Arty Farty: Circles and Triangles

The way the art speaks to us if far more important than the message the artist meant to portray.  The author of a poem cannot control how the words effect us, which emotions he rouses, or what connections we draw to the intended and unintended meanings.  The author/artist should not pretend to have any authority over his own work.  The moment it is published for the public to consume, it is unleashed into countless (and unpredictable) interpretations.

Richardson would have us believe that approaching art with prejudice is a bad thing.  He would have us trying to look at the art through the artist’s eyes instead of our own.  He argues that, “Readers are too apt at first sight to condemn as error, what an author may have found after laborious, and tedious enquiry to be truth.”  I disagree.  I believe that the publics relationship to the art is far more important to the artist’s.  I have no idea what Picasso was feeling when he painted his masterpieces, but I know how they make me feel.  I know how they make my friends feel.  I know the life they have taken on.  He may have thrown the brush around in some paint, but he is no longer a part of the painting’s life. I am.

Our prejudice does not prevent us from appreciating the art; it simply creates a more personal connection to it.  One should not be ashamed of what they bring to the table, they should simply be aware.  We cannot view art from a vacuum; if you want to remove prejudice, it is far more effective to explore and dismantle your feelings AS you appreciate/hate the art, not before.  Duh.

So, now I need to figure out some art I like, and some I hate.  This part sounds easy, but it’s a whole lot harder than I expected.  I’m going to go simple. Real simple.

The circle. I hate that shit.


Damn- just look at that guy.  He is completely unapproachable.  You never know if you are coming up on his front or his rear.  He thinks he is so perfect, but we all know that there is no perfect circle.  Well there was one in a legend, but that’s what legends are for.  Giving us the impossible.  This circle is impossible.  It looks round but I know it isn’t.  I just can’t figure out where the curve varies. I have no idea where his line ends, where it began, or who the hell drew this bombastic bastard.  The more I look at him, the more I hate him.

The triangle.


Perfect. Beautiful.

Are those angles all the same degree? Probably not. Are those three lines all the same length? Probably not. Is it perfect? Of course! She is amazing! Beautiful.


(speaking in terms of trinity of course)

But God aside, I love the triangle.  She is the strongest structure in the world. She is three points.  An ancient Greek once drilled through a mountain from both sides, using a triangle as his guide. The tunnels met right in the middle.  Try to do that with a circle.

What else is a triangle? Lets get dimensional. It’s a cone. Dip that in chocolate, roll it with nuts and give me three scoops! It’s an orange cone in the road. It warns us where we ought not to go and keeps us safe on the highway. If you’re Madonna, it’s a bra. If your Dan Akroid, its your whole damn head.

Let’s flatten this back down.  Triangles are awesome. Circles are pretentious.  And Richardson needs to stop telling me to put away my prejudice because I would rather enjoy my art.  Don’t tell me how to enjoy my art. It’s personal.


One thought on “Arty Farty: Circles and Triangles

  1. John-Mark,

    This is great! I really enjoyed when you differentiated authorial intent versus public interpretation. Great job relating Richardson’s beliefs about artistic prejudices to your own.

    Also, I loved your responses to your chosen pieces. As “simple” as these pieces are, you tied them into Richardson’s beliefs quite nicely at the end. However (and this is totally irrelevant), I feel have to disagree with you about the circle and the triangle. I have phobia of pointy edges. 🙂 But, it doesn’t matter. As you say, we all get to enjoy art in our own way. Job well done!

    Grade: S

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