Sunday, February 5, 2017

Berger Article Review

     I found John Berger's piece, "Ways of Seeing" to be very thought provoking. I was able to take many of the points he made and apply them to my everyday life. Berger brought up an interesting point by saying "the way we see things is affected by what we know or what believe." This statement  proves to be very philosophical. How do we know what perfect is if we did not have any experience to shape it? In my introduction to philosophy class we talked about how physical things within are world are imperfect. My professor taught us that God creates perfection in his memory and all other items are replicas. I think that  if we have no experience on a topic we will create our own idea of perfection. Connecting this concept to the article, I now realize as to why there are not student examples shown beforehand on our assignments. For example,  everyone created their perfect idea of the dot project in their heads and executed their best replicas on paper. If everyone had seen one example everyone would have made their projects to replicate the original "perfect" example that was displayed.
     Another point that Berger made in his article was that we do not ever take the time to look at one single thing. Our eyes are always moving onto the next distraction. I noticed this myself when I was observing Pierre Bonnard's "Basket of Fruit" at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Berger suggests that we always compare what we are looking at to ourselves. In the case of the fruit basket, how does the color of the basket relate to our life? The stripes of the basket are not perfectly straight. One might then think oh my life isn't perfect either.
     An additional concept that was brought up is how time and culture change the way we view a piece of art. As time goes on we learn more and can offer different perspectives because different aspects of our lives become more dominant. The exact piece of art can evolve with time and common cultural themes. For example, a current controversial topic is the election and inauguration of President. This has sparked conversation about the rights of minorities. Being a current topic it is on my mind and when I look at art I am more likely to come up with a connection to the rights of others and observations about who appears to be the minorities. However, as time goes on this topic will not be as prevalent without culture and the first to come to mind. Instead I might eventually look at the same piece of art and observe a different idea.
     Overall, Berger's article was very relatable to me. I was able to connect it to other parts of my life behind the studio art classroom.

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