The Science of Naming

A bit of a conundrum: does naming art consist of art or can it be a science? This is not an idle question. la jocondeI have stumbled into a career, of sorts, in naming artwork.My paycheck depends on being able to answer that.

La Gioconda

I believe that Naming is a science and that its rules can both be identified clearly and applied consistently. Sarah over at Sarah Dawn Designs was kind enough to put up a piece I wrote about my new obsessive vocation and the 3 Laws of Naming.  A clip:

My job is to assist artists in naming their works – partly for aesthetic resonance, partly for crass commercialism. The two overlap more than you would hope them to. Has it ever been otherwise?
So in a moment of calm, I am sitting down to attempt to construct an elegant scientific edifice to guide artists in their typically intuitive bursts of naming frenzies.
1.)  Separate the eidetic from the linguistic. A work may look like something or it may not, but the artist’s visual inspiration should never be the starting point of a name. Would you buy the Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo or the Mona Lisa. Actually, that’s not a bad name, but I would create a more evocative one if it weren’t already sold. Often great works survive despite poor names, but a living artist depending on sales rather than patrons does not enjoy the luxury of waiting.

You can read the whole article here.



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3 responses to “The Science of Naming

  1. Interesting! I currently work as a gallery manager, and as you know, names are very important…

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