I would not consider myself someone who knows a lot about art. I love museums and galleries and frequent them often and I’ve taken an art history course in college (and loved it), but I don’t have extensive knowledge or a strong contextual art background to legitimize the way art speaks to me amongst the art community. But do I have to? I might not get it. I might see something and say, why? But isn’t that what is most important? That the artwork in front of me is making me think? While walking around the current show installed at Gallery Aferro, there was art that I “got” under my own pretenses, and there was other works that were, perplexing. Nonetheless, the space is beautiful and the show as a whole, was provoking and inclusive to all types of art. There is something for everyone. I think that art is a personal experience and that everyone has their own individual connection or misconnection to each piece.
I wouldn’t consider myself necessarily as a visual person. When I see things, I don’t necessarily feel things. The pieces that spoke to me the most had words and sounds, had an actual voice I could hear and read. As a media studies major, one of the most thought-provoking pieces was located on the floor in a black basket on the second story. Shani Peter’s Reagan, The Revolution, and Me explored her own personal “socialization and understanding of blackness and family through references to media and imagery I absorbed as a child.” Her piece exposed how the black family was translated through media, and it was eye opening. It struck a chord within me. I don’t necessarily know what chord that was, but do I really have to? It made me feel.
So who am I and what is this post all about and why are you reading it? My name is Brady Smith, a senior at NJIT in Newark and Gallery Aferro’s new social media intern! I’m excited to join this great group of people and learn in this new world of art that I’ve only topically explored. So if you see me around the gallery, feel free and say hi, or tweet me at @smithbradym (shameless social media plug).