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What are the Ways of Seeing According to John Berger?

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One of the central ideas of John Berger’s book is that people see differently because they are affected by their personal experiences and knowledge they have. Moreover, the act of seeing something appeared before humans could even describe what they saw with the help of words. Therefore, seeing is a natural way of reflecting reality in one’s mind. Obviously, knowledge, ideas, and experiences people accumulate throughout their lives greatly impact how people look at things and how they see them.

Visual art, such as paintings, photos, or videos, is a reflection of how the artist sees this world. Thus, by analyzing what an artist has created, it can be easily understood how the artist thinks and what beliefs have affected him. Berger argues that the way artists depict women is influenced by the way men see women. Apparently, most artists are men, especially painters who created artworks with naked women. There is a huge emphasis placed on women’s appearance, which can be explained by the fact that when men look at women, appearance is the most important aspect of women’s identity they see. Therefore, there is always excessive sexualization of women in art, particularly in art created by men.

It is always necessary to remember that the way people see different artworks and the world around them is always too subjective. There is no objective reality, and artworks created by artists are reflections of subjective perceptions of reality. Therefore, to fully understand the meaning of artwork, it is necessary to be aware of the author’s experiences and other factors that have shaped his perception of reality.

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