Visual arts encompasses art made for the eyes. A certain sophistication is often assumed in the visual arts such that people find it challenging or even intimidating to read and understand. To fully grasp art, one must have an idea about the process it follows from a blank canvas to a masterpiece. Art must also be viewed and read in the context of culture, as art is influenced by reality and vice versa. This principle is the foundation of this textbook.
Designed and created to establish a critical understanding of the specificities of visual arts, visual literacy, visual practice, and visual culture, this higher education textbook familiarizes students with theories and conceptual resources essential to the analysis and appreciation of visual arts.
This approach lays down the basics and explores the complexities of reading visual art and engaging with visual culture. The book teaches students how to examine meaning, practice, as well as the politics of producing and consuming visual culture. It pushes readers to rethink the notion of “visual art” in the larger context of visual practice. Students will be able to identify and intertextuality, and view and appreciate visual art in its entirety.
After the course, students will be able to understand that visual texts are products of complex relations of production and consumption in society, acknowledge that the meanings of visuals are contingent on time and place, recognize that visual texts can be read with appropriate lenses, comprehend that visuals relate to one another, and recognize that meanings connect one medium to the other and one visual to another.
About the Authors:
Alwin Aguirre, PhD holds a teaching position at the College of Arts and Letters at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is a Palanca awardee for his short fiction and future fiction works in 1999, 2000, and 2002. He has written and directed several documentaries and instructional videos for different institutions and nongovernment organizations. He obtained a PhD at the Institute of Culture, Discourse, and Communication, Auckland University of Technology in 2015.
Aaron Vicencio is currently a lecturer at Ateneo de Manila University, teaching visual communication courses. He is also a visual journalism program coordinator for ADMU’s Asian Center for Journalism, from which he obtained a diploma in photojournalism in 2008. He holds a master’s degree in geography from the University of the Philippines Diliman. Besides his professorial work, he is also a professional photographer who has worked with various publications and advertising agencies for the past 10 years.