Throughout history, art critics have imposed and attributed arbitrary meanings to individual works of art, as well as entire genres of art, and the notion of art as a whole. None of this holds any weight, however, unless the opinions and attitudes of the common individual are taken into account in the critics rendering. There are those who would believe that an educated art critic or historian has a more valid opinion than the everyday appreciator of artwork. This is however, false. As art is designed and executed for and by individuals, each individuals opinion matters just as much as the last, and a critics thoughts on art mean no more than a doctor's, or a businessman's.
Art isn't merely a decoration that one might hang on a wall. Rather, it is a conscious expression of unconscious desires. The art itself does not occur when the artist touches the brush to his canvas. It occurs when the audience views it for the first and subsequent times. The audience brings their own allusions and history to the work, and each individual interprets the work slightly differently than the last. This is why art itself is so amazing. Ten thousand different people may look at a work such as Munch's "Scream," or Dali's "Persistence of Memory," and each one sees it differently, through their own eyes, bringing their own backgrounds, histories, even their mood on that particular day, and applying it to the work.
For me, artùgood artùis like a letter from one person, and sent out to a million. It touches the lives of those who see it, and in some special casesùsuch as Van Gogh's "Starry Night," changes their perceptions of the world interminably.
The poet Emily Dickinson once said of poetry that you know that it is poetry that you are reading if you feel a chill in your spine. Certainly, art touches us the same way it seems. It can take us to places we've never dreamed of, or make us feel completely at home in a world that seems to have ...