Now and then, I used to visit art galleries and exhibition openings, although not so much to enjoy modern art but rather to watch the people and their reactions.
After many years of intensive examination, investigations, and analysis that only could have been compared to the work of a dedicated scientist, I have come to the following conclusions: the visitors of/to an art gallery could/can be divided into following groups:
1. Real lovers of art. They experience a painting with their soul. They stand for hours in front of it and think about life, the universe, death, nature, God, themselves... Art plays a very important role in their lives. They would more/rather suffer living without art than without food. Usually they are too poor to buy any paintings at all.
2. People who never miss an exhibition opening only because they know they will get/be able to drink and eat for free. Some/a few glasses of wine and cakes can make their day. Usually, in this town, all/most exhibitions open on Saturday and you can see these men and women going from one place to another; the crumbs of cakes/cake crumbs on their clothes and a smell of wine around their mouths/about them. As they hurry along the streets you see them using their fingernails to remove the bits of a cake which are stuck between their teeth.
3. People who are waiting for the bus during the cold winter days or hot summer days. They are using a gallery as a bus shelter. They pretend to be interested in the paintings on the walls, but instead, their thoughts are occupied with the bus which is usually always late, especially when thetemperature outside is -10 degrees Celsius, and the wind is so cold and strong that it penetrates the thickest and the most expensive jacket.
In the summer, when it is so hot that even the asphalt starts melting, there is no better place to hide, but/than the cool air-conditioned gallery. These people have never heard of Picasso or Jackson Pollock, but even if they did/had, they do not give a damn about them because the only thing they are interested in at this moment is the bus which will take them to their destinations.
4. Men and women who are only interested in sex with the artist. This is the/a very "dangerous" group because of their promiscuity. If some of them have chlamydia for example, dozens of painters can/could be infected. These "groupies" carry notebooks around with them with hundreds of names of well known, and less known artists whom they have slept with. Very often they sit together comparing names; sometimes one can hear the following dialogue, "Do you remember that abstract painter Z?" "Of course I remember him. He really is well-hung!” "Yes indeed, but I think he still hasn't learnt how to use it well!"
5. The friends and family members of an artist. Some of them come because they like him and want to share in his happiness, but there are also those who are there only because they are only interested in the inheritance and his quick death. When they come inside they first glance at the sheet of paper with the prices of paintings. They smile at the painter and wish him well but already they are calculating just how much they could get from this exhibition later on.
6. The New rich. They buy a painting just to impress their guests and partners. The more expensive the painting, the higher status it has in their eyes. If they have a girlfriend they believe that a possession of such a painting is going to impress her and make her believe that he is an intellectual, a poet and a dreamer despite the fact that he has never read one single book. These people believe that Leonardo da Vinci is a centre forward of the Italian football club "Milan."
7. Businessmen. They see a paintings as goods. They do not care about feelings and the human soul. The only thing which is important to them is their investments. If they can buy an artwork cheaply, and sell it expensive/dear they have made good business./made a killing. They are the most dangerous group because they are using their money to influence artists and galleries. They are destroying the substance of art and turning it into the product one can buy at a store everywhere/anywhere. Artists used to say that nothing can affect their work but money has destroyed many souls in the history of humankind/mankind, so why should artists be immune?
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