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How to Fake an Appreciation of Art

Tired of feeling stupid when the conversation turns to art? Here are some easy ways to impress art snobs without the tedium of actually learning anything.


  • Step 1: Have a go-to sentence Have a go-to sentence memorized, like, 'I love Italy’s Renaissance artists—Masaccio, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Titian—they all move me so much.'
  • TIP: Be sure you know the correct pronunciation of the names or the jig will be up.
  • Step 2: Learn a little-known fact If you’re at an art opening or museum exhibit, scour the internet for a little-known fact about the artist. No one need know it’s the only thing you know.
  • Step 3: Mention an obscure artist Find an extremely obscure artist and ask your snooty friends if they’re familiar with his or her work. Then regale them with stories. If you mess up some of the details, no one will be the wiser.
  • Step 4: Adopt THE stance Adopt THE stance. Stand back a distance from the piece of art, purse your lips as if in deep thought, and say, 'I find this piece entirely derivative/jejune/neo-Slavic.'
  • TIP: If in a home, never, ever remark how wonderfully a painting goes with the décor.
  • Step 5: Don’t get left out When the conversation becomes particularly obtuse, don’t let the artsy-fartsy crowd exclude you—just jump in and maneuver the conversation to a topic you’re well versed in with a timely, 'Yes, of course…that reminds me of…'
  • Step 6: Finesse faux pas When the inevitable occurs and you are called on something, laugh lightly, wink, and say, 'I know that—I just wanted to see if anyone was paying attention.'
  • FACT: Jackson Pollack’s painting 'No. 5' fetched $140 million in 2006.

You Will Need

  • A small investment of time
  • The ability to bluff

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