Okay, so we’re now going back to basics.
I find many of my friends finding it difficult to read or analyse art. Maybe, we shouldn’t put it in such a serious context as “analyzing” or “ studying” art, but simply try to think and see things in another perspective.
Contemporary art, especially, consists of so much variety that may drive a person who doesn’t usually appreciate art confused. A rather simple yet enlightening read would be John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing”.
Although the art world has gone under changes from the classical period to its adventures across the modern period (late 19th – 20th Century), and now left in an age of disillusionment and endless “murkiness”, the general public’s way of viewing art is still rather stuck in the classical period, investigating how well is a painting painted by judging its details and “traditional” aesthetics. This is not the wrong way, but not the best or more comprehensive way in understanding art. Cultural backgrounds as well as noticing the visual techniques embedded in an artwork can heighten the sensory enjoyment and sense of fulfillment when one views an art.
John Berger’s “Ways of seeing” brings us along a journey of the mechanical re-production of art, the use of signs and symbols as well as the artist’s self-awareness …
To keep this introduction short, I hope after this excellent read it can inspire viewers to understand the art they are viewing and in turn, understand their own contemporary cultures more after contemplation.