Dear Tourists with Cameras

4 Apr

Dear Tourists with Cameras,

Look. I’m guilty of not taking enough pictures. It’s a crime against humanity, I know, but I just…I’m busy, doing other things, and besides, pictures have a tendency to rot on my computer (if they’re lucky. Some of them permanently stay on the camera).

And I never really figured out how to use a camera, anyway. My pictures look like crap most of the time, and I’m even worse with editing software. La la la. No wonder I didn’t last as a film major.

HOWEVER. TO THOSE OF YOU WHO SHOW UP IN MUSEUMS AND SPEND THE ENTIRE TIME TAKING PICTURES OF EVERY PAINTING:

  1. They have books you can buy in the museum bookstore.
  2. These books have the paintings in them.
  3. At higher quality resolution than you will ever achieve and without other people’s heads in the way.
  4. In fact, if you really like something, buy a print.
  5. Or a calendar.
  6. I don’t really give a shit. Just stop wandering around taking pictures of Picasso, then Chagall, then Matisse, then Monet, then….

SERIOUSLY. LOOK AT THE ART WHILE IT’S IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.

Otherwise, stay home and look at it on the Internet and let the rest of us stand here in peace, marveling at the fact that this painting— the one I have seen so many times in reproduction— is real, and the original, and here, and in fact I have never seen it before despite the feeling that I have and isn’t that kind of crazy, that we’ve saved all this art and put it in museums for everyone to look at, and this is a thing made by a person and we have collectively fallen in love with it and found it important enough to preserve and protect and then travel to and seek out and stand in front of.

Or I swear to god I will step on your blister-ridden toes and pull on your fanny pack. SO HARD.

Love,

MM

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