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Bianca Bosker

A Mind-Bending Journey among the Inspired Artists and Obsessive Art Fiends Who Taught Me How to See

4.1 (38 ratings)
17 mins
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    Get the Picture
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    The art world is exclusive and hostile to outsiders

    Finding your way around the art world can feel like cracking a secret code meant only for the elite. It’s an intricate and exclusive social scene. Often, it feels tailor-made to keep those of us who don’t have the right connections, wealth, or tastes out. Like fine wine, art is something we’re told we should appreciate. At the same time, that appreciation is closely linked to social status.

    Driven by the fear of missing out on something vitally important, reporter and onetime aspiring artist Bianca Bosker decided to uncover the mysteries of this elusive realm. Growing up, art had been a beloved passion, but over time, a disconnect had developed. Entering an art gallery became isolating, as if everyone else was in on a joke that just flew over her head. Determined to bridge this gap, she set out to develop an eye for contemporary art.

    Adopting an undercover approach, similar to her past work in the wine industry, she began applying for jobs in the art world. When she told insiders about her plans, she met resistance and secrecy. But the gatekeepers’ evasion and hostility only sparked further curiosity.

    For five years, Bosker worked in some of New York’s most exclusive galleries. She encountered an extravagant world with a dark underbelly: drugs, deceit, and shady financial dealings were common. Art dealers treated artworks as mere commodities, with the artists themselves frequently sidelined from the profits their creations generated.

    She also began to understand the stringent set of unspoken rules about appearance, speech, and behavior on which the art world runs – codes that reinforce its exclusivity. These norms do more than maintain an aesthetic; they act as barriers that distinguish insiders from outsiders, the knowledgeable from the novices.

    Bosker’s journey wasn’t just about reconnecting with a past love for art; it was an investigative deep dive into how the art world reflects broader societal structures of power and exclusion. The challenge lay not only in understanding art but also in deciphering the complex social cues and hidden rules that define who gets to appreciate and access it.

    Ultimately, the art world is about more than just art. It’s about the people, the power plays, and the unwritten codes that determine who is deemed worthy of being part of it. Understanding this world requires perseverance, resilience, and the courage to question and confront established norms. Through this exploration, what emerges is a clearer understanding not only of art but of how elitism shapes our access to beauty and culture.

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    What is Get the Picture about?

    Get the Picture (2024) turns an investigative lens on the complex and often insular world of contemporary art along with its quirks and contradictions. It explores the obsessions that drive artists and collectors, sheds light on the personal and sometimes irrational reasons that art becomes meaningful, and unravels the motivations and passions of artists and collectors to uncover how deeper engagement with art can be achieved.

    Get the Picture Review

    Get the Picture (2021) dives deep into the world of visual intelligence, revealing how we can enhance our perception and decision-making through images. Here's why this book stands out:

    • Explores the impact of visuals on our minds, shedding light on how they shape our thoughts and behaviors.
    • Offers fascinating insights into the power of visual thinking, providing practical tips on how to boost our visual literacy.
    • With its engaging anecdotes and compelling research, the book transforms what could be a dull topic into a captivating exploration of our visual world.

    Who should read Get the Picture?

    • Art enthusiasts curious about the inner workings of the art world
    • Aspiring artists seeking insight into the contemporary art scene
    • Fans of deep dives into niche cultural topics

    About the Author

    Bianca Bosker is an award-winning journalist known for her immersive explorations of niche worlds. She’s previously authored the New York Times best seller Cork Dork, which delves into the intricacies of the wine industry and the fervor of those who inhabit it. Formerly the executive tech editor of the Huffington Post, her articles have also appeared in other publications such as Food & Wine, the Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian.

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    Get the Picture FAQs 

    What is the main message of Get the Picture?

    The main message of Get the Picture is how learning to see the world like an expert can enhance our lives.

    How long does it take to read Get the Picture?

    Reading Get the Picture takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be finished in under 15 minutes.

    Is Get the Picture a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Get the Picture is definitely worth a read. It offers valuable insights on sharpening our perception in everyday situations.

    Who is the author of Get the Picture?

    Bianca Bosker is the author of Get the Picture.

    What to read after Get the Picture?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Get the Picture, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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