The Art Of The Gaze

February 14, 2020

Why a visit to an art gallery makes the perfect date!

My job gives me the opportunity to meet so many interesting people on a daily basis. Watching people interact with art and talking to them about it is fascinating and I never have the same conversation twice. I’m always particularly excited when I work with couples, assisting them in their search for just the right artwork for them. Let me tell you why.

perfect date

The couple conundrum

As a pair of people who like each other more than enough to at least spend considerable time together and at most forge a life together, haha!, I have yet to meet a couple, in over a decade of selling art, that are drawn to the same kind of artwork. Even though I have grown to expect it now, it still surprises me every time. Not only do they choose different pieces as their favourites they, 9 times out of 10, even walk in opposite directions when they come in the door of a gallery. This is quickly followed by exclamations of ‘Oh I love this one’ followed by the response, ‘Really?’.

valentines date

Despite what a disparity it may seem that two people with so much in common and so much shared between them differ so greatly in this, this reaction is, in fact, indicative of the role art plays in our lives. I always say, some might say I preach, that on sight art elicits an instinctive response. It is one that is unique to you because it is shaped wholly by your way of thinking, processing ideas, your life path and even the way you see colour. It’s like our fingerprints, no two responses are the same.

Arty Date

In case you think that I’m about to tell you that the quickest way to dumping someone on Valentine’s day is to bring them to an art gallery to show them just how much you don’t have in common, fear not!! The wonderful thing about experiencing art together is that it is a true bonding experience. You are guaranteed to learn something new about each other. Simply chatting about the works you like will reveal something you didn’t know about the other or challenge what you thought you knew. Before you know it, you’ll be even closer than you thought you could be.

art and love

So, no matter if you’re on a first date or 500th date get out this Valentine’s and visit your local gallery together. I guarantee you’ll discover something new about what makes your partner tick


  • The Zurich Portrait Prize exhibition is on at the Crawford Art Gallery here in Cork. A fantastic selection of contemporary portraits that are perfect talking points
  • Take a tour with the Glucksman Gallery’s senior curator Chris Clarke of their current exhibition, Moving Spaces
  • The National Gallery of Ireland have a special exhibition of the wonderful ‘Meeting on the Turret Stairs’ by Frederic William Burton on Friday 14th accompanied by a lunchtime talk about the painting.

Whatever you chose to do with your art lover this Valentine’s, have a great one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *