(artscope is happy to introduce you to Lindsey Davis, who is serving an internship with us for the next three months. She’s well versed in covering the visual arts, having been writing her “things worth describing” blog in New York City while attending NYU. With the goal of fine-tuning her craft, she’ll be contributing to artscopemagazine.com with her observations and reviews of Boston area exhibitions and artists twice weekly in the months ahead.)
I always thought that finding what I wanted to do with my life would come as some sort of divine experience. In a dream, an angel would whisper “major in English,” or I’d have a series of flashbacks and realize my whole life had been preparing me to become a doctor. But after two years in college and no bright lights, it started to work more like a process of elimination. Can’t make above a C in math — probably shouldn’t major in it; no interest in studying the behavior of rats — psychology isn’t for me.
Then I took a journalism class and thought that writing down the truth could maybe be my thing. I never really considered myself a “writer,” more a reader of other people’s work, but how hard could it be to spew facts? It only took that first introductory class to figure out that “facts” can often be debated and mean different things to different people, but the lofty search for truth and talk of journalistic integrity felt important to me, like something I’d want to spend my whole life doing.
I was so excited to finally have a major — to have a reason for paying such a ridiculous tuition price that I chose a second major purely for the fun of it. It wasn’t until I was sitting in front of a Rembrandt slide in my first art history class that I realized that’s what I should have done all along. I went to museums for fun and spent my time on the Internet following the Tumblrs of different artists, but a job in the art world always seemed so unattainable because it’s become such an unquestioned institution — if you don’t like something then you must not “get it.”
I was walking through a first-floor MoMA exhibit filled with literal trash intended as some sort of ambiguous comment on society’s wastefulness, when I realized my own opinion might have some merit. Just because something is moved from a dumpster to a museum floor doesn’t mean that’s where it belongs, and it especially doesn’t mean that people should have to pay $12 to see it and then not understand why it’s there. Art should be for everyone, and it shouldn’t send you on some fruitless search for purpose when the artist was too lazy to clarify, hiding his or her “Untitled” works behind words like “conceptual” and “abstract.”
Combining complicated, convoluted art with the clarity of journalism felt purposeful, and even though figuring that out was more like a personal obstacle course than an enlightened reckoning it somehow feels just as important. And that’s what brings me to the artscope blog; this week is my first as an artscope intern after graduating from NYU last fall. After writing my own art blog for a couple years and freelancing for more general news websites, I found my first arts-writing job as a telecommuting editor for an online art dealer Artsia, and now I’m lucky enough to work for an arts publisher in print. There are people out there who share my eagerness to bring art to everyone, and in New England many of them work for artscope.