John Berger presents a multifaceted argument regarding art, its interpretations, and the various ways of seeing. Berger asserts that there is gap between the image that the subject sees and the one that was originally painted by the artist. Many factors influence the meaning of the image to the subject and those factors are unique to the subject themselves. Seeing is not simply a mechanical function but an interactive one. Even the vocabulary is subject to specialized scrutiny by Berger; an image is a reproduction of an original product, while only the product itself may truly be a ‘painting’. Images are seen at an arbitrary location and circumstance – they are different for everyone – while the product, which is in one place, is experienced under shared circumstances. An image is predicated on a way of seeing that is intrinsic to its existence. As soon as a painting is reproduced it immediately loses meaning, or perhaps the meaning is simply warped, and proliferates to countless new meanings. Even the reproducer of the painting – the photographer for example – innately becomes an ar...
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