Art is heroic. Art is a can opener for your life. Art is love, God and the Devil wrestling for your attention. If art were a sport, they would charge us at the door, convince our children to wear Impressionist and Expressionist jerseys then magnetize our eyes every Sunday coercing us to watch an inevitably stoned Bob Ross paint the World Series of oils weekly.
Yet, art isn’t a sport, gallery openings are free of charge. There are no black turtleneck uniforms, nor are we coerced into anything other than the opportunity to open our minds. So get out there! Grab art by the balls and say, "Gothcha you old sonofabitch!" Do what it takes; a brave new world is only a short train ride away
What is a gallery opening like?
You never can tell, truly. However, for the most part, openings are inviting and vivacious parties where you’ll see original art for free. You can go by yourself and look pensive and sophisticated. Or go with a date or some friends and meander about the crowd. Gallery openings typically offer wine and crackers, some more some less. Often times there is music but rarely is there dancing, unless one of the artists sells a work.
Do I have to pay for tickets to an opening?
Hell no. Are you kidding? This is new art, they don't have to pay anyone to dust them off like they do at the museums. You are the prodigal son at an opening; they will slaughter the prized calf for you. Now, as far as museums are concerned, you know the drill...
Are these events all open to the public?
Mostly yes. In fact it's quite rare for a gallery to have an exclusive opening. If they do, most likely they wouldn’t promote the show publicly. Who do they think they are, the Free Masons?
What do I wear to an opening
Salvador Dali was known to dress as a chicken at his openings, since that time the door has been blown wide open. Traditionally, New York black is the staple and you can't go wrong there. But hey, this is Chicago! You'll feel quite at home wearing something slightly on the formal side of casual. Be a trendsetter, wear what everyone else in the world isn't and you'll be snug as a bug.
Can everyday people like me afford to buy at these galleries?
Many galleries display their prices next to the work and many of these are affordable. But don't be fooled, the price range is wide. Some offer works for a few hundred dollars or less, some have the policy of, "If you have to ask you'll never know," while others really aren't selling at all. This is art in its purest form. It's known as art for art's sake. The type of work that may explode or dissolve leaving nothing to hang above the davenport, but it rarely helps pay the artists rent.