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The City
A coming-of-age tale of a jazz prodigy finding his way in 1960s New York City.
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Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

Created: 07/14/14

Replies: 25

Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Interpreting Art

On the interpretation of art, Amalia says, "when it comes to what it means, no stuffy expert in the world has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting. Art is subjective. Whatever comfort or delight you get from a painting is your business." Do you agree with this?

Do you think there's a tendency for people to find art intimidating or prohibitive because they're supposed to take a specific meaning away from it, or arrive at it with some type of context?

Are there works that you've found particularly evocative or moving based on your own experience at any given time?


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

Art should be viewed and processed individually. Sure it's great to discuss your thoughts with others but ultimately you decide on the final outcome. Art is similar to novels, rarely do you find two people reading the same. Reading applies to seeing art.


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

It has taken me many years to realize that whatever I take away from viewing a piece of art is valid. Similarly, whatever I create, whether sketched, painted or written, has its own validity. It always amazes me what others see in my art, nuances that I never thought of nor intended.


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lisa

Join Date: 06/13/14

Posts: 14

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I completely agree with Amalia (a character I liked very much!). I love hearing what others think about art. It may influence the way I see it myself, but I want to be free to have my own valid thoughts just as I'd like to hear the thoughts of others. The more original thoughts that are brought out by a piece of art, the richer that piece becomes (in my opinion!).


Posted Jul. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dawnc

Join Date: 09/19/11

Posts: 9

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

Absolutely, that's why it's art, it should look different to everyone!


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 158

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I agree the experience of art is personal. I do enjoy reading others' views either before or after my own viewing … just to see if I agree with their assessments as well as to see if they took something away from the piece that I missed.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I agree 100% with this statement. The same is true for all sorts of cultural things, from wine to movies. I have found the paintings of California artist DJ Hall to be extremely powerful. Other people do not like that super realistic style.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christinep

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 31

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I completely agree with what Amalia said and I apply it to all forms of art including the books I read. I feel each piece is a personal experience between you and the artist. Our different life experiences add texture to what we see and feel as we view art in its many forms.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

Totally and completely agree with Amalia's assessment of how one should view art. No matter how famous or costly a painting happens to be, if it doesn't speak to you it is worth nothing to you.


Posted Jul. 15, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

Certainly I agree with Amalia. However, I've learned a lot from what other people say about a piece of art. Often someone will notice something I didn't even see, or else they know something about the history that I didn't know.


Posted Jul. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joannev

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 19

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I do agree and I think most people would. It is interesting to hear what others think, art critics, etc., but I have never felt that I needed to agree particularly, I think that is what art is, whatever you see or feel is valid and that is what makes art such a powerful medium. I loved the description in the book of "The Goldfinch" since I had just finished reading Donna Tartt's novel.


Posted Jul. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alices

Join Date: 06/15/13

Posts: 11

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

Yes, I do. Your view of art depends upon your individual taste and knowledge of art, plus experience in viewing different pieces of art.

AliceQ


Posted Jul. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alices

Join Date: 06/15/13

Posts: 11

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

Yes, I do. Your view of art depends upon your individual taste and knowledge of art, plus experience in viewing different pieces of art.

AliceQ


Posted Jul. 16, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 135

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I agree that no one should tell you what to think about a painting, but you should always be open to opinions of others.


Posted Jul. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marciem

Join Date: 07/17/14

Posts: 5

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

Ok, the overwhelming consensus is that everyone agrees that art is personal and no one can dictate how all of us should interpret it. Fine. However, there are folks who study art, study the artist's lives and experiences, who perhaps are better-equipped to accurately describe a specific piece of art. Someone unfamiliar with van Gogh's life and relationships and mental tribulations is simply less able to completely interpret the meaning of his paintings, right? I don't want to take away people's rights to individual interpretation and expression, but I also don't think it's heresy to suggest that there is a 'right starting point' from which to view certain art works given known facts about an artist's life, experiences and relationships.


Posted Jul. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
harriettek

Join Date: 10/19/10

Posts: 34

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

Absolutely! Art ( and music and writing) resonates differently with each of us. On the other hand, anything that we learn about the period, the artists life and feelings helps us look at art with a bit of an educated eye. Our personal response is still key to the way we look at art.


Posted Jul. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 46

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I absolutely agree because what we see is encompassing all our past experiences which of course are different. This applies to all aspects of art albeit dance, composition, etc.


Posted Jul. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 120

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I find that with books I take something differently now than when I read a book as a younger person. I recently reread A Catcher in the Rye -- hadn't read it since high school -- and it had a powerfully different effect on me.I liked it this time around. At first reading, not so much.
As far as music is concerned though, my feelings about it don't change much from when I first heard a song or musical number. Pop music almost never fails to elicit the same feelings I had that first time.


Posted Jul. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I agree and have found that as personal knowledge and experience increases your own opinion may change. When I started painting, I found a new appreciation for works I really didn't understand before. There are some pieces that I would like someone explain to me. I first saw Van Gogh's " Starry Night" when I was a child and it still impresses me.


Posted Jul. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mystinamarie

Join Date: 12/19/12

Posts: 37

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I will agree that no one has a "right" to tell you what you "should" think about art. However, I also understand and agree with marciem's point that those more educated in the field of art might be better equipped to understand where or how an artist was in their life, journey, or even a period of time to have better clues of interpretations.
I am also one where I absolutely LOVE to hear other's opinions and interpretations of art, and love to discuss it with them. This might come across like I'm questioning their opinions, or trying to sway them to seeing mine, but it's more for curiosity and understanding. I might see AB&C, while they see CD&E. So it's very interesting for me to see how our thoughts intercept and why I see things they don't, and vice versa. I think that is what ALL forms of art are about - how you see, feel, and take from them. And by sharing that and discussing with others adds another dimension to the art.


Posted Jul. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I agree with Marciem in that there is a lot to learn from experts but there is also a time to experience something viscerally for oneself - and on the whole I think this personal experience should come first - and then later be refined by further learning.

I'm sure we all remember the experience of being told how to think about things in school - at least at my school, we were fed one interpretation of most events whether it was the motivations of a character in a work of fiction or from history, or how to think about the work of the great artists (and who to consider a great artist), and so on. There was very little room for ones own opinion and as a result enthusiasm was dimmed, if not lost for life.

I also agree with JoanP's and DonnaC's view that one's perspective changes with time. I have read books that were life changing at the time, but I re-read them now and they are just so-so, because I am reading with an older, more critical and (often) cynical eye. But that first reading caught me at a time in my life when I was open to discovering a new aspect or way of thinking. It didn't have to be the best ever book on that topic, it just had to be the one that I came across at the right point in my life - so I didn't need to be told by some expert that there was a better written book out there, and I definitely didn't need to be told what to think of what I was reading.


Posted Jul. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 77

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

No one should tell you what you should think. But I really did enjoy Art History classes in college. I enjoyed learning what the painting meant at the time in history it was painted and how it compared to other pieces during that time in history. Along with what inspired the painter to paint the picture.


Posted Jul. 23, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I find it is very hard for people to say (of a painting, book, movie, etc.), "It is very good but I don't like it." Or the converse, "It is really awful but I like it anyway." One's feelings about art are wholly subjective and have nothing to do with whether or not the work is "good" or the author is gifted.


Posted Jul. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
caroln

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 48

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

What is that old saying. . . the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder?" I truly believe that each of us can look at any piece of art and see something different, feel different about it. Amalia was one of my favorite people in the novel and was so sad when she killed. That trio were meant to be with each other.


Posted Aug. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sherrillb

Join Date: 02/16/12

Posts: 8

RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I have a copy of a painting by Vermeer hanging in my living room, I look at it every day. As I was driving to work one day I happened to glance int the window of a antique store and there it was. I slammed on the brake went in to the store and put it in layaway. I had to have that painting. It is of a mother and her three little girls fixing a meal, peeling potatoes or apples. This was before my daughter had any children. With the next few years she had three daughters that looked just like the painting.


Posted Aug. 18, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: Do you agree with Amalia's view that no one has a right to tell you what you should think about a painting? Are there works that you've found particularly powerful?

I totally agree that art is personal. It's like shopping for a new home. A realtor might say that a home is great, but if the buyer likes high ceilings or a lot of natural light and the home has neither of those, then it is not great. The same for art. Just because a piece of art is old does not make it great, either.


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