The venue of the artwork seems to really affect the viewing experience. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been to many museums, but I felt slightly nervous in them. Mainly this was because I was afraid to accidentally knock something over, or get too close to a painting. There were so many uniformed workers hovering over me, just waiting for me to breathe too heavily on something. At the same time, it made older and more well-known works seem more prestigious because of the more formal setting of a museum.
I enjoyed visiting the galleries a lot. They were more laid back and casual. I felt like I could look around and enjoy the work without being spied on. It was very surprising to see the pricing on some of the paintings being sold in the galleries. I overheard one of the gallery owners telling a customer the piece she was looking at was $75,000. Then I was especially careful not to get to close to the paintings. I realized I wasn’t dressed like I had that kind of money to be spending in an art gallery, so at this point I felt like I should either leave, or have my boyfriend start waving around his checkbook so we looked like legitimate customers.
Public works in Chicago were a lot of fun. It was neat to see the way everyone reacted to the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. There were so many tourists there taking pictures of it from all angles and snapping shots of their reflections while doing poses. I didn’t see any other works getting this sort of response. I don’t know if the Cloud Gate would get the same response if it were contained indoors. Because it is outdoors, you get extraordinary reflections of lights, buildings, and the sky. I personally liked how it looked so foreign sitting in the middle of the park. I don’t think it could have the same effect if it were indoors, because it would too purposefully placed.