“...a rose by any other name….”. Maybe, but names, titles, and labels have a definite affect on observers of almost anything. Here comes another anecdote so skip if tired of these: In (circ.) 1970, I received one of those “special” invitations to attend an electronics show near Wash. D.C. The receptionist was a strikingly well endowed young lady with little concept of humor or reality who insisted that I must confer a “title” for my ID card. She was insistent even after I explained that we didn’t have much use for titles where I worked. So, thinking as quickly as I could (not very fast indeed), and recalling my address on Granville Ave. I blurted out, “Earl of Granville”, which she dutifully typed. So I went around all day as “Robert, Earl of Granville”. End of anecdote….

It is troublesome to hear about judges who let titles influence their critical appraisal of art. I certainly can overlook titles. I could not tell you the “name” of any famous photograph right now (well maybe “Moonrise over Hernandez”). Can someone tell me why a critic needs a title / name to judge art? Do we really need to direct their vision? Doesn’t the image itself do that?

Most of the shows where I exhibit desire a name / title for the art. I have found that it helps to use a fanciful name that reflects more an emotion than a description. For example, one of my more popular photographs is about an old general store still in operation complete with potbelly stove. I named this photograph “Almost Forgotten”. I have often thought of making a duplicate print with the name and, possibly, the location of the store just to see if it might still win recognition.

Chinese, hmmm… doesn’t oriental art use characters as part of the art itself?