In its simplest definition, it is a picture of a series of dots. It could represent something as basic as bubbles, floating up the side and along the top of a fish tank. Or the spots of a leopard whose head and legs we cannot see. But the truth of the matter is, these simple black dots signify a lot more.
The picture is of a series of dots; small, round, and black. They are set in no immediate pattern, but travel haphazardly along the right and top sides of a rectangle. Much of the rest of the rectangle is white, with the exception of a single spot of blackness about a third of the way up and a third of the way in from the left. It’s this separate dot that our eyes are meant to travel to.
The depiction is meant to evoke feelings of loneliness, of singularity, of solitude. The dots represent, in a very basic way, human beings. The single dot is a person, set apart from the group, surrounded by white, empty space. He isn’t a part of the picture as a whole. He’s singled out as an outsider.
In this vein, the single dot could represent celebrity. The person is singled out and put in the spotlight, for everyone else to see. Your eyes go to this dot immediately, and that is what they are meant to do. The dot can’t help but be stared at, because it is different from the rest, it is meant to be seen.
On the other hand, the picture could be taken to represent unity. Perhaps the dots are banding together to take on and defeat the outsider. Perhaps it’s meant to represent government, the mass of the people and the singularity of their leader. Or, inversely, the people being small and the mass being the power of the politics that control them.
In its simplest definition, it is a picture of a series of dots. But in reality, it signifies so much more. There are many ways to see even the simplest things. How you see them, what you read into them, the different feelings that they evoke, depends on your history, your upbringing, your experience, and your personality. Nobody can tell you what is meant by a picture. You have to figure out what it means to you.
- Dan Fogg