How has this class experience enhanced your ability to communicate visually? a) How are you more visually literate?
This class has been immensely significant in developing my ability to construct things from visual images. Through this class, I am now in a better position to make meaning from images by using some critical skills, for example, exploration, critique, and reflection. One interesting aspect concerning this class is the fact that it has been able to emphasize active interpretation based on information visualization and the significance of visual communication to capture attention. I learned that interpretation is a means of exploring ideas that can explain the impact of the work or the intentions of the artists (Barret, 2002)
By going through the class, I am now in a position to interpret the present and the past art and to produce images that communicate a certain message. I am now able to look at a painting from different sides and create a particular curiosity. For example, when I first saw the images of men in suits and apples in Magritte paintings, the first thought that came into my mind is that the artist seeks to carry isolation and lack of individualism in the modern world. I later came to learn that the artist has a desire to surprise and inspire wonder of the viewer through images that defy reason. I believe that I am more visually literate now because I am in a better position to analyze the syntax of different images that include style and composition. Now I can also analyze the different techniques that are used in producing the images, evaluate the aesthetic value of a certain piece of art and grasp the synergy, interaction and innovation that come with that piece of art.
What has changed in terms of your perspective of how you see art and the role of art in your life?
My perspective of how I see art and the role that it plays in my life have undergone tremendous transformation. For example, different pieces of art that address significant issues have often compelled me to form strong opinions. Others have resonated with me and have made me consider the different perspectives of my life, for example, my political life. I have learned that the element of art is indispensable and is used to give meaning to life. It is a fact that some of the things in the world cannot be understood by using the pure reasons, for example, the concepts of love and beauty in such a situation art help us to understand the world that we live in (Barrett, 2011).
Art has played an important role in my life, it has helped me transcend the world by drawing meanings from different works; for example, Rene Magritte art abandons illusionistic representations and engages observers by challenging their way of thinking and observing. Art has played the role of helping me say words that could otherwise not have been said, for example, when I am told to describe a certain piece of art, I am expected to reach into my poetic capacity and find words that will help me do the job. Art has played the role of making it possible for me to have experiences that I can have from no other place, through such experiences I am able to discover the range and variety of what I am capable of feeling (Schama, 2006).
Did you encounter a “breakthrough moment” where you “saw” a perspective that previously was not in your experience?
a) Describe the “experience of looking”
Yes, I did encounter a breakthrough moment, I used to be attracted to paintings that had appealing colors and beautiful drawings, however, I later learned that painting that had weird images were equally important and carried a significant message as well. Regardless of the way a painting looks like, I discovered that it is important to interpret it because it helps in understanding what the picture contains (Ward, 2014). On one occasion, I thought that Magritte paintings carried isolation and individualism, but I later discovered that they had a way of inspiring desire and wonder in the viewer by using images that defy reason. By using Magritte context, I used to think that authoritative interpretations deterred artists from drawing their own meanings from works, but I came to learn that this should not be the case.
The experience of looking is significant in helping the audiences to familiarize and distinguish different concepts in a painting (Ward, 2014). In my quest to learn, I have discovered that the first stage of looking can be awkward. When audiences get closer to an art piece or get away, their initial impulses are transformed to become lucid and coherent. The experience of looking tends to help us develop social history concepts, biographical history of artists, dominant worldviews and the collective language of symbol.
How has this class informed your identity as a student/artist/world citizen?
As a student, the concepts of identity in different pieces of work shown in the class have helped to infuse my own identity as a student. While I am thinking about the issue of identity in the pieces of art that we are shown in class, I tend to focus on how these issues can be confronted. This class has given me a rich platform where I can be able to understand the influence of art on my student life.
As an artist, the class has given me a platform where I can understand how different aspects of life have been represented through art. The class has been very significant as it has helped me to develop skills, and stimulate my intellect as an artist. Through this class, I learnt that my knowledge and that of the world around me create my identity (Schama, 2006). As a world citizen, this class has helped me to identify with the universality of the human experience. I have been able to increase my identification with other people who come from different parts of the world. Art is powerful in both the national and individual consciousness; it can include problem solving and critical thinking of different issues in the world (Schama, 2006).
What other perspectives were prominent in your reflection?
There were many perspectives that were prominent in my reflection; this includes the issue of interpretation, which involves the general acceptance of the facts that are associated with the painting. Interpreters of the painting notice various aspects and give important descriptive facts concerning the painting. Formalism, refers to evaluation of artwork in regards to its forms, contextualize is evaluation in relation to time. Contextualization and formalism is very important as they create an opportunity for understanding and interpreting the artwork in a more effective way (Ward, 2014). As a student in this class, I have been able to gain a greater sophistication of perception and conception. The skills I have learned have enabled me to make critical selections between the necessary and the unnecessary. The class has been significant as it has helped me develop a foundation for understanding and evaluating the aesthetic intention together with the artistic skills. I am now more resistant to manipulation by mere visual perception. I am more astute in interpreting art.
Barret, T. (2002). Interprating Art: Reflecting, wondering and responding. New York: McGraw Hill.
Barrett, T. (2011). Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary . New York: McGraw Hill.
Schama, S. (2006). The Power of Art. New York: Ecco.
Ward, O. (2014). Ways of Looking: How to experience contemporary work. New York: Laurence King Publishing .
Williams, G. (2014). How to Write About Contemporary Art. London: Thames and Hudson.