Jun 2, 2020 in Informative

Iconic Art

Evidently, art performs many functions in human life, serving as a social regulator, aesthetical tool, psychological technique, communicative means or mechanism of education. The modern and postmodern art creates a gap between the apparent appearance of artworks and their actual meanings. Such one calls for the searches of the hidden sense and comprehension of the context of its creation.

At the same time, many pieces of modern art follow an iconic approach. According to it, every piece symbolizes exactly what it looks or sounds like. Such artworks do not demand any previous background for a proper comprehension and interpretation of their sense. Nevertheless, despite its evident structure and composition, such art does not lose its topicality and importance in the modern life. It helps to evoke different emotions, create strong impressions, form vivid associations, and express human feelings as well as attitudes. The aim of this paper is to discuss the ideas of iconic art of the examples of Naomi White’s painting Calm Sky and The Beatles’ song “Yesterday”, define their impacts on the personal impressions, and analyze the role of this masterpiece type, under the conditions of modern life.


Iconic Painting of Naomi White

One of the prominent examples of iconic art is Naomi White’s painting Calm Sky. It is written with oil on the canvas. It depicts the ordinary summer day in the rural area. The vast majority of the picture is dedicated to the image of sky. The author uses different shades of pink, blue, grey, and yellow to transfer the real representation of the summer sky. The lower part of the painting depicts the yellow field, covered with thick forests on the background. The picture is written in pastel soft and tender colors, which create the atmosphere of tranquility and calmness. The choice of colors also creates a relaxing effect and atmosphere of softness and tenderness. The gradual shifts of shadows create very vivid and bright images of the real sky and its changeable nature. Overall, the viewers can easily recollect the observation of such summer days from their lives and form the corresponding images and associations. 

The Calm Sky does not contain any hidden sense or interpretation. Its main purpose consists in aesthetical and emotional impacts on the audience. The simplicity of artwork, a skillful combination of color and shades, smooth lines and gradations, familiar scenes and accomplished design appeal to the public emotions and expressiveness. They aim at getting a psychological feedback and response. It is satisfactory and pleasant to observe such scenes from the everyday life, accomplished by talented artists and devoted painters. As a result, this piece of iconic art does not remain unnoticed or overlooked. On the contrary, it wins the public attention due to its calm atmosphere and pleasant recollections it evokes.  

Iconic Approach to the Musical Art

The iconic approach to art finds its reflection in the music as well. The prominent example is the famous composition “Yesterday” written by P. McCartney and recorded by The Beatles. This composition is a lyrical ballade, which lasts for two minutes and consists of four different verses as well as two repeating refrains. The introduction of the song is written in F major. However, it gradually shifts to D minor closer to the end. The changes in the tonality strongly influence the mood of the song, making it joyful and nostalgic at the same time. The lyrics of the song express the emotions and feelings of the lyrical hero concerning his love affairs and anticipations. They also reflect his memories, recollections, and flashbacks from the past. In general, the lyrics of the composition harmonically fit its tune, creating the lyrical and romantic atmosphere. 

The listeners can easily understand the meaning of “Yesterday.” The song sounds nostalgic, dreamy, sentimental, evocative, and wistful. The audience can easily guess the mood of the lyrical hero and form similar associations and impressions. The very text and melody of the composition sound familiar to the public. They reflect the ordinary troubles and worries of every individual. From this prospective, the song appeals to the people’s emotions and attitudes, rather than some intellectual reflections and analysis.  

Overall, I suppose this song is a bright example of the iconic art. Its listeners can easily decode its form and content as well as guess its main idea. The composition has received great sympathy among  listeners, since it dwells on the eternal values and interests, which sound prominent and valuable for all people. 


In my opinion, the iconic art preserves a basic idea of artworks. It points to the importance of correlations between the form and meaning. I suppose that the iconic art helps to find the aesthetic satisfaction and emotional pleasure. The above mentioned samples evoke the vivid images from the individual life and create the favorable emotional response as well as expressiveness. The iconic art appeals to the psychological aspect of art perception. It allows individuals finding the visual or musical satisfaction while experiencing the pieces of art. 

The iconic art is the opposition to  conceptualism, in terms of its treatment of art form and content. Though the iconic art does not possess an intrigue or riddle for the audience to solve, it is still interesting for the public. It helps to reveal the most pathetic and emotional sides of the human life.


Related essays