In my previous post I called into question the art criticism appearing in a progressive new media outlet -- called Under-main, local online journalism. I wish them well. I pointed out that other critics in our area, one for music and one for theater, seem clear and concise, informative and accessible to anyone with an interest, and yet art reviews, in media everywhere, tend to target a much smaller audience, mostly over around the u. It’s a defensive posture, really, making arcane distinctions to fend off the interest of a general readership, all to support an elaborate state-funded art industry hiding behind image ‘privatization’ and visual obscurity.
They’ve had a good run, but the rules are changing. 'Mass' became said in native languages, and critical writing and thinking about art will soon be discussed rationally, using household terms. This will happen because the garden wall is breached, pagans invade the temple, and art is going up everywhere, in salons and restaurants and big hotels. The exclusionary academic approach to art review will lose its power to exclude.
The public will notice and take an interest in visual art simply through exposure -- it’s interesting stuff. After having seen enough of it, and feeling more comfortable that the neighbors might be taking an interest too, people are going to start buying original art and taking it home. Doesn’t really matter how good it is -- it will always be the first piece. Many people feel this verging momentum toward acceptance and appreciation, the emergence of community taste and sensibility, and sustainability for people actually making art. Without the arrival of a comet or other devastation it’s difficult to see how it won’t happen.
I vent a little at the critic but it isn’t the issue. Where could you go to find direct and unbiased appraisal of art and I’m fairly sure a pile of degrees is not the answer. I’d trust Picasso, if he was available, or maybe some demonstratively accomplished painter from around here. Those who actually practice might tend to favor those with similar vision, but mostly they understand the art form and will probably appreciate many styles of expression. For variation there may be more than one with something to say.
If you want to actually hear the direct explanation of why a painting was made why not ask an artist? It’s not realistic to expect the academic reviewer to be neutral, anyway, so why not let artists write about themselves and each other. Independent artists around here are also working people, many with outside occupations, and they understand the sacrifice and the commitment it takes to own original art and they respect it. Working people, in my experience, tend to respect artists and their work, and they’d come in if invited. Artists would be welcoming.