Sunday, January 17, 2010

Critics vs Bloggers?

Or are they one in the same?  Interesting article at Sharon Butler's Two Coats of Paint blog after a round table discussion in New York with Big Apple Art Bloggers.  One of those in attendance was New York magazine critic Jerry Saltz, who apparently blogged about the subject himself saying that art critiques on blogs are fast becoming the new "thing". 

Butler reports that Saltz advised the up and coming critics to plainly state why or why not they like or dislike a piece of work.  He went on to say that sometimes in reading a critic, one can't tell what the person is thinking about the work!  Perhaps that's one of the reasons I never re-subscribed to Art Forum.  Their reviews seemed to be to be a collage of "art speak" (usually generated by higher degrees from art schools) and art history.  To me it appeared that none of these writers had ever been journalists writing for any kind of mainstream publications.  They were speaking to a rarified elite it seemed.  I used to be a theatre critic at the PBS station  here in town years ago.  I don't do that anymore as they were unwilling to give me a few more shekels for my time and expertise.

Of course, it could just be me.  I had a hard time finishing my lowly BA (theatre-communications) because I had done news writing for so long the MLA handbook and rules on writing university essays drove me nuts.  I even had the audacity to put in a few jokes (told by my evil twin Skippy).  I figured the only reason I got a good grade was because maybe the professor was reading late at night and had her defenses down and laughed at the  jokes.

It's ironic that mainstream writing for critiques appeals to me as I am one of the most non-mainstream writers of plays and performance pieces.  But in working in a theatrical environment you have other elements - like the set, lighting, perhaps video - that can give an audience information.  When you're just writing, it's just the marks that we recognize as letters forming words on the paper or the computer screen. 

Special thanks to Paddy Johnson over at Art Fag City for her tweet about Butler's article and blog... didn't know what the hell I was going to post today! 

Speaking of things theatrical, I've been cast in a small film that will be shot in Monterey next month and am off to do a reading of a feature length script called For the Love of Ivy by John Wagner.  It's a bi-racial love story set in the South of the 1950s, but bracketed in the present day with the central character as a old woman who then flashes back on her life.

And for your dining and dancing enjoyment right now, here's another in my series of digital floral woodcuts - The Pink Lotus




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