Friday, October 8, 2010

What's in a name?

A woman I dated a number of years ago - a ceramic artist - suggested to me once that my paintings had uninteresting names... names like, "Two Figures and a Yellow Book, Old Man, Lonely Old Man, etc." So I started giving my art more fantastic names. Overall the reaction has been great, and I am glad I did it.

The name of a work is part of the work, just as a person's name is part of who he is, and even helps define that person. A more unusual name also alters the way a person views a work of art. "Gray Buildings" vs. "The Last Memento from a Torrid Love Affair" evoke radically different thoughts when looking at the work itself. In my experience the unusual name helps the viewer engage with the art more. So I think a lot of thought go into a name - it shouldn't be chosen off the cuff.

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