Role Of The Observer

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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There are two main things that can really enhance ones role as an art observer. First, exposure to art, and second is perception. Understanding these two terms will help the casual observer become an informed observer.

The first step to becoming an informed observer is exposure. By exposure I mean getting out and physically looking at art. According the book Living with Art exposure means "looking at art, as much as possible and really seeing it- that is heightening your perceptions of it." I believe that the more one goes out and sees art the more they can get out of it. I think that once a person studies different types of art the more likely they are to be able to begin to understand the symbolism and possibly begin to understand where the artist is coming from.

A second way for a person to become an informed observer would be through study.

By studying art I mean learning about the artists past, their upbringing and life experiences. By knowing this the art they produce has much more meaning. For example if a person were to look at the painting " The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh, they may just see a painting of a town at night. Yet by knowing the artists torrid past one can understand and catch all of the symbolism that was included in the art piece. " Appreciation of art can be greatly improved by knowing how a work of art was made, why it was made and what went before and after." (Living With Art) Finding out the answers to these questions can help an observer better understand art.

Finally, a third way that I believe could enhance ones experience with art is through personal experience. Bringing one own experience to...