Slow Art Day with Victor Vasarely

Artwork from the Vasarely Museum in Budapest
Artwork by Victor Vasarely

What type of exhibition goer are you?
Do you run around the museum, wanting to see everything, read everything, check out each room, gallery and floor?

Or do you take your time to take in each work of art, see how you connect with the artist, even when you don’t have time to see everything?

Would you feel like you were missing information if you didn’t look at every single piece?

Slow Art Day with Victor Vasarely
Untitled, by Victor Vasarely

In my case, it depends on the size and type of the exhibition, but I know myself and what resonates with me. As a result, I tend to be quite selective.

I like to go back and forth between a few works of art or artists to discover how they explore a similar theme, or how I can delve deeper into this particular work of art as I discover new details and feelings.

It’s important for me to get the whole picture,
as a museum translator.

Did you know that people spend only about 27 seconds looking at a work of art?

OK, you and I are mostly art nerds, so this probably doesn’t apply to us.
But I was shocked. I believe in #SlowArt all the way!

In fact, it is in order to promote quality over quantity that ‘Slow Art Day’, April 6th, was founded in 2009. It challenges people to spend 10 minutes looking at a single work of art.

It counters the art selfie (or artie) culture and the infatuation with overly-marketed ‘hype’ exhibitions.

Victor Vasarely black and white

In my opinion, the most interesting idea behind this Slow Art Day concept is to pay more attention to the million smaller details we often miss.

Great idea, don’t you think?

Optical and kinetic art by Victor Vasarely
Op Art by Victor Vasarely

Trying the #SlowArtDay Challenge

In order to try it out, I headed to the famous Vasarely museum in Budapest…

Vasarely studied for a little while in the Műhely (‘Workshop’),
the Hungarian Bauhaus.

He explored perspective and form even in his earlier works, but he became internationally famous when he moved to Paris,
where the Bauhaus movement hadn’t yet picked up.

He used actual science to elaborate optical illusions pieces, as the study of the human eye developed.

He is the father of optical art or Op art, and he later made kinetic art.
Art, science, structural architecture = that’s everything I love!

Once there, I picked one artwork to observe for no less than 10 minutes.

Slow Art Day
Close up of optical art

First of all, 10 minutes passed surprisingly fast. I let my mind wander and my curiosity heighten.
Then, of course, I started noticing more and more things that had escaped me at first glance.

As I stood there, I paid attention to the subtle changes in colour, the brushstroke, the material, the varnish and some hair that was caught in it, immortalised forever.

It was different, relaxing, meditative. I thoroughly recommend trying this experience, and even staying longer in front of a masterpiece.

Would you commit to spending 10 minutes in front of an artwork?
Give it a try and let us know about it! #SlowArtChallenge

Posted on: 10/11/2019, by :

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