A Measure of True Art

In Dorothy Allison's essay “This is our World”, she judges true art in comparison to similar works.She writes, "art should surprise and astonish, and hopefully make you think something you had not thought until you saw it."
I agree with her statement completely.If a piece of art wants to have any chance of impacting me, it must hold my attention with an icy grip and force me to drastically alter the way in which I see some aspect of life.The best way to illustrate this statement is by example.I have chosen the photograph on pages 178 and 179 as a piece of art that has made me look at things in an entirely different way.
When Ifirst glance at the picture, my eyes are immediately drawn to the pearls, the makeup, and the camera on the counter of a bathroom.Next I take in the general thinness of the girl, and the way she stares, perhaps frowning at the scale upon which she stands.Now I see the sleek black dress she is wearing and the two other outfits slung over the door as her parents look on.I get the impression that the husband and wife are conversing quietly about their daughter's obsession with her appearance.Next, my eyes drift back to see the worried expression on the girl's seated friend, who may be waiting on her friend for a double date perhaps.The girl on the scale seems skinny to the extreme of being unhealthy and possibly even life-threatening.
To me, this photograph is bursting with emotion.It provides a good learning exercise, and many insights into the lives of members of a family in which the children have such a disorder.The girl still sees herself as being overweight, regardless of how extremely skinny everyone sees her in reality.I have never had a sibling in such a predicament, and so by viewing this piece of art, I am able to feel as though I were a part of that family and could share their emotions.
If I were to pass by a window and w

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