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significance in art

Muni's picture

"Some pictures are unattractive and significant, some paintings are insignificant and attractive. This is both unattractive and insignificant. " - a guy in the movie

I was a little bit struck by how unfair a claim this is. I understand the "significance" of a piece to be equivalent to its historical relevance, and I can see how art historians have a very distinct idea of what art is relevant to them. Yet, a piece of art could have historical significance that isn't from as limited a perspective of an art historian's. It could have been passed down throughout the generations of a family, or created by a friend or loved one. Then, there's the "attractiveness" of art. Generally, certain things are more pleasing to the eye than others--complementary colors, good framing of the subject, etc. But if the subject perhaps reminds the viewer of the viewer's friend, that particular viewer might find the piece to be quite attractive. I think that certain elements of attractiveness can be attributed to taste. Despite this, I think there is some validity to the statement, in that the painting might not have been attractive or significant to Barnes. I'm actually pretty sure Barnes would argue that the emotional connections to the painting that I speak of are from a lack of training in the viewer, and that the emotional connection should be found after having analyzed the painting from a more educated point of view.

I'm still not sure what I want to write about next week, but I would like to keep in mind that to a certain degree, art is subjective.