Meaning is Not as Important as It May Seem

Art is a complex topic. It gives us solace to think that everything has reason for its existence, but that is not always true. It is not a requirement to give meaning to pieces, although some artists choose to do so. Art does not need meaning to be art.

The meaning of a piece is not only determined by the artist but also the viewer. Life and its intricacies are all subjective, therefore the meaning of a piece will change depending on who you ask. Art is a two way street between the artist and their audience, the significance of a piece belongs just as much to the audience as it does to the artist. Artists frequently will have a message they are very passionate about communicating to the world when making a piece, however a viewer’s life will influence what they perceive that to be.

Art is the expression of one’s creativity and their imagination. Some artists choose to attach meaning to that creativity, others let it run free. Even if a piece is made with an idea in mind, it does not necessarily mean that that idea will be perceived by the audience.

Art can be made and brought into the world without any justification. That is the beauty of it: anyone can be an artist. Not everything in the world has to be a challenge, not every piece has something to decipher or discover. Art, in itself, does not need a meaning because sometimes things can just be fun. There’s no lesson to learn from a painter’s doodles on the margin of their notebook. No political commentary from a guitarist’s off minded noodling. But that does not devalue these pieces. Some things are made with a reason, a message that the artist is itching to share, carefully crafting an intricate map for their viewers to trace with their thoughts. While that is beautiful, it is not the only way to make art.  Art that is devoid of meaning is not any less valuable than art that has it.

Art comes in many different shapes and forms and it would be unreasonable to expect it to always have a purpose. Art that has meaning is wonderful, but art that doesn’t have a meaning is just as valid. Creation doesn’t come with terms and conditions. You can create whatever you want and you can make it mean whatever you want. Beauty can be found in various forms.