Are all interpretations of art correct?

An artist creates work with a specific intent, but any viewer/audience filters the art through their own lens and sometimes finds an interpretation contradicting that of the artist. Once a piece of work leaves the hands of the artist, regardless of their intent, it essentially belongs to the audience to interpret however they feel is correct. As they say, art is in the eye of the beholder, but is it possible to behold it incorrectly?

  Topic Art Subtopic Fine Art
1 Months 1 Answer 119 views
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Sarah Czarnecki

Knowledge Areas : Crafts, Making and Tinkering, Horror, Literary Fiction, Magical Realism, Thrillers

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Answers ( 1 )

  1. To be more correct, it would be appropriate to say that interpretations of art are subjective - meaning they are personal to the viewer. Of course they aren't correct from the perspective of the artist, they may have had a completely different concept in mind in creating an artwork. But in viewing art, we tend to see the art from our own view and own perspective so something in the work we may see that others don't or can't see. 

    I've been to a great many gallery shows, and been in quite a number of them myself. What's very interesting for the artist is to be anonymous and just walk behind guests as they view the work - to see what they may say, how they view the work. It is often very unlike what you've intended, their words, but it also is quite informative as to how your work is being seen. Two shows in particular that I can recall, one after having just met another artist, he was lingering behind one pair of art connoisseurs, listening to them talk a great deal while they took apart his work, analyzing it in detail, the significance of the subject, the use of color, what they felt was being conveyed. The artist tapped me on the hand to pull me over next to him, and he spoke to the two, telling them that he was simply inspired by an idea, he had not intent or purpose in saying anything beyond that he'd just liked the idea of the subject. That led to an interesting discussion.

    He asked me than what I was trying to say with my own work, and I told him that I just felt it, felt the feeling as I was working it, wasn't trying to say anything except how it made me feel as I worked. It for me, was a deeper resonance, that I felt that I was touching something emotional, buried deep inside. Nobody else was going to see that, nobody else was going to understand that. But one person did come close at another show, he said my work felt lonely, that there was a longing there, and he was very close to right. 

    You see, there is no right or wrong perception in viewing art. We see art with our own eyes, and we experience art from our own life experiences. Once the work goes on the wall, once it goes on exhibit, it becomes something other than the artist intended. It becomes part of the viewer's world. So, it can't be wrong, but it may seem to miss the mark. Ultimately art is like meeting a person, you will never fully know who that person is, but you will see some things that you like, and may not like. But you may not know the full story, and that's where interpretations of art will vary. 

    UTC 2020-10-21 10:14 PM 2 Comments

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