It’s mind-boggling how many books, essays, and articles have been written to instruct others on how to understand art. Analyses of technique, composition, materials, meaning, etc number as many as the stars in our galaxy and yet we seem to need more of them every year. Art has been put under a microscope. Although we artists hope our work will draw attention, but do we really need someone to act as an intermediary between our creation and its viewers? Do we really need someone else to explain to the public that which our art naturally speaks for itself?
One could argue that we all need to be educated into understanding art. Certainly that would be true for learning about materials and techniques. Perhaps it’s also helpful to the viewer to learn about the circumstances surrounding the creation of a work of art, and many analyses offer this type of instruction. Since I spent most of my career as an academic, I can’t argue against instruction. But, as an artist, I want my work to speak directly to viewers without the interference of an intermediary.
And, when you think about it, who really understands “art” anyway? I like this quote from an Ezine article by Redi Zartey:
Understanding art in its totality is almost an impossible task for a human being. There are over 3,600 terms in art to be understood. And these are not definitive in nature. Art is when you are free to redefine these.
What’s your opinion?