In this chapterone of the methodologies described is Iconography, Costache explains the termIconography coming from the term “icon” meaning “image” and also a symbolic orsacred representation.
Iconography today has many meanings one instance is oncomputers it is used for applications. Costache also relates Iconography tocelebrities such as Marilyn Monroe being the celebrity icon of the 1960s andMichael Jackson being the popular culture icon. This methodology focuses on thecontent of the work, the subject matter, symbolism, and other elements relevantto its meaning.In the contextof art though this methodology can be seen and used in secular and religiousworks whether it be past or present. Iconography is deciphering symbols andfiguring out their meanings within the work itself. It can be used tounderstand cultural and artistic traditions and the influence it had within theartwork and how the iconography defined the time period.
In Christian paintingsome iconography that is used would be a lamb which symbolizes Jesus Christ oralso a dove that symbolizes the Holy Spirit. William Blake is one of the manyartist who uses this methodology in his painting The Good and Evil Angels created in the eighteenth century.Contrary to religious works in secular pieces a dove can symbolize the goddessAphrodite or Venus. Anothermethodology Costache observes is deconstruction. It is described as examiningthe wide range of aspects of making, analyzing, and disseminating art. StephenAddis in his book Art History andEducation defines deconstruction as established systems of interpretationthat are broken down to find new meanings in works of art.
Some believe that itis impossible to seek the original meanings of a work or to plumb the artist’soriginal intention. In deconstructiveinterpretation some questions asked but not always answered are: Why is thisart? Who decided that this is art> How do art history values affect thesignificance of this work? What kind of materials have been used? Why? What isthe financial value? What does the price reflect? Where has this art beendisplayed? This methodology can help the viewers possibly arrive at aconclusion of the artist work and what the artist is trying to portray. Deconstructionis a never-ending process which suggest that art has a changeable meaning.These open ending questions expose, more than any other analysis, a variety ofprocesses, individuals, institutions, and relationships that contribute to thedefinition and meaning of art. The lack of a clear answer can have a positiveimpact.
Viewers may be more comfortable forming their opinion and feel somewhata sense of control of the interpretation of the work.