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An Uncultured Schmuck’s Guide To Art Shows

You too can be a legit art-bro in just five easy steps!

We’ve all been there. Hanging out with friends, trying to figure what to do over the weekend when one of your friends (Becky, it’s always a Becky) suggests to the group that you all go to that new art opening in the Short North. Everyone eats it up, you moan audibly, and now you’re stuck with a salad weekend (that feeling you get when you order a salad to be more health conscious but you immediately regret it as soon as they bring it out). Be easy Columbus, you know Zoey is always looking out for you. Art shows don’t have to be dry, stuffy, bore-fests, sometimes they can be fun, stuffy, bore-fests. And with this pretty handy guide, you’re gonna be one classy sunova gun. Charming the pants off of friends, in-laws, strangers, and all manner of pedantic humans. Trust me Columbus, it’s not like I ever told you to go on a 7-day drinking binge, forsaking your job and family or anything like that.

Step 1- Wear a monocle

The first thing you gotta do is camouflage. Put on the most hoity-toity thing you can find. Also a monocle. Wear that. It doesn’t matter that humans usually aren’t super blind only in one eye and that maybe monocles are pointless, but you know what else they are? Flossy. And admit it, you’ve always wanted an excuse to wear one anyway. And why stop there? Bust out that top hat and side cape. Three words: Fresh. To. Death.

Just wear what makes you comfortable. If you feel like getting fancy and having a nice night out, go for it. But it’s not like most shows have a dress code. Wear what you feel safe in. If that means jeans and a shirt, go for it. No one would go to these things often if they had to feel uncomfortable there.



Step 2- Ask others their opinion on the piece, then berate them

So you got your monocle and your side cape, you’re looking dope, and you’ve got a can-do attitude (I suggest 10 to 20 push-ups beforehand to really get that can-do attitude going and to generally get your swell on, just cuz your being fancy doesn’t mean you can just skip arm day). Now it’s time to pwn some dudes on art junk. Art snobs are just like wolves in a pack, you have to establish dominance to get your alpha nerd on. Ask the snobbiest person you can find what they think about some art junk, and when they answer, straight up laugh in their face (really get that snob chuckle down) then make fun of them for being wrong. Wrong and boring.

There’s no real right or wrong when it comes to art, that’s the fun part. People interpret things differently. Engage others to see what they think about a particular piece, it might get you to feel differently about it. Art evokes emotions and gets conversations going. Don’t be afraid to ask others about something if you don’t understand it either, take it as a learning opportunity. And please, tell others what you think of the works.



Step 3- Cofveve

Alright, so that super art-snob-bro is gonna be pretty ticked that you laughed all up in his dumb face. He’s gonna wanna fire back at you, probably ask you what you think the piece is about. Just do this simple maneuver: stare intently at the art junk, like really look at it (it helps to think of building a sandwich, what deli meats and cheeses you’re stacking on that artisanal herb bread). Now pout your lips a bit, squint, take one step back and declare it ‘cofveve’. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know what it means, no one does. Everyone is going to be super impressed with you and will probably think you personally know the President and everything. And make sure you pronounce it ‘cof-vay-vay’ for a mildly French, yet very pretentious flair.

Please don’t call something cofveve. Just, like, don’t do that.


Step 4- Deny that you are a person with feelings. You are an American, always remember that


Or maybe it’s okay if a piece moves you emotionally? Weigh your emotional response. What feelings does a particular work evoke? This can actually be a bit harder than you’d think. Society often teaches us to ignore these sort of impulses so we disregard them on a subconscious level. Just be vigilant and aware, you might surprise yourself.



Step 5- Booze it up

Most of these fancy art joints wised up and now serve the good stuff. More than likely they’ll have something heady like wine but if they’re hipster enough you might be able to luck out on some craft brews or PBR, I’m looking at you Franklinton (double snap, pistol fingers, wink). So load up, and try not to stay bored.

A couple drinks is actually a good way to loosen up. You’ll gauge your own emotional response to a piece a bit easier and you’ll open up enough to engage others and ask them how they enjoy each work. Just be sure not to over do it.



And there you have it! You’re arting it up like a true art-bro!

Other art-bros will cringe in awe of your awesome art powers and knowledge of art junk. They’ll want to know what art school you went to, which art-bros you’re really into, and how you got those super awesome art-abs. So next time stupid Becky (stupid, stupid, Becky) suggests something super salad-y like going to see some stupid art junk, just remember everything I’ve obi-wan-kenobi’ed into you. Go forth art-bros, go forth!

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