Essay on The Meaning of a Work of Art

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By nature, human beings seek to understand and to be understood. We are curious about life. We want to express our personal interpretation of the world around us, and we want to know the interpretation of others to discover how it compares to our own. Art begins with the creator. An artist is driven to express his or her unique perspective be it a musical score, a painting, a literary work, or any number of other forms. There is satisfaction in the mere act of creating, but the work is fulfilled when it strikes a chord in the being of another. Art is a means of relating one specific insight to others by way of emotion, intellect, and the senses. Art is communication, and its greatness can be determined by the impact it has on both the …show more content…
It is unrestrained by convention and contains abstract musing as well as a certain wildness. Interestingly, you can appreciate the piece for what is says of the artist or interpret it according to your own experience of life. Either way, the work arouses an emotional response as does all music. Not only does art appeal to the senses and evoke our emotions, it also appeals to our intellect. A 76-year-old lawyer is quoted as saying, "I think good art is when I can hear the ideas bouncing off each other in my brain. This is where aesthetics are for me--not in my retina.” (Gopnick) Many works, particularly literary efforts, stimulate our intellect. Think of the parenting skills instilled by Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. How many people questioned their prejudices after reading this literary work? Consider the lives changed by the words of Martin Luther King Jr. Powerful photographs make us contemplate the atrocities of war, hunger, and neglect. Art from different cultures causes us to ponder alternative lifestyles. Art from the past allows us to understand social, economic, and cultural trends of the time. We are enriched by the intellectual content of art. Art broadens our understanding of life. According to psychologist, Sir Frederick Charles Bartlett, “As viewers begin to understand an artist’s message, it becomes more meaningful and less effort is required for interpretation.” Forsythe. At first glance, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Lawrence Tree is an

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