Having To Talk About Art Is Basically My Worst Nightmare

I am generally a person with a lot to say about most things. Even things most people in their right minds would have nothing to say about. For instance, yesterday I was considering doing a post ranking Romanov impostors, because this is somehow a thing I have opinions on.

There are, however, two subjects on which I have absolutely nothing to say. One of them is Geology. Not that it ever comes up in conversation, mind you, but I have never been so mad at anything in life as I was at sitting in a Geology class in college. Three hours a week of trying to stay awake while someone goes on and on about goddamned rocks. If there is a hell, it is surely Geology 101.

The other may surprise you though. I have pretty much nothing to say about art and tend to panic in social situations where I am supposed to discuss it. It’s not that I can’t appreciate a beautiful painting or sculpture and be like, “This is pretty” or whatever, I just have trouble coming up with something to say. I am not good in situations wherein I feel pressured to be very deep and serious about things.

Like this is basically me, trying to talk about art:

My go-to phrase, for years, has been “look at the play of light and shadow!” I actually do not know what this means, but I heard someone say it once and it sounded good. Like the kind of thing you are supposed to say about art if you are a very deep and profound person who notices those kinds of things.

As much as I love free wine, I fear going to gallery openings and other such occasions. I fear being trapped in conversation with someone and having them realize that I am actually a total moron and not at all smart when it comes to art. I fear having them say really deep and profound things to me, and then me getting church giggles because I have nothing serious or deep to say back.

I can probably talk about the artist themselves if they’ve led some kind of interesting or eccentric life, but I can’t look at a picture and be like, “Oh, obviously this shoe here represents man’s inhumanity to man and the futility of consumer culture” or whatnot. I don’t think I can tell a happy brush stroke from an angry brush stroke.

One time, I was at an art opening and there was an installation that was literally just a television on static with a chair in front of it. I have zero things to say about that. I don’t know what it “means” or what it represents, and I admit that a part of me doesn’t think anyone else does either. Are they lying? Or am I an idiot? Either way, when it comes to art, I am at a loss.