That work of art that artists create is filtered through who he or she is, what they have experienced, and their own unique perspective of the world from where they stand within it. They imbue their works of art with their own meanings based on their own uniquely personal gestalt.  So, too, does the viewer of that art see it through the filter of his or her own self, life experiences, and unique perspective on the world.

It is the miracle of art that the work of art itself is the same thing everybody sees, yet no two people see the same thing, experience it in the same way, or take away the same meaning from it.

In this context, art criticism, art critics, and the reams and reams of writings about art are ludicrous.  Knowing about an artist may put what they might have to say in some kind of context, but when it comes right down to it, a piece of art either speaks to you or it doesn’t.  You are either interested in listening to what it has to say or you aren’t.  What makes a work of art great is how much you want to take it home with you and keep it forever.