Does the art present a story from literature, theater, or song?
Does the art present a story from history?
Does the art record current events?
Does the art create its own narrative?
How does a work of art help the viewer understand themselves?
How does a work of art change individuals’ interactions within a community?
How does a work of art help the viewer understand the nature of the circle of life and mortality?
How does a work of art explore ideas about body, race and gender?
How does the work of art manifest the spiritual realm?
How does the work of art narrate the stories of religious traditions?
How do the sacred spaces created by artists/architects impact the spirituality and/or understanding of the faithful?
Nature and Science
How does the artist depict nature and what does that say about attitudes toward nature?
How did the artist use scientific knowledge or technology to produce the art?
Politics and Social Order
Does the art try to define and/or assert power?
Does the art try to influence public thought?
Does the art intend to increase social awareness?
Of the Imagination
How does the artist attempt to “trick” the viewer?
Does the artist create a world that exists only in the imagination?
Does the artist transform the world in a way so as to represent it as new to the viewer?
Art about Art
Art is an activity we have come to pursue for its own sake. As such, art can be its own theme, with no other purpose that to give visual pleasure or to pose another answer to the ongoing question, “What is art?”