Have you ever had the insight that a dollar bill has absolutely no inherent value or meaning other than what we attribute to it? It’s just some ink on a rather small piece of paper.
Even the patterns of the ink on the paper – the numbers, words and pictures – only have meaning when we agree that they do.
Have you read art reviews wherein the critic elaborates upon this or that aspect of a painting, adding significance to the subject matter and technical aspects of the painting down to the choice of color, that flourish of a brushstroke, and that seemingly accidental drip over there? They might say the work is derived from some important thing and indicative of a new trend and has great social implications.
And maybe this was all part the artist’s intent – or more likely not – but it’s all true now. Because that meaning has been assigned to the painting by an authority.
People seem to want me to talk about the meaning in my paintings. Believe me, I put a lot in there. I even try to infuse the energy of what it means to me so strongly that any viewer will get a sense of it. But I often say that there is no meaning except what you as the observer bring to the work from your own consciousness.
After all, the painting is akin to the dollar bill and is just paint on canvas, with no meaning except that which we assign to it.
What about the cosmos? Do you think there is any meaning out there beyond what we puny humans attach to it?