Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Naming of Things

Yaaaargh...sometimes, I hate naming my artwork. Sometimes I'm lucky and a title pops into my brain while I'm making the piece or shortly after, but some pieces are just too....mysterious for me to title. Thing is, I think naming things "Untitled" is a total cop-out and I really try to avoid it as much as possible. I always appreciate when someone titles their work, even if I think the title is stupid or pretentious. I appreciate their effort. Times like this though, I wish I could title things like classical composers did like a personal favorite piece of music of mine "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor BWV 565, 2nd Movement, Orchestral Arrangement" (which I first saw when I was a little kid from Fantasia, shown below). Unfortunately from that title one has no idea what that would sound like or the feelings that it could possibly evoke.

Anyway, here's my latest unnamed piece, sans the full installation solution. But you get the idea:


  1. I was never much of a labeler (none of my stuffed animals nor my former car were ever given a moniker) and I often forget names so perhaps I'm not one to give the best comment on this subject. Yet I was always more interested in the personality of the art rather than the name. I'm interested in how the art came to be, what the artist was thinking when they created it or what I feel when I look/hear/touch this art.

    I say don't sweat it. Perhaps enlist someone around you who adores it as much as you do to name it if nothing comes to mind. Good luck!

  2. For me, the personality of the piece can be articulated and furthered by the title. I'm always interested in what artists name their pieces because it's like a clue towards something going on: an attitude, a thought, a feeling. I've seen pieces that I find are enriched by the title. The opposite is also true. It can either flub the piece or sometimes, "untitled" is better. But mostly it's a personal preference that I title my work, like I'm completing a sentence or something. Otherwise it feels unfinished. But you bring up a good point in that it's not always necessary.