• James Novotny

How to Appreciate Art in Four Simple Steps

There is an uncanny desire to create in some capacity within all humans and art fulfills this need. Many people can sometimes be overwhelmed when visiting an art museum whether it's with friends or for an educational experience, I know I was! Knowing how to critique art is a great way to give you a step up. The four step critique approach includes; Description, Analysis, Interpretation and Judgment.


The initial phase in the analysis is a sort of visual depiction. At the point when we take a look at a piece, our brains normally pay heed to the general look that is available. In the event that we take American Gothic (Grant Wood) for instance, we notice, there are two figures, a man and a woman. (Check out this art analysis on American Gothic) We start with only a basic idea of perception. We should attempt to shield ourselves from making a decision about the nature of the work until we have experienced the entirety of the meaning. This can be hard as the human mind is very adept at quick judgement based on personal tastes.


An analysis alludes to how the components and art elements are utilized in the work. This is when you should take into account ine, shape, space, value, form, texture, and color and how they interact. We additionally may pay heed to mood, and overall feel found inside the work. Ordinarily, the conventional characteristics of the workmanship are what makes the craftsmanship an artistic endeavor. If you attend art schooling these are the main idea that carry into all works of art regardless of the medium and application. You will see these elements mentioned multiple times throughout Always the Bridesman!


What is the meaning or purpose of the work? This can be a complex question and sometimes has a very obvious answer proclaimed by the artist in literature or in interviews, however this is not always the case. Some artists who have made classic masterpieces died long before many questions can be posed so it is up to the viewer to determine the meaning. In these instances there will never be a confirmed answer. To determine intent it is essential to take into account the previously mentioned ‘mood’ and the potential world in which the artist lived. This can sometimes be difficult if you find yourself in a museum with no knowledge of the artist prior. Don’t be afraid to look the creator up on your phone if the feeling strikes to get to know the piece better.


The last part in an art analysis is judgment. Is the art meaningful? Do you feel all the elements, interpretation/intention and analysis add up? The answer in this final step is not totally factual nor is it 100% opinion either as it takes into account the work on a level deeper then a simple like or dislike at first glance. Regardless of your opinion it should be able to be backed up when held against the question, ‘why?’. What is your reasoning behind the final judgment and yes it should be more than, ‘I just didn’t like it’.

Understanding the process of art analysis and executing them in an organized manner in study, is essential to truly appreciate what fine arts and even some applied arts is all about. If you are not ready to practice this in front of your peers trying it on your own by visiting a local museum or even just looking up some artwork online or art analysis videos on Youtube by college students. All types of art have their place and all merit a reasonable methodology of assessment that is fair and appreciated as we all have the desire to create within.

If you are ever in Chicago check out The Museum of Contemporary Art or the Art Institute of Chicago.

Follow Me!


About Me!

Spending an


amount of time

as a single


on the side of the

bride as a new age

“bridesman” James

Novotny, professional

event coordinator shares his experience to help provide an artistic perspective to your wedding day and life.

Featured Posts

James Novotny, Always the Bridesman is an inclusive

proudly queer owned and operated business