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“What Does It Mean?”: Beginner’s Guide to Interpreting Art

“I don’t get it. What Does It Mean?” A Beginner’s Guide to Interpreting Artwork

by Daric Gill

“monument” for V. Tatlin by Dan Flavin. 1969

You’ve always considered yourself an art lover, but there are times when you find yourself scratching your head in a desperate attempt to understand exactly what an artist was getting at.

Viewers make snap-decisions about their fondness for a piece in the first few seconds. It’s pretty unavoidable. In these moments, it’s easy to forego any further investigation into meaning once we make that decision. Liking or not liking the piece is ok. Skipping the reasons why… that’s a different story.┬áBefore gliding over the meaning of the work, the following article suggests a couple of tips that can help you approach the artwork in real-time with a new mindfulness.

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