The art of communication

The art of communication

“Art is a form of language” and “an image is worth a thousand words” are commonly heard notions that suggest there is an intimate relationship between words and images. Visual and written forms of communication can intersect in a myriad of ways in art. In fact, some of the most provocative artworks resulted from the creative exploration of the fluid relationship between words, images, and communication. Written texts can be a source of subject matter or acquire a visual presence of their own through graphic design. The careful combination of words and images can be a powerful tool to effect political change and document historical claims of justice denied. By sometimes reducing art to words,or turning words into art, artists challenge traditional ways of making and circulating art.

Image depicts a brown postcard with six green Argentinian stamps, in two rows of three. The stamps are cancelled with a large circular stamp that reads "Mail Artwork." Attached to the card via a length of string is an off-white tag that reads "correspondencia."

Traveling words and images: Mail art

One way artists combine words and images is through Mail art, also known as Postal and Correspondence art, which has adherents throughout the world. Mail artists have sought to bypass traditional art marketing institutions by distributing their work, including prints, letters, and postcards, through the mail.
Read More
Tavares Strachan You Belong Here (Yellow), 2012 Blocked-out neon and glass, 24 × 61 in. Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin Gift of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2015

Art as information

Conceptual artists pushed the limits of art until it became reduced to an idea that existed in their minds, which they sometimes documented in visual and written forms.
Read More
The image depicts a teacher encircled by 9 students of various ages. The female teacher is reading from a book in her lap. There are farm workers and horses in the background.

Art and words for social change

Combining words and images can be a powerful way to reclaim forgotten histories, document social change, and address political issues. Pictures and texts can work in conjunction to give documentary weight to the historical claim they present.
Read More
The image depicts an abstracted rendering of the front of a steam locomotive. The words "HIGH BALL REDBALL MANIFEST" around the perimeter of the engine. The number 25 is in the center, in yellow stylized lettering on a red circle.

Advertisement and modern life

With the emergence of modern advertisement and graphic design, signs began to be produced to compete for attention in city streets,newspapers, serial magazines, and much later, on television. Artists sometimes included these written signs and the language of graphic design in their works with the objective of addressing, with a sense of irony,the human cost of commercializing all areas of life.
Read More
The image depicts David seated with a sword in his right hand, with his left hand draped over the head of Goliath.

From text to image

Classical myths, biblical stories, and famous works of literature have inspired artists for centuries to give visual form to compelling
Read More

One thought on “The art of communication

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *