There is a great number of art works originating from all over the world in many ways and forms. They come from dedicated artists and indigenous tribes. Art has many forms and purposes. In this essay, I will focus on a painting by Pablo Picasso named Guernica and what knowledge should precede value judgment or opinion.
At first glance the painting does not reveal any breath-taking artistic skills and there is no apparent message. Here we can see that when interpreting the painting simply by an emotional response to the painting itself it does not seem to be extraordinary or culturally valuable. We can agree that lack of knowledge affects the way the painting is valued and judged. When considering art sense perception and imagination are the primary ways of knowing and the easiest ways of conveying the message as they do not require any additional actions from the audience other than looking at the picture. But if the audience is relying simply on these ways of knowing the true meaning and message can be lost or misinterpreted. When looking at Guernica only possessing imagination and sight or sense perception the audience can recognise pain and chaos but what caused it and what is the message author is trying to convey is unclear and is subject to individual interpretation and imagination. Guernica can be seen as the god, seen in the eye, punishing the people and their cattle, the bull and the horse. Terracotta army can be seen as a show of the military strength and so on.
Therefore in my opinion a story of origin of the painting should proceed value judgement. This is because if the audience knows and understands the circumstances in which the work of art was created the point of view and perception can change. When researching Guernica it is revealed that it was an anti-war painting commenting on German bombardment of the Spanish city Guernica. This knowledge opens up a new way of seeing the picture and can change the perception of the painting. However, it can also be argued that the first impression of the painting can outweigh the reason and the true context of the painting. When learning about the context of the painting the audience is granted with another way of knowing which is emotion. This way of knowing creates a connection between an audience and an artist which furthers the intended meaning of art.
To conclude, art can show itself in many forms and there is unlikely to be one true interpretation of any work of art as it is always subject to personal memories so in this sense individual knowledge of the artist will always be different from collective knowledge and interpretation of the audience but to better understand art and to broaden the knowledge of the world in my opinion it will be beneficial to at least inquire about the origins of any form of art to understand the context better.
Léman 2 Boarder.