A title, according to Encarta Dictionary (2009) can be defined as a name that identifies a book, movie, play, painting, musical composition, or other literary or artistic work. From the above definition, one can understand that a work of art can not successfully serve its purpose in the society without a title. This is most likely to be the reason why nothing in life, whether natural or artificial, exists without a name or title. In a scientific research for instance, when a new discovery is made and there is no immediate name for it, the object, discovery, or invention automatically assumes the name of the person who discovers it or the place where it was discovered. The Greek’s Dipylon Vase produced around the 8th century B.C. was named after the Dipylon cemetery where it was discovered. Also, the Nok Art (terracotta heads) in Nigeria were named after the name of the village where the discovery was made. It is against this background that art works are being titled to help audience relate their titles more precisely to relevant issues/events as well as to understand the significance of such a work of art in the society.
However, a name or title of a particular thing or event can limits its success in the public especially when the meaning of such a name is generally perceived to be negative or does not conform to one’s certain ideologies in life. Humanly speaking, imaging somebody naming his/her child ‘Osama’ in this present era that the memories of September 11 are yet to be erased in the minds of people who lost their family ones during that disaster. The child will carry stench or negative aura of an unwelcomed citizen wherever he/she is found. In visual art practice, artists normally face similar situations when they try to use their works in addressing some of the evil practices secretly carried out in society. This is mostly when the art work attracts a potential buyer, but the title does not go in line with what the buyer wants, probably because of his beliefs about life or for some other reasons which may bias, selfish or personal to his way of life. » Read more: How Title Can Affect The Sale Of Art Works