Non-artmakers (and many art history profs are non-makers) will sometimes look at a piece of art and try to follow the thread backwards to reveal the artist’s original intent. But good art doesn’t start with meaning and move in a straight line to end product. The meaning is all wrapped up in the act of making, and is often out of the control of the artist entirely. If a work of art is successful it shouldn’t be able to be fully explained. If it could, then why make the art at all?