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There has always been and probably always will be, a debate about whether or not artists should explain the meaning of their works or leave the interpretation of the art piece to the viewer. To my mind there is nothing wrong with a person having the painting explained to them, by that I mean why the artist did the work and a short explanation of it’s underlying meaning. To some extent I find it a little closed minded on behalf of the observer if they find it an insult to their intelligence to have a brief explanation given by the artist, and yes I have heard people make this kind of remark.
Stop and think about the above statement “an insult to their intelligence”, is it not true that we gain insight on any given subject by listening to other people’s” perspectives? Would it not be ironic that the artist who created the work in the first place wasn’t given a chance to tell his or her story? This attitude that some so called art experts or aficionado’s hold smacks of censorship.
Taking the debate from a different angle, some artists do not like to explain their works and would rather leave the interpretation to the viewer. This is also fine but does this make it more difficult for a novice to their work to understand the artist’s work? I would ascertain that the artist in some cases doesn’t know the meaning of the work themselves. It’s “non-objective” this is also fine but, doesn’t this leave the door wide open for the “Emperor’s new clothes” syndrome? Am I ignorant to the finer points of abstraction? I think not, I know what I like whether it be abstraction, happy accident or technically proficient, art is what the individual recognizes as such. Even if a given piece of work doesn’t measure up to another so called experts opinion of what “True” art is and for the record that also includes my opinion on the subject.
I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that have very interesting opinions on this topic and I would love to hear from you.