Luck and Uniqueness
Of course, this reaction is clichéd and smells like a set up, and it is, but that does not deny it a measure of validity. Neither does this example mean that the girl is even conscious of the connection between the painting, all the other mental associations she has in her brain between it and the day her father gave her that red bicycle, and then those connecting it to her father dying. She does not have to be conscious of her entire catalogue of mental associations and indeed, it would be unbelievable if she were. However, the example does show that the girl’s reaction to the painting was unique, all the other people helping to set up the exhibition that evening did not go home and cry and mourn for their fathers. Would it be stretching this example a little too thin to say the artist had the intention when creating the piece the exact reaction produced by the girl – without a doubt yes, one-hundred percent yes it would be. However, that is fine because actually it would be insane to think the artist consciously traced the entire mental association landscape of a person before creating his work but conversely it does not mean he did not have some portions of it in mind.