This is part 3 of “How to Look at Art.” In this post, I’m gonna teach you how to do interpretative analysis.
So, you’ve gazed at the artwork for a long time (maybe a scary amount of long time), you’ve read a couple books and done some research, you know the gist of the artwork, so what’s next?
Well, now we want to know what’s so significant about this artwork. This leads us to our final mode of analysis: interpretative.
This is, basically, just a fancy word to ask, “how do we interpret this piece?” This is when you can start bringing in philosophy and critical theory and things like that.
Some questions you can ask yourself when going through an interpretative analysis are:
- What is the artist trying to say in this work?
- What is the person who commissioned this piece trying to say about themselves?
- What does this artwork say about the human condition at the time it was made?
- What does this artwork say about the location, people, culture, locate, etc.?
This is when theories regarding all the -isms come into play and then you really get to engage with this piece of work.