Art, the Artist, and the Viewer

Hidden in Plain Sight

There will be an unspoken relationship between artist and viewer, a lot of which is based on presentation.

Whether the viewer is intuitive or oblivious, it’s an unavoidable aspect (or a necessary evil) of how an artist approaches their work. Without this acknowledgment, the relationship may just remain in a deep state of trivial obfuscation.

A relationship often begins with what is right there in plain view. You can’t assume that the individual will process the devils in the details as intended through their eyes and into the core of their being. Both the artist and the viewer are responsible for their role in parting the waters of the moment for that to happen.

Dissecting the Corpse

If someone has brushed something red onto a canvas, then someone will eventually see this color red (if the painting ever leaves the echo chamber). Over time, the viewer may dive deeper and start to “dissect the corpse,” as it were. However, the relationship is built upon that initial view, which is where it begins and takes on a life of its own.

Experienced artists might be able to manipulate this first impression and draw the viewer in for a closer look, from which point the observer may dig deeper to find the strengths and weaknesses of the artwork.

Once the first impression has been sealed into place, the viewer can work on the relationship. From this point, the viewer may formulate questions about the artwork, as their mind moves past the surface into the deep dark world of intention and connects back to the artist’s life experiences.

Projection and Reflection

The viewer may continue to find subtle patterns and dimensions that tell a more significant story that might otherwise become obfuscated through an attempt to convey it in words. This process is fundamentally the reward of looking at art, and this also alludes to how the relationship can be synergistic.

How the observer processes what they are seeing relates to the individual and what is in their head at that moment. This process is something for the artist or creator to keep in consideration as they move through this realm of interpretation, leaving the door open for a new perspective. It’s this additional space and disruption of perceived linear time and inertia at any given moment that may enable one to find it within their being to evolve.


Scott Cook

“Creator-Spectator Effigy” by Scott Cook (24″ Steel Wire and Solder)

Self Portrait as Art-Artist Effigy