I think you are reading too much into Lipking's work. He's so good at making pretty pictures that are filled with empty thoughts and therefore easy to sell (or as in both of these pieces, commission).
If a work of art attracts and makes one take notice, it would be disrespectful to the artist not to contemplate it. Regardless of how shallow or deep the work, at least one layer (symbolic or narrative) can be extrapolated based on the surface. Regarding commissions, what of the work of Goya?
If you're not supposed to read too much into a work of art, what's the point of looking at it? Art is nothing but your own anxious interpretations.
Lipking is a very good artist who creates a thing of beauty, look a little closer and you will see more.
Through and about pictures.
(For the Seekers that can handle it)