Reviews for Get The Picture

by Bianca Bosker

Publishers Weekly
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Journalist Bosker (Cork Dork) takes an energetic jaunt through the elitist and competitive world of contemporary art. Seeking to understand whether art can make for a “richer, more uncomfortable, more mind-blowing, more uncertain... more beautiful” life, Bosker finagled an internship at a rising art star’s Brooklyn gallery; sold astronomically priced photos at Art Basel Miami; curated a Hong Kong art show (“What makes art ‘good’?” she asked herself again and again as she tried to sift “crap from grade-A culture”); and studiously observed sculptures as a security guard at the Guggenheim museum (she resolved to spend at least 40 minutes “befriending” each statue). In the process, Bosker came to view art as a means “for appreciating life, but also a practice for creating a life worth appreciating,” one that helps “fight our instincts to truncate and elide, and in doing so, to notice more, appreciate more, empathize more.” Combining gossipy detail with philosophical musings, Bosker vividly depicts a pretentious world full of moneyed buyers and cliques while simultaneously giving due to the devoted artists, gallerists, and enthusiasts whose creativity enriches and expands their lives. Connoisseurs and neophytes alike will be charmed and captivated by Bosker’s boundless curiosity and astute powers of observation. (Feb.)

Library Journal
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With her cheerily enthusiastic narration, journalist Bosker (Cork Dork) makes the intimidating contemporary art world approachable. At the start of her research for the book, many a gallery door was closed to Bosker; however, she eventually secured two gallery internships where she learned how to stretch canvas, set up "white cube" spaces, paint walls, and partake in a hefty dose of art fairs and gallery shows. She slowly matured in her art appreciation and knowledge, eventually traveling to and selling pieces at Art Basel Miami and curating an art show in Hong Kong. Following her gallery stints, she served as an artist's assistant, where she developed her eye, studied color and paint, and learned to "stay in the work" when viewing art. She joined collectors at New York art shows to witness the purchasing process, pondered whether or not an influencer's posts on Instagram constitute art, and spent time as a Guggenheim security guard to gain further perspective. Her instructions to listeners on how to tour an art museum are entirely doable. VERDICT Bosker's foray into contemporary art will have listeners visiting local art museums or even pondering their own art purchases.—Kym Goering

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Everything she ever needed to know about art she learned by throwing herself headfirst into the New York scene. Bosker follows Cork Dork, an investigation of the wine industry, with a similarly delightful inquiry into the art world: immersive reporting along the lines of George Plimpton or Barbara Ehrenreich, with her own blend of relentless curiosity, bottomless energy, and a gift for clever formulations that recalls Oscar Wilde. Bosker began her journey with an internship in a downtown gallery run by a hipster named Jack who "spoke in a low monotone that made him sound as if he were running out of batteries.” Her experiences taught her that “gossip for art people was like echolocation for bats: You sent out signals of what you thought was great or derivative or phony, then oriented yourself based on what came back.” After she and Jack parted ways, Bosker got involved with a pair of gallerists who took her to Miami Art Week, where she continued to refine her ability to see and appreciate the work. Consequently, she discovered that she was an excellent salesperson. She began to appreciate “weird, boundary-pushing art” like that of her next mentor, Mandy AllFIRE, a performance artist and “ass influencer” who sits on people’s faces for “as long as possible.” The author went on to work in the studio of up-and-coming figurative painter Julie Curtiss, who completely transformed her way of seeing. “I’ll just come right out and say it: being around Julie was like being on drugs,” she writes. Bosker also attended a science-of-art conference in Belgium, served as a museum guard at the Guggenheim, and accompanied a pair of collectors known as the Icy Gays on a buying spree. It could not be more fun. A delightful book on an inspiring topic by a writer who could make dust sparkle. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.