7 helpful phrases to use when looking at art

Here at Denizen, we’re all about art appreciation for beginners. So for those who are dabbling in the art world for the first time without a fully developed lexicon, here are some things to say when looking at art that make you sound like you know what you’re talking about.

1. Use juxtaposition to describe seemingly contrary elements.
E.g. “I love the juxtaposition between the detailed figure and stark background.”

2. Tension is great. Use similarly to juxtaposition.
E.g. “I love the tension between the detailed figure and stark background.

3. Make vague statements about being drawn to something.
E.g. “I can’t explain why, but I am simply drawn to this.”

4. Use intimacy as a synonym for small.
E.g. “This portrait is so intimate.”

5. Much like new-age business models and free-range chicken breast, organic is a handy term for alluding to shape and form.
E.g. “Have you ever seen a curvature quite so organic?”

6. If you’re confused by it, it’s definitely interrogating.
E.g. “It’s very... interrogating, isn’t it?”

7. Use a gastronomic wildcard to mix things up.
E.g. “Its flavours combined are too overpowering for me”


Say what? It’s time we all had a lesson in correct pronunciation

A beginner’s guide to picking a winning horse at the Melbourne Cup

Still confused about the ‘black tie’ dress code? We answer your questions