Thursday, December 11, 2008


I recently asked a friend, if she were to read a blog about art what would she want to read about?  She replied interpretation.  This reminded me of my college days when I would learn about the history of a painting that I previously hadn't liked and immediately gained a new found respect and even love for the piece.  Is it necessary to know everything about a painting to appreciate and like it?  The answer is no, but it is sometimes easier to enjoy something when you understand it a little better.  Interpretation is key in whether or not you love a work of art.  There are two kinds of interpretations in art.  The first is the artists interpretation.  What did the artist actually mean when he created a piece of art?  Well, only the artist can give an answer to that one.  Not even the most pompous art critic can truthfully answer the artist interpretation.  This may be important, but it is not as important as personal interpretation...that means your interpretation.  What do you think it means as you look at it?  The first thing you can look at is the artist's biography as this helps get you in mindset of the artist.  The next thing you can look at is the title of the piece.  Sometimes it this is the easiest way to understand a work of art.  The next thing to do is to personalize it.  What does the scene remind you of?  How do the colors look together, and how does that make you feel?  Are the brush strokes vigorous and expressionistic or are they soft and planed?    Your personal interpretation is never wrong.  The artist's and your interpretation go hand and hand, and many times if you really take the time to look at the painting and the artists life, you can figure out the artists intention.  Many people are better at interpreting art than they think...people come into the gallery and ask me to explain a painting, I ask them first what they think it means.  They tell me, and more times than not they are telling me what I would have told them.  

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