A Spectator is an Artist Too

How we Look at Art, How we Behave Around Art



ISBN: 9789063695903 Category:

Johan Idema


Is there anything more entertaining, inspiring and instructive than observing art? Yes, it is watching the people interacting with this art. This book may forever change your approach to art as it urges you to always consider both the work and the response. Because ultimately artists create, but we – the audience – complete the picture.

A Spectator is an Artist Too is a visual essay about human behaviour around art: what happens when we are confronted with something immensely beautiful, challenging, or puzzling? Art historians only study objects, but how these objects are received is also worthy of our attention.

The book also captures how art museums are changing, as they draw increasingly diverse audiences. The way the museum visitors responds to art is becoming more casual and creative – but also more swift or even banal. This shift is increased by a whole new breed of Instagram-friendly ‘museums’ worldwide, attracting experience-hungry visitors with immersive exhibitions defined by their Instagrammability.

Additional information

Weight 413 g
Dimensions 17.4 x 20.2 cm
Publisher name BIS Publishers
Publication date 1 February 2021
Number of pages 192
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 17.4 x 20.2 cm
Weight 413 g
Johan Idema is a passionate promoter of innovation in the art world. He works as a cultural entrepreneur, writer and director for the foundation Art Public. Idema has extensive experience as an arts consultant and has worked at several cultural institutions, including as chief curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (Rotterdam). Idema is the initiator of, among others, the theatrical art exhibition The Big Art Show and the award-winning classical music app Wolfgang. Idema obtained master degrees in Arts Administration at New York University and Innovation Management at TU Delft. He was awarded an oeuvre prize as 'New Radical', in the Netherlands, where Idema is based.