art.
There is always a certain amount of effort that must go into appreciating art. It can be just putting in headphones and listening to music, or walking past a mural that we enjoy, but it isn’t always this easy. People will drive for hours, sometimes crossing into different countries to hear music they love in concert. People will sit in a tattoo parlour for hours, getting continuously poked with needles to get art on their body. People will read until the early hours of the morning because of that book they refuse to put down until they know the ending. This goes further than simply what people will do to experience art, there is also the process of receiving art. Artists will often leave the meaning of their creations open-ended, leaving it up to the viewer to interpret it. This enters the viewer into a sort of partnership with the artist. It is their job, as much as it is the artist’s, to give the art meaning.
There is also some risk involved with being an appreciator. It is often minimal, like purchasing a ticket for a film before you know if you’re going to enjoy it or not. However, this risk is magnetized when involving something like getting into a series of books. When we begin to read a series of books, not only are we investing our time and energy into it, we are also getting emotionally invested in the plot, the characters, and their lives. This is where the risk comes in, because as an appreciator, the art is completely out of our hands. We develop this emotional investment, and put our faith in the creator. And the creator owes us nothing. They create their art as they will, and we take it as it is. If they want to kill our favourite character, as upset as it’s going to make us feel, they have every right to do so.
In every form of art there is, in one way or another, an audience, and the audience plays a very important role in art. I mean, think of the Rocky Horror picture show, of which the best parts are created by the audience members. If you ever feel like there just isn’t an art form you’re very good at; remember, If you appreciate art, no matter the medium, you are also an artist.