Welcome to the first ever ARTicle. Here, other Revels writers, or really whoever wants to, give me a work of art to look at it and I interpret it, such as I can. I love this idea because it means I get to keep up on my art-writing skills without having to choose art to write about. However, I really would like to take some time to dispel the notion that my views are any more correct, thought out, or discerning, than anyone else.
Having been surrounded by art my whole life, and having had people tell me I could do anything I set my mind to since age three (much like the rest of my generation), it took me a long time to recognize the sort of mystery the interpretation and understanding of art seems to have. I never had a second thought about my ability to understand art, and nothing in my education has lead me to believe that I should have. However, I don’t see this philosophy in everyone. I have had incredibly intelligent friends tell me they just wouldn’t be good at interpreting art because they don’t know enough. So, I’m going to let you in on a secret.
You don’t need to know anything. Can you think about things critically? If you’re reading Revels, probably. Do you understand that, through symbolism and metaphor, sometimes what you see doesn’t mean exactly that? God, I hope so. Do you have a worldview, consisting of opinions about how people and the natural world work? Even if you don’t think so, you do. And if any of these three things mean anything to you, you can and will benefit from thinking about works of art. It just takes an open mind and some inclination. You will bring to the art what you need to make it meaningful. I may have a greater knowledge base of what has come before, the possible influences, and more practice, but art is much more than a culmination of artistic and cultural influences. There are greater truths at work in all art, and the point of interpretation is to try to weed them out.
So, I agree to and will enjoy writing these articles, not because I believe I am more qualified, but because I am probably more willing. I love writing about and looking at art, and I will say just this last time, that disliking looking at and thinking about art is the only excuse for not doing it. Don’t be scared. It’s mysterious to everyone. That’s the point. I really encourage everyone who is reading this to step away from the words first, take a good look at the art, and see what meaning you can find on your own.
Then I’ll tell you if you’re right.