Understanding Visual Culture- Part 3- Myth is a type of speech

For this exercise, we had to think carefully about a passage on meaning and form

“The meaning is always there to present the form; the form is always there to outdistance the meaning “

We then had to choose an image to annotate and illustrate our thoughts on this passage.

I chose Pablo Picasso’s “Girl before a Mirror” which he painted in 1932. 

I thought that this would make an interesting image to annotate in the context of form and meaning. 

To begin with I looked up the dictionary definition of form and meaning.

Form- arrangement of elements in a composition

Meaning- message that is intended, expressed or signified

My general thoughts on the above passage were that art must have these 2 elements (message and form) for them to be considered art. An artist cannot create artwork if there is no meaning or reason behind it. By placing different elements into a piece that artist can potentially hide the image’s true meaning and leave it open to interpretation by the viewer. A piece of artwork can also include hidden meanings beyond the original meaning. An example of this would be The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci which has been rumoured to hold clues to the secrets of the Holy Grail.

Picasso; Girl Before a Mirror, 1932


I chose this image as the form is very distinctive and there is a lot of colour and shapes within the image.

With the divide down the middle of the image, you could be forgiven for thinking that the image is of two girls not a girl looking at her reflection. The image is about reflections and the way we see ourselves. The reflection is slightly different from the girl, the face and hair are slightly darker and there appears to be a tear running down the reflections face. The very bright colours that are used, distract the viewer into thinking that is a happy, energetic and exciting image. However I feel that it is quite a sad and subdued image as the girl is not smiling. Picasso possibly created the image in this way to make light of the situation and the message and make it seem less depressing. I also think that maybe the girl in the image is pregnant and doesn’t see it as the joyous occassion it usually ist.






About kunsworthphotography

I am currently studying towards a BA (Hons) in Photography with OCA and I have 2 children, Evie(4 years old) and Connor(3 years old)
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