Build Your Critical Viewing Skills and Analyze What You See
We live in a visual world: Television, advertisements, computers, video games, phones with cameras all bombard us with images and messages hundreds of times a day. Frequently, we just accept the truth of these pictures and words, assuming that "seeing is believing." Doing this, however, can make us vulnerable to being manipulated by advertisers, politicians, and others who may be distorting the facts.
More and more, professors and employers want citizens who can look critically at their world, "decoding" what a picture really says and thinking about who created it, the target audience, and the purpose for which the visual message was created. People trained to question and think about what they see make smarter students, employees, and citizens.
A viewer studies Romare Bearden's painting, The Return of Odysseus
, at the Chicago Institute of Art
The exercises that follow will give you some practice in critical viewing. You might discover that the more you look, the more you will see.