Saturday, July 6, 2013

Art and Crit

I have oft criticized the artist who tries to explain art in an "intellectual" fashion. I don't know what it is about certain "artists," but the ones who attempt the pretense of academia crack me up. We all know the cliché concerning critics who all secretly want to be artists, but are we as familiar with the one concerning artists who all secretly want to be critics?

Take this, for example:

"Thread is a something that used to hold the important parts together, and it isn't meant to be seen, unless it is a "thing"... there is a complete garment or picture containing a spontanious (sic) recipe of composition, color story, texture, period, style, narrative, context and you trust the viewer or reader to take in the composition. It is about the costume, not about the interfacing or the thread."

Read that closely. A self-proclaimed artist, in an attempt to intellectualize an expression, freely admits that art is meant to be superficial ("it is about the costume"). Seriously? I've been waiting a loooong time for an artist to admit such a thing... and there it is.

The moral: don't worry about what the art means to you ("interfacing") or what it might empirically or rationally mean ("threads")... just worry about what it looks like. Munch's The Scream wasn't about a strange and furious anxiety he felt... it's just a funky painting of an ugly caricature with his hands on his face. No, wait...

Now, don't think for a second I believe that's what the quoted artist is trying to state. The exact opposite, in fact. But I do believe the artist just wants us all to think he's smart. He may very well be, but I wouldn't advise using the above statement as proof of it.

Also, don't think for a second that I think critically trained and qualified artists don't exist. I know they do. I've worked with many; I consider a few friends; I consider most (if not all) my artistic and critical superiors. Hell, I'm no artist, and I'm barely a critic; I just like making fun of those who attempt to hide behind pretense.

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I often also criticize the "nice guy/sycophant" routine regarding art.

Take the following, for example (keep in mind that this was in response to people offering an improving writer advice regarding a story she freely submitted to a site known for offering critiques):

"I'm intrigued by the expectations people place on story and storyteller. For me, all the fun is in unfolding..."

Excuse me... what? What unfolding? Oh, you mean the story... And how does it unfold? Oh, via the storyteller. Such an unjust thing to do, you know? Placing expectations on story and storytellers... bah! Oh, wait...

I doubt I need to further the explanation.

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Yes, I'm a dick. You all know this. That's why you come here.

1 comment:

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