Frames carry multiple messages. Around a work of art a frame can establish an emphatic border—the artwork is inside the frame/the world is outside; or it may act as an almost invisible bridge from the artwork to the wall and the room. The frame may have more to do with the décor surrounding it than the work of art within it; or a frame may serve as an ornate halo, bestowing honor or status on the work framed.
Frames appear in many forms in the media, especially in ads. If we look closely at these frames and consider their style and type, whether rich or austere, bold or delicate, we can learn something about how we are intended to perceive and understand the object within the frame and its context.
We recently started a series called “Frames + Media” on our blog — the point of these articles is to call attention to all the things a frame can alter, affect and mean.
Take the image to the right, a New Yorker cover by Bruce McCall from last autumn.