Art is an expression of the mind that is open for interpretation. We are appealed to the mystery behind every meaning and the ability to the be the judges. However, what happens when that ability is lost? When art is no longer open to interpretation because the artists already know what they aim to make us believe. The power of manipulation is strong and we find ourselves falling for it everywhere we go. How we see art is influenced by what we know or what we do not know, and manipulation relies in what we do not know. The problem is we let ourselves become victims to the media’s power, losing the ability to see the meaning for ourselves. Art has transformed from free expression of the mind to becoming a tool in one of the world’s largest industries, advertisement.
Art is a visual connection to the world. When we are brought into this world the first sense we learn to communicate with is sight. “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak” (Bartholomae, and Petrosky). We learn as we grow by seeing our surroundings and its relation to us. Being able to see the world is much for exhilarating than reading of it. Art is so appealing to us because there will always be a mystery behind every art work. The artist did not spell out the meaning, because they leave it up to the viewer to decide for themselves. We have the opportunity to interpret the artist’s mind and put ourselves where they’re standing in that point of time. Seeing the view through someone else’s eye is not necessarily bad because it gives us a different perspective of the world. When we walk into an art museum and are asked to determine the meaning of a painting there is no criterion to follow because we get to be the judge. The piece will take us momentarily back that point in time where we can briefly experience history. The past determines the present and it is interesting to go back and try to figure out how history become that way.
John Berger, and English art critic, wrote an essay titled the The Ways of Seeing in which he says “The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe in” (Bartholomae, and Petrosky). We look through the artist’s eyes on a subject we are not entirely familiar with, relying on we know to fill in the spaces. Berger believe seeing is a powerful tool and we should be the only ones to influence what we see. We cannot choose what we see because we are constantly surrounded by art, but we can choose how we interpret it. That is why everyone interprets art differently because we all have come to know the world around differently.
We try to judge the artist’s ability to tell us a story and get frustrated when we cannot figure it out. It would be so much easier if the artist would just give a brief summary describing his painting. Where’s the fun in that? I adore going to a museum and seeing all the stories people have to tell. My favorite art museum is the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, because...