30 August 2009



Art Criticism is not really the art of lambasting a work of art. An art critic merely sifts through the creative process and examines whether the artist is a good craftsman (who knows his materials like a painter must knows his pigments and support, the dancer and the movements, the musician and the instruments, etc.) and was able to interpret a vision or idea well. An art critic is a scholar who continues to investigate the process of creativity. But the artist might not see this and may feel slighted by any negative word about his work.

My critic friend RM recently examined a visual artist's work and made mention of how the artist painted his canvas over and over until the original image was covered by another image and later replaced by another image thus adding more texture and meaning into the artist's paintings. RC ascribed profound meanings to the contrived meaningless exploit of an amateur craftsman and gave sophistication to an immature work which lacks clarity, purpose and creative skill. I teasingly told RC that it is a PR work more than a critique.

I always try to control my laughter when art dealers and collectors would describe an artwork as if it is a work of genius, a grave justification of an artwork's steep price. But art is elitist only when the artist elevates the creative process informed by intelligence, skill and maturity. Art, after all, is not just what we see in the mainstream. Not in the term "fine arts", not in the works hanging in an art gallery or presented in a grand stage, but a work of genius crafted by a hand and mind that knows no limits and boundaries to interpret a higher view of the world.

Hermeneutics is an art of interpretation. Not too many people can take the rigors of going deeper into the study of interpretation. And not too many people can appreciate it which makes it elitist. It is a strange road to take but one that we must learn to take . . .

2 comments:

Grace and Bradley said...

Your point is well taken. The picture helps to make the point!!!

Lui said...

Why thank you Grace And Bradley!
Yeah, well, my dog Sweepy LOVES to point it out a lot...but just between us, Sweepy will not survive his art. ForBarkingOutLoud!