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  • KC Pruitt

Perception and Identity

Has your perception of a piece of art been influenced by the identity of its creator? I must say yes; the identity of the artist does influence my perception of a piece of art. This is about why I think this way. In this context, perception is about points of view, the artist’s and mine. The definition of identity is the condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is; the qualities, beliefs, etc., that distinguish or identify a person or thing. Looking at a work of an unknown artist a decision is made from what is seen. It may have an aesthetic appeal. The artist may be a master of color theory and use the appropriate principles and elements of design when creating a cohesive work. It may be compelling and well liked. Identity of the artist has nothing to do with whether it is liked. This art is admired for the work. If looking at art of a known artist such as a traveling exhibit in a large museum. The identity of the artist is known and the perception of some viewers will be it must be good because that artist’s paintings sell for a lot of money. Even known artists have days when their art is not up to their personal standards. In other words, a specific work may not be considered especially good but, because of his identity it will be accepted by the viewer. Look at the case of Vincent van Gogh. His work sells for millions. The perception that it is good is secondary to money. I personally like his work. I see something new every time I look at a van Gogh. During his lifetime, he produced an amazing amount of work. I have read that he was only active for around ten years. If so, that means that he must have painted three or four works per day. Some of his work if not identified as his would not get a second look by many. However, identified as his, good or not, the value immediately increases.

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