Art used to intimidate me. I’d run the opposite direction whenever my friends invited me to an opening. When I thought about art — as in fine art that was being shown in exhibits — I’d think about the people viewing it: critics and serious art aficionados holding flutes of champagne, talking about lines and form and everything in between. The thought of being in the same room as those people is scarier than an episode of American Horror Story. But then again, I was a 17-year-old business major whose only knowledge of art was DeviantArt.
But everything changed when I was sent to the sixth edition of Art Stage Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre was packed with 173 galleries from 34 countries, four of which are from the Philippines: ArtInformal, Finale Art File, MO_Space and Galerie Stephanie.
To say that it was overwhelming is an understatement. There are thousands of artworks displayed at the space and one day is not enough to see everything. And being a newbie, I had no idea where to start. An important lesson I learned the hard way: don’t speed walk when you’re in an art fair or exhibit. There may be a lot going on around you but you have to make an effort to appreciate the work, the artist and the galleries involved. Case in point: I almost ran over someone when I saw one of the Marilyn Monroe prints by Andy Warhol. I’ve never seen one in real life before and I have to admit, I fangirled a little bit.