A work of art, it seems to me, is basically something physical, inspired by an emotional impulse. It is personal, self sufficient and, though primarily made for the needs of its creator, available to all.
Feelings give birth to the work of art and afterwards the response of the viewer will be affected by the viewer's own feelings. Ultimately the work can only be judged by feeling and not analysis.
Unfortunately technique is the easiest thing to respond to and is often used as a yardstick for judgment.
Meanings too, although part of a work of art, are only the starting point; the value of the work lies in its complex whole.
All of which suggests to me that both access to and assessment of a work of art can come only through familiarity and sympathy.
Peter Jones 22-1-97
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