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The self…as the Mona Lisa

IMG-20190411-WA0007.jpgThe iconic image of the Mona Lisa in the age of the smart phone now also includes visitors standing before her posing for selfies with her as their backdrop. The focus is not on the work of art, but on us, it has been so for almost a decade now. Is there then a difference between putting ourselves at the centre of famous art and us looking for ourselves in works of art?

When I prospect for meaning in a painting or a poem, sometimes just a bit, or a line or two call out to me, and the story of my life. Those bits become part of my very own bastardised biographical fallacy. Instead of trying to get to grips with the interpretations of the work of art, I am too busy looking for my ‘self’ in it. Critics were accused of suffering from the biographical fallacy when they picked out the author’s life story from their work of art, and not the product of their imagination.

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