A picture is worth a thousand words, or so the saying goes. But what if the picture is a thousand words? Is it still a picture? More importantly, is it still a work of art?
If, as Canadian literary theorist, Marshall McLuhan wrote, “the medium is the message,” then it should follow that the medium is, in part, the letters that create the visual message.
After all, language has appeared in the visual arts since the beginning of language in the written form. We find the artist’s signature and date on the visual art object itself, not to mention the title attached to the image that provides distinct clarification as to what the visual image is depicting.
One might wonder, then: Can the visual arts stand distinctly on their own as a visual image, without any sign of the written language in the image or beside it, describing, entitling the work?