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The most fundamental function of art is communication. Architecture serves a very functional purpose as well, but if there was no art to it then all of our buildings would be built by engineers. Entire books, research teams, cults and lifetimes have been devoted to deciphering just what schemes were involved in an architect's intent when they designed a building. But can one human being really be that complicated? People are self obsessed by nature, and art is meaningful to those who see themselves in it. Pop art is so because it focuses on such overarching topics that people of all classes flavors and intellectual categories can relate to, such as love. Art's survival as a lucrative proffession depends upon people reading into things too deeply, as frustrating as that might be. Art is the passageway and barrier between perception and intent, simultaneously. Some would say perception is everything. What differece does some germ of an idea in an obsolete, deceased artist's mind make when interpreting the meaning of an iconic masterpiece? In many cases it's completely irrelevant. People with their changing mindsets add layers of meaning to art over time until whatever original message the artist had in mind is inconsequential. At the very extreme of this end of the perception stick are those who would strip the artist of all credibility and use the old "art is what you make it, there is no wrong interpretation". I can't dredge up much respect for, say, a photographer who points and shoots with no concious intent of meaning, relying solely on interpretation to gloss their photograph with meaning. It's an easy thing to rely on, to be sure. We humans have a tendency to find meaning in anything and everything. The only conclusion to be found in this contradiction hiding withing every manifestation of human creativity is the criteria for judging whether art is, in fact, good: the clarity/ creativity employed in communication of message, and the depth of the message itself. A person's genius is immeasurably underminded by his inability to effectively communicate, and art just isn't art if it acquires meaning by accident. The resolution of this opposition is that elusive thing we call "good art". It's almost impossible to define, but we know it when we see it. It happens when a resonating and timeless idea is made physical in such a way that it imprints itself onto the psyche of humans and grows there, letting each individual morph the meaning into something that somehow is just as true as the initial. The discrepancy between perception and intent will never be breached, but in these cases they complement each other rather than tastelessly clash.