Distraction Sickness – Part Two

Earlier this year I took my daughter to the National Gallery in London, which houses one the most amazing collections of pre-Twentieth Century art in the world.

Surrounded by incredible art from Van Gogh, Turner, Monet, Matisse, Cezanne, Vermeer to name just a few favourites an inexplicable number of visitors seemed more intent on the virtual world of their smartphones…

people looking at mobile phones in an art gallery

But there was an even more peculiar behaviour that my daughter and I christened Pokéart.

Time and again we’d see a visitor walk up to a work of art, take a picture on their phone and walk off; spending no time looking at the painting with their own eyes.

I didn’t ‘get’ Van Gogh until I saw his paintings at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The contours, ridges, swirls and sheer depth in the paint applied by Van Gogh has to be seen to be truly appreciated. Seeing them in two dimensions on a print or a screen does not do them justice, and yet here were dozens of people happy to catch great works of art like Pokémon.

Pokéart – gotta catch em all.