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Looking at Hugh Hefner's Portrait from Various Lenses Essays

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Cynthia Freeland argued that art communicates significance but there is no one precise hypothetical approach that tells us how to best interpret a work of art. Although there are better interpretations of a piece artwork than others, there is no one-way to interpret a single piece of art. The best interpretations understand the background of the artist while also focusing on the style that the artist uses. The emotions and ideas that come from looking at a piece of art work can come from the artist’s perspective of that of the viewer. When understanding the expressionist theory we can look to Freeland’s definition: “expression theory holds that art communicates something in the realm of feelings and emotions” (Freeland, 155). In a broader…show more content…
The different expressions all give the same underlying look of envy. The girl sitting on the ottoman is glaring at the other girls while the two girls on the bed are engaging in conversation while showing wariness. The woman on the floor is looking longingly at the camera as if she wants to say something but you do not know what. Tolstoy’s belief of “an artist’s chief job is to express and communicate emotions to an audience” (Freeland, 155) is conveyed when you initially look at the Hugh Hefner portrait. Every viewer has their own interpretation, but most would argue that when you look at this portrait you are able to see different expressions on the five characters faces—impacting the viewer with the same experience that Shay got when photographing this image. Tolstoy and Freud both understand that art can communicate emotions and feelings, while Tolstoy believes that art communicates conscious emotions and feelings, Freud believes that art communicates unconscious emotions and feelings.
Interpretations are very diverse and come from all different areas and when we view Hugh Hefner, photographed by Art Shay, through Freud’s perspective, we are filled with emotions that are taken from past experiences. Freud believed that when we look at a portrait or another art form, it ignites “unconscious feelings—ones the artist [or the viewer] might not even admit to having” (Freeland, 157). When looking at Hugh Hefner in Freud’s lenses, the different viewers
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