The year is still young.
Today (or whenever you read this) I will give you all a gift. A gift which will surely fulfill many of the New Year’s resolutions you never even made.
In 5 fairly easy steps I shall transform you into an elite member of society, the pinnacle of humankind, the ray of light in an ever dimming world. You shall become… A gallery-goer.
Cue the explosions.
Even those with next to no knowledge of art, such as myself, will be able to infiltrate any art gallery around the world using this 5 step method. For no reason whatsoever.
Use this power wisely.
First we need to get you ready. To lay the foundations for our elaborate ruse.
Step 1 – You must always carry a briefcase. Even if the only contents are a Beano and some tissues, a briefcase will command immediate respect. You will become an overnight connoisseur of the fine arts, and any opinion you utter will be taken as undeniable fact. Fact.
Step 2 – Spectacles will need to be worn. They are an essential part of our disguise and the true purpose of this shall be revealed shortly.
Step 3 – Disdain must always be shown to the sworn enemy of the gallery-goer, the tourist. If ever the tourist does anything to ruin the ambiance either by taking photographs, eating a picnic or even just by speaking, you must immediately locate your nearest fellow gallery-goer, raise your eyebrows, and tut.
Step 4 – You must always use vague words of appreciation. It is completely necessary to inspect each work of art you come across by peering closely at it for 4-5 seconds. After the seconds are up, you must address no one in particular and mutter the word ‘splendid’ before shortly moving on. The following are a list of words/phrases you can use instead of ‘splendid’ in order to keep things fresh:
– Jolly good
– Well I’ll be……
– Absolutely spiffing if I may say
– Elementary my dear Watson.
So far you’re doing great! But if you really want to knock ’em dead (an actual possibility) and have your name etched in the annals of Art Gallery History, you can use this next move. The Finishing Move.
Step 5 – Use the finishing move sparingly. Whenever you arrive to the section with the largest number of viewers, it is safe to assume that this is the main exhibition piece. The pièce de résistance, if you will.
Your entire life has lead to this moment.
The onlookers all hold their breath.
Using only the thumb and pointer finger from your right hand. You will slowly and dramatically re-position your spectacles from the bridge of your nose to the extreme tip of it. Gravity itself will be tempted to bring your glasses down if it, too, wasn’t holding its breath.
With your glasses at the tip of your nose, you must tantalisingly tilt your head ever so slightly upwards and make an expression full of pondering. This will be achieved by squinting your eyes whilst simultaneously pulling your bottom lip over the top.
Be careful of how often you use this pose though as many in our society actually suffer from the very rare disease, Resting Gallery Face . You have been warned.
As the crowd looks on, you can now relax your face, pretend to wipe dust off of your briefcase and make for the exit. After 2 short strides however, you must look up to the ceiling and let the shortest chuckle escape out from your lips and into the air.
Note of caution: Only a chuckle is needed at this point. A chortle could throw all our plans out the window.
To all present, It will be as if the artist himself has jumped through time and shared a private joke with you.
The mission is complete. Gravity will blink in the face of death, the Earth will resume its habitual orbit of the Sun and a lone tear will trickle down the cheek of every single gallery-goer present, as the tourist continues to ignore the ‘no flash photography’ sign up ahead.