From A Certain Point Of View

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From A Certain Point Of View

“You’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

– Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope

Art is very subjective. There are technical aspects, expectations, and conventions that are generally agreed upon that make art work. Great art seems to reaffirm or diametrically oppose each facet. The great artists understand this and use affirmation and opposition in various measures to get their message across. They gain attention by doing so in such a way that their critics are left sputtering about how their masterpiece fails to rise to the level of true art.

We have trouble agreeing on what makes a creative work art at all. And we wonder why humanity seems to be in a constant state of war.

Take any two photographers and study their work closely. You will find differences in composition, posing, lighting, angle, and depth of field used. Favored lenses, aspect ratios, color tones, and subject matter may differ as much as their choice of camera body and lens.

All of this is what I call “surface tension”. Ultimately, what matters is whether or not the creative output provided by an artist presents their particular point of view in a meaningful way. Do the images they share allows us to see that artist’s truths?

Sometimes, seeing an artist’s truth is impossible. Our own point of view obscures our understanding of what they are trying to show us. We can not stand in everyone’s shoes and see the world as they do. While we may share experiences, we will always see it from a slightly different perspective.

There is no avoiding it. My truth is only as apparent as I make it and as you are able or choose to perceive it. I can only do so much to put my truth on the table. You can only do so much to see my truth as I intend as your own gets in the way. Whose blue is really blue?

 

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