A good question. One inevitably followed by: Why are you doing this? and Please leave me alone and finally, for god’s sake, life is hard enough without u and ur pretensions...
The Arty Bum is a helping hand in the difficult, dangerous and down-right spenny world of exhibitionism. I’m referring, of course to the practice of attending exhibitions, as opposed to the rather more exciting practice of taking one’s clothes off and running around Westfield until arrested by the police.
As a recent employee of the venerable Courtauld Institute (plz no-one get excited, I work in the shop) I’ve been afforded free entry to a large number of London’s Galleries and Museums, including (here comes the exciting bit) their paid exhibitions. Naturally, my original plan was to attend every museum in the city the moment I got my staff card and fill my Instagram feed with lovely lovely pictures making everyone v jealous until I became the queen of Instagram, forcing everyone to cower at my perfectly filtered feet.
But then it occurred to me that I could share this privilege with those I love (and some freeloaders who happen to stumble across this page) by reviewing it all in a concise and entertaining manner. That way, the reader could make their mind up more easily about whether or not an exhibition, retrospective or ‘happening’ is worth their time (and dolla). The scale is simple, if I return from the gallery with a smile on my face and a head full of new ideas, I’ll award it a shining Artsy. If 12 quid allows you entry to a small, half empty room, exhibiting rejigged pieces from the permanent collection with tiny plaques inscribed with bullshit; the exhibition will score a stone cold Fartsy.
I think it crucial at this point to confess to my general ignorance and stupidity regarding contemporary art and culture. I aim my musings at an audience of casual gallery visitors, browsers, tourists, hmmers and aaahers. Of course I intend to research thoroughly in order to avoid any total gaffs but I can’t promise anything. Despite drinking tea in the Courtauld Staff Room every day, I have thus far been unable to absorb any knowledge or brilliance through the process of osmosis. Unfortunately I remain, as ever, a true Arty Bum.
So, friends feel free to feast on the arty delights and arsey witticisms to come. I hope the blog will prove as fruitful as Bosch’s garden, as timeless as Michelangelo’s David and as lol-worthy as Rodin’s statues.
The Arty Bum.