I recently offered a blog exploring the
importance of titles to artwork. Review it here.
I asked for your opinions and you didn't let me down!
Herewith I am sharing some of your comments:
I start with a compliment:
Certainly to titles. I think they should not merely be, but add - as in causing you to go dizzying about trying to figure out why the artist chose that particular title. As in the one you picked for this painting. Way to go! (I also have done market research to confirm that a title can draw a judge's attention-poetry or painting.)
I like titles as long as they are not too abstract. A title helps me understand what the artist was thinking.
a friend shares:
a friend shares:
Sometimes I think I just can’t come up with another title for a seascape; however, I frequently have a painting named the minute I conceive it. Like “Femme Fatale” or “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens.” I had a photographer friend who did a photo of a man on a street talking to a clown; yes, a fully-costumed clown. The clown was pointing down the street. The title of the photo was “So I Stopped and Asked Some Clown for Directions.” I saw the photo in 1983 and I never forgot it because of the clever title.
Some of my favorite titles are derived from songs, like the one you did here.
from an artist:
I always hated to name my drawings, didn't want to influence the viewers interpretation. But at an art show, if a judge picked it for judging it needed a title, sometimes a real struggle ...(see judge reference in first comment!)
a two-step method of viewing:
A title should add, I want to be able to enjoy the piece "on my own terms" first and then be able to turn to the title for some insight into the creator's thoughts.
I like my titles to say something about the piece, even if it is a personal memory that someone else might not understand. That often allows the viewer to ask about it, or perhaps dream their own interpretation. I don't understand some titles; they are almost like the artist stuck it on as an afterthought, as in a piece with circles within squares and the title is "Forest"? But then, maybe that is what the artist actually sees. So titles to me are very important but I'm sure that's not true for all artists!
I mentioned that some artists just prefer to number their pieces, which I think, gives me no reference at all as to their thoughts. And "untitled" to me is just lazy; apparently I have like minded reader:
As for numbering systems, I think they have their place, as in Earth Study 1, Earth Study 5. I do not like them as indicative of the number of pieces an artist makes. And I am flummoxed by pieces titled "Untitled". Surely it evokes something in the artist, else why did he/she make it! Where did it come from? What does it evoke? That just blows me away. So that is my two cents, for what it's worth!!
more to chew on:
I think titles are important, since they can often give the viewer insight into what inspired the artist. When I look at art, I first study it and then read the title. I want to see if I got anywhere close to figuring out the artist’s intent. Sometimes the title will cause me to look again and notice something new.
... I’m not keen on predictable titles. Although I’ve used them (and will probably continue to do so, at times.) But, I prefer a title that’s a little more poetic. Something that sort of circles around the main idea. Like my recent quilt with 3 large tomatoes. That could have been the title, but instead I named it “Vine Ripened.” Still not earth shattering in its creativity, but much better than the super obvious.
Thanks to all who responded and/or thought about this topic, it was fun to read and share your opinions. I'll close with this delightful non sequitur sent in:
For some reason this topic reminds me of what Ogden Nash had to say about eels.