How the Form and Content of Art Affect Meaning
Meaning(s) of a work of art can be as subjective as beauty. The content is not actually imbued in canvas, in light waves or cast iron; the materials and dimensions an artist composes to form a piece amount to what is referred to as form, not content.
The form cannot function as art unless, somehow, the piece is witnessed by a viewer. When your senses are affected by a work of art, the experience allows some kind of meaning to be conveyed to you. This is the work's content, emergent from an active dialectic with the viewer.
Although your interpretation is ultimately unique, many works of art are targeted at specific meaning(s).
It can help to understand a work of art more thoroughly by comprehending the significance of context. Often, the context that an image is seen within can be more significant to the whole piece of art than the focal subject-matter.
The juxtaposition of imagery in a work can completely transform the context and content of an image in limitless ways.
Think about the meaning of this image:
"A Boy For Meg"
Now, notice how the shift in context affects the meaning in this image.
"A Boy For Meg,"
72 X52 in.
Furthermore, understanding the context within which a work of art was created can offer insightful perspective and influence its meaning. Look at this image and think about the content, the significance of what you're looking at.
The painting, Picasso's "Guernica", was painted as commentary on the Spanish Civil War, and the massacre of civilians in the town of Guernica by the facists.
Surely the historical context adds a great deal of significance to the imagery.
11.5 ft. X 25.5 ft.