Adoration of Art – A Unique Video Art Series That Explores the Act of Looking at Famous Paintings

Since the dawn of time, humans have been fascinated by art. It has helped us to understand our world, ourselves and our place in it. Art is often seen as a reflection of society, its values, beliefs, and norms. But what about the act of looking at art itself? What does it mean to look at a painting? How do we relate to it? These are the questions that the video art series “Adoration of Art” tries to answer.

Full movie of Alex Westerman’s “Adoration of Art”

In this ongoing series, the artist captures individuals and crowds looking at famous works of Western art in some of the world’s most popular museums. The video art series confronts audiences with the act of looking at art itself and the social complexities of seeing and being seen. Each video is a unique experience, revealing diverse perspectives on how people relate to art.

The “Adoration of Art” is not just about capturing people looking at art; it is also a work of contemplation. It encourages viewers to question the act of looking and consider the perspectives of both the viewer and the viewed. The video juxtaposes contemporary tourists viewing famous paintings with the works of art themselves, raising the question of time. How has our conception of art changed over time, and how does this affect how we look at art today?

One aspect of the series that makes it unique is its ability to capture individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures, all looking at the same painting. These videos show that the experience of looking at art is not confined to a particular social background, but instead is a universal human experience. The series also raises questions about the role of museums as spaces for cultural education and the dissemination of art, as well as their relationship with the public.

As you watch the “Adoration of Art” videos, you become aware of the subtle nuances of looking at art, something that is often taken for granted. The videos show that looking at a painting is not a passive act, but an active one, requiring engagement, interpretation, and reflection. Furthermore, the videos capture the social complexities of viewing art, such as the attention of other viewers or the presence of a museum guard.

The video series asks what conclusions can be drawn about the spectator viewing the video, far removed from the work of art, from that of the others in the video content itself viewing the paintings in museums. It raises fundamental questions about how we relate to art, and how our social context and the museum environment affect our perception and interpretation. The videos encourage viewers to reflect on their experience of looking at art and to question their assumptions about it.

The “Adoration of Art” is a unique and insightful video art series that explores the act of looking at famous paintings. It confronts viewers with the social complexities of seeing and being seen, and raises important questions about our relationship with art. By juxtaposing the contemporary tourists with the works of art themselves, the series reveals diverse perspectives on how people relate to art. It encourages viewers to question their experience of looking at art and reflect on their assumptions about it. For art historians, artists, museum goers, curators, and students, the series offers a fascinating insight into the act of looking at art and its social and cultural implications.

Adoration Video Series

The Blue Boy
Artist: Thomas Gainsborough
Location: Huntington Library
Created: 1779

The Little Street
Artist: Johannes Vermeer
Location: Rijksmuseum
Created: 1657–1658

View of Toledo
Artist: El Greco
Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Created: 1596–1600

Pearblossom Hwy., 11 – 18th April 1986, #2
Artist: David Hockney
Location: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Created: April 11-18, 1986

The Night Watch
Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Locations: Amsterdam Museum, Rijksmuseum
Created: 1642