empathy

The Art Of Social Climbing

We all know how hard it can be climbing the slippery ladder of the social hierarchy. Coming from a middle or lower-upper class background simply does not cut it, even if you have a double-barrelled name (although this helps). Follow our ten top tips to avoid faux pas on your quest to become one of Berlin’s art bourgeoisie.

1. Invest in ridiculous eyewear. If you are a man then standard tortoise shell circular spectacles simply do not cut the mustard. If you must wear glasses then buy some extremely small stylized one. Or even better, a monocle. Ladies, horn rimmed glasses are stylish and sexy.

2. Fur is your friend. Who are you really if you don’t own a fur coat? Morals, we hear you cry, animal rights? Not an issue. Your social standing, however, is. Fur is also incredibly warm so you can wear your most becoming cocktail dress underneath it. Pair with leather gloves to complete the look.

3. Invest in shares on the stock market. This may seem crazy but it’s really not – look at present galleries such as CWC Gallery who invest a lot of time and effort into their business venture… I mean art gallery.

4. Dine at Paris Bar. Forget that peasant food curry wurst, get used to sipping champagne and eating oysters whilst rubbing shoulders with art heavyweights. There is no better place to do that than in Berlin’s Paris Bar, housing a range of exclusive artwork and clientèle.

5. Have at least 3 famous artist friends. So what you originally hated their work, their circle of friends and their ideology – you’re part of this world now! Artist friends are essential to be seen with and hang out with so you can regale people with these personal anecdotes. 

The perfect English gentleman Henry de Wilt and his dog Bobby. Photo: Chris Phillips

6. Own a small dog. This loyal companion will accompany you as you attend the crucial never-ending stream of exhibition openings. Bonus points if you can get a dog small enough to fit in a purse. Small animals may also win you the affection of strangers, although make sure your prized pooch is kept out of their clutches.

7. Own a private art collection. Every self-respecting art social climber has a private collection, whether it’s a room in your house or a whole converted WW2 bunker with your own private penthouse on top (see: Boros Bunker Tour). Owning your own pieces can be thrilling and a wise investment – increase the artworks value by subjecting people to it (for a fee).

8. Remain outwardly unenthusiastic. Despite appearing to engage with the work on a highly intellectual level, do not, under any circumstances appear too enthusiastic. Conveying emotion that is too positive leaves you open to questions about why you like the work so much, and it is much harder to justify your positive attitude (a negative response is not questioned).

9. Make sure Julian Schnabel follows you on twitter. Ensure you take your iPhone (the latest model, natürlich) to every opening to get photographs of yourself with your dog, and also the artist. Tweet this information prolifically.

10. Complain about Soho house. Yes, Soho House should, in theory, be a positive for art social climbers because it’s a members only club; however, real artists detest the place. Everything there is a façade, even the chandeliers are fake – you accept nothing but the best, darling.

Article by Marie J Burrows 

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on the pages of Artparasites on December, 2012. If taking tips is your thing (even if you’re not a waiter/waitress), take more from us: 

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Looking At Contemporary Art: A Beginner’s Guide

How To Get Laid At An Art Gallery