Art Now: A Beginners Guide to Gallery Hopping

This week we want to get all Artsy-fartsy, or to put it more eloquently, we want to share work by two living artists that you can enjoy from the comfort of your very own desktop. We'll also give you a few tips for how to peruse art in its formal environment: The Gallery.

First, the tips: We don't all live close to fine art galleries, so eyeballing contemporary work can sometimes be tough, not to mention awkward at times, when we find ourselves under the scrutiny of a pretentious gallerist as we stare blankly at those white walls, trying to muster up intelligent sounding throatal noises like "hmmm" and "ahh-ha."  

If you are one of those gallery-shy folks, not to fear, we're here to help. First off, most gallerists know that you are only there to browse and likely will not utter much more than "let me know if you have any questions" before returning their tortoise-framed eyelids to the huge Mac monitor in front of them.  

So by all means, go ahead and browse freely... however looking at art can often be much more rewarding when you do know something about the artist and his or her inspiration for the work.  So, if you dare, before scuttling around that gallery solo, you might consider actually taking the gallerist up on the offer to answer a few questions.  Go ahead, they won't bite!  Ask about the artist's background, what the pieces are attempting to convey (even if it seems obvious) and ask the curator what he or she thinks of or likes about a particular piece. Simple stuff, but you'll be surprised at what you'll learn. 

Art is about dialogue, so you can really do yourself a service by making an effort to engage a bit deeper.  If some of the things that come up in the conversation are over your head, don't feel embarrassed to ask for clarification. After all, if you do one day decide to buy a piece of art it may very well be informed by the conversation you are having at that very moment.

So to get started on your art appreciation session right now, scroll through the galleries below and brush up on two living artists that we happen to think are amazing and definitely worth checking out if they have a show near you. And stay tuned for more hot picks to come in our Art Now blog series. 

Hope Gangloff

We first encountered this amazing large format work years ago at the Susan Inglett Gallery in New York. Gangloff's style is maybe what Egon Sheile's work would look like if he were living in a loft in Brooklyn.  Her portraits of her friends and environment are colorful, relatable and seductive!

 

Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto is a Brazilian artist whose large format installations can only be described as trippy and surreal.  Imagine walking through a psychedelic cave whose stalactites are made out of bubble-gum, and you'll kind of get the idea.

Neto's work is incredibly diverse and also includes smaller scale paintings and video pieces, but his installations in places like the New York Armory or Paris Pantheon (where we first discovered him) are by far the most fun in terms of amazing sensory experience. These abstract pieces offer an opportunity to interact with the art in a unique way; it's as though you've stepped inside a painting right after getting into Alice's pill-box.