Assignment: Reading Art- Understanding Iconography

There are four roles in which an artist uses to convey the meaning of their work with a brief description of each they include;
An artist helps their audience view the world in new and innovative ways.
An artist creates a visual record of their time and place ( this could be defined as culture, year, or location).
An artist creates functional objects and structures to be more pleasurable by imbuing them with beauty and meaning.
An artist gives form to the immaterial ideas and feelings.

Two pieces of art I found to interest me the most were the Race Riot, created by Andy Warhol May of 1963 and the painting by Jan Van Eyck of Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife Giovanna Cenami in 1434. The Race Riot, demonstrated a visual of the factual events that took place in Birmingham, Alabama during the Civil Rights movement. This particular piece of art displays several roles by the artist, one is by creating a visual record of the time and place. We know this painting was based on an event in Birmingham Alabama in 1963, we also can see how the artist helps their audience view the world in new and innovative ways by allowing us to see an image from this Race Riot. The artist also is giving form to the immaterial ideas and feelings by portraying a man running from a dog. This expresses fear which is a feeling.
The painting by Jan Van Eyck is different from the Race Riot, in fact Jan Van Eyck uses many forms of visual images or symbolic significance within his painting. The painting is of a woman and her husband but from one angle it could appear as a mirror, the brides green dress symbolizes her natural fertility and the one candle burning in the chandelier above expresses the presence of Christ. Jan Van Eyck uses the role of creating functional objects and structures to be more pleasurable in their meaning and beauty and also creates a visual record of time and place by the traditions and symbolic messages that he uses in his painting. Both paintings are quite different but both demonstrate how an artist can use different roles to attract their audience.