“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”- Aristotle
I like this quote because it speaks to the subjectivity of art. The truth is that there is not one common reality between us, because of the various connotations people place on objects, people, and locations. Meaning is a social construction which varies from person to person.
Therefore, this idea of art representing the “inward significance” rather than its “outward appearance” is sound. You will hear this argument often in art: whether art should just be pretty or make a statement. Art aims to indirectly and (most of the time) non verbally communicate and idea or feeling. Through sight and once own internalization, viewers are welcomed to come to their own conclusions, rather than fighting for one answer.
Asking “Why does this matter?” is more important than asking “What is this?”