What is art? Don't overthink it - KMSP-TV

What is art? Don't overthink it

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The definition of art seems to get looser and looser with every Kanye West interview. Like West's metaphors, modern art can be so out there that I often have a hard time connecting with it.

Jerry Saltz, New York magazine's resident art critic, agreed to enlighten me by walking me through some of the city's finest contemporary galleries.

At our first stop was Gagosian Gallery. I was dwarfed by Richard Serra's towering metal sculptures, wondering what in the world do these hunks of steel mean? Jerry's first tip: don't overthink it.

"Well you don't usually ask what does a symphony mean or what does a song mean?" he said. "When you come to art, don't ask what does it mean. Ask what does it do?"

I took Jerry's advice with me to our next exhibit, a room full of creepy imagery where I needed his interpretation the most.

After studying the abstract, I was relieved to move onto something more familiar inside the Betty Cunningham Gallery.

But would you believe me if I told you my professor for the day doesn't have one art degree?

"I woke up one day and said I was going to be an art critic," he said.

"I was a long distance truck driver," he added, saying he read everything he could about art and taught himself. Jerry said anyone can follow in his footsteps as long as you approach art with an open mind.

"Just don't be cynical," he said. "Find one thing that you liked."

Mission accomplished.

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