Works Of Art Everybody Loves But Nobody Understands

May 18, 2017

|Diego Cera
meaning famous art


Almost every home has that one framed print emulating as an expensive work of art. It's our own attempt at displaying refinement and good taste. Who wouldn't want their own house to look beautiful? It doesn't matter if this artwork is a religious painting like Da Vinci's The Last Supper, a random Van Gogh, or Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. These paintings are not popular because of their ornamental and esthetic, but because of what they say about their owner.

meaning famous art 1

Have you ever wondered the true meaning behind a work of art? Ideally, you would already know before you even bought it, but in any case, no one seems to care about that sort of thing. They pay more attention to the color palette to see whether it matches the living room's colors or not. Any other type of concern is irrelevant.

Contemporary lifestyle has reduced an artist's work, so full of symbolism and links between sight and concept, to a mere reproduction of famous images that are known by everyone, but misunderstood by most. 

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Campbell’s Soup Cans (1983)
Andy Warhol

meaning famous art 2

The mass production of Warhol's work has caused complete confusion among the populous. Most of them never questioned whether this act was a social commentary on consumerism or something the founder of Pop Art did because he was very fond of money.

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Mona Lisa (1503) 
Leonardo da Vinci

meaning famous art 3


You probably have seen this famous portrait hanging on many walls. This canvas gained a lot of popularity during the early twentieth century. However, even the best of art and history specialists haven't been able to reach a common agreement on the identity of the mysterious woman that features in this portrait.

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Balloon Dogs (1955)
Jeff Koons

meaning famous art 4


The artist didn't create this giant balloon doggie just for fame and money. Its aim is to convey a message about hope, as well as a symbol of the human body. The important thing here is not the balloon itself, but the idea of how even a bit of our own breath is able to create something.

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The Two Fridas (1932)
Frida Kahlo

meaning famous art 5


This painting is the most famous work of Frida Kahlo and has even appeared on film. She made this shortly after separating from Diego Rivera. The Frida dressed in white represents the Frida that was abandoned by Diego, and the second one, dressed in Mexican attire, is the one who married him.

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The Persistence of Memory (1931)
Salvador Dalí

meaning famous art 6


When Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí created this painting, many people thought he had attempted to depict Einstein's Theory of Relativity, which would explain the melting pocket watches. However, when Dalí was asked about his inspiration, he said it had been a slice of Camembert cheese melting under the sun.

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Rhythm 0 (1974)
Marina Abramovic

meaning famous art 7

In this performance Abramovic placed several potentially dangerous objects on a table (pencils, roses, knives, even a gun) and remained motionless for six hours . The audience was free to use the objects on the artist's body in any way they wanted. Everything was being documented by the media. The whole world paralyzed at the sight of one of the spectators pointing a gun at Abramovic's head. Before her, Yoko Ono did a similar performance in 1964 called Cut Piece, where she also stayed motionless letting the audience cut any piece of her clothing they didn't like.

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Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central (1947)
Diego Rivera

meaning famous art 8


In the case of this mural, the title is also it's meaning. However, Diego Rivera had a more transcendental intention with this work. By painting famous figures from Mexican history, such as conquistador Hernan Cortés, viceroy Luis de Velasco, and poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, he intended to gather up all the elements that form a part of the country's identity.

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As I mentioned, maybe most people won't ask you to explain the meaning of that painting hanging on your wall. But if you show more interest on art, you can learn and become a person who appreciates and understands it, instead of just pretending to have good taste.

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Sources:
Ignant
El cuadro del día
Fallen Lids



You may also like:

BBC’S Guide To Understanding Art Like a Pro

30 Paintings That Will Make You A True Art Connoisseur



Translated by Andrea Valle Gracia

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Diego Cera

Diego Cera


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