Thats a vague statement as it would depend on the context. You know it very well. I agree, symbols and imagery that initiate a predictable reaction in the majority are usually skin deep. From your initial attitude in introducing the concept of 'universal communication' in this thread, I didn't feel though that you were referring to something thats just superficial. Your initial post seemed to me that you were speaking about communication that appeals to the inner mind and lingers or proves true in a non-transient way. universal in the sense that the effect is not restricted to particular cultures or communities or times in history. I think there are examples that might conform to that, like a dying child in mother's arm or a immigrant mother protecting her daughter from teargas as was published recently. However there is more to art than such straightforward examples and I am not even sure if art has to appeal universally. If it does, nothing wrong, but there can be images that appeal to certain communities due to being context dependent and not others, and I can value such art as deeply as I do those that have more widespread appeal. My feeling, universal appeal may exist and can be useful, but is that really a big deal? Your own photo of two chairs being placed on two edges of the frame with emptiness in the middle creates a lot of visual tension and allegory for human relationship in my mind, but I am sure there can be more to it than what I make out of it and others can says things about it that I would not have felt. I don't think, you are communicating anything thats universal but you are opening a portal in people's minds to find their own messages and thats equally good for me.