Re your comments on Subjectivity.
Greetings from Mrs A and apologies for the delay in taking up your invitation.
Firstly, I'd like to thank my wonderful husband for making me sound as though I have a clue. What I have is no more than a few years of undergraduate study of a vast subject for which I developed a passion while studying and 'doing' at high school. Developing the ability to analyse and appreciate art was as important as learning the history. The history I love and regurgitating it came easily. The other took much more effort and a few too many tutors telling me how wrong I was although they admired my efforts because, after all, art is subjective and I, like everyone else is entitled to their opinion.
The point I wanted to make during our discussion the other evening was that ones ability to judge something depends entirely on how much you know about it. Liking or disliking something is neither here nor there. A five year old and the director of the National Gallery may both declare that they dislike a particular painting hanging on the wall. When and if they are asked why, the five year old will probably say, "just because", but the director will be able to give a more intelligent answer with logical, thought out discussion, literary evidence to boot.
And that is my link to your final comment, "what we see in a work and how it speaks to us".Either we like something or we don't....very fair indeed. However,I enjoy the fact that I can look a piece and see more than the top layer of paint or pencil. Everything that is created consciously has merit, there is a message that someone wants us to receive and our own interpretation of that message provides a infinite number of possibilities for more creativeness.
Everyone has their own reality and the people, works of art, books, music etc that they choose to surround themselves with shows the world their particular interpretation of it. People outside that reality will never truly understand.
My reality includes the world of fine arts, Johnny's the world of historical literature. Our own interpretations of what is real and what is good will never be truly aligned.