Monday, August 6, 2007

FATTY PACKET: Art Criticism

The three-chapter guide to photo criticism, now christened as the Fatty Packet", provides relevant insight on how to move beyond "I-like-it-I-don't-like-it" "it's-good-it's-not-as-strong" critiques. However visually stunning an image may be upon first glance, that which the art lover seeks is surely to understand, and to express the figment of the world that image has chewed up, swallowed, and regurgitated on glossy, luster, or matte. From this text, I take it that criticism is classified as "discourse on art" that furthers its appreciation, and that critics are essential because they actually have the time to delve deeply into artworks and artists, therefore arriving upon greater insight. Critics become contemporary sages that place works within the context of history, and speculate its influence based on their knowledge of works now deemed "influential". Interpretation of works, which often dilute down to "how-we-feel-about-works" commentary, can become multi-faceted and exhaustingly complex. Photographs can be interpreted with all of the following in mind: subject, style, medium, time period, the artist's life, the artist's personal views, other works of the artist, works of other similar artists, juxtaposing works of other artists, feminist POV, socialist POV, christian fundamentalist POV, etcetera. Just like in literature (sorry to bring it up again), there is no "right" or "wrong", and whether or not the artist intended for such intrepretation is irrelevant.

All in all, the Fatty Packet interprets interpreting, and provides a variety of directions to go when criticizing (with a new and improved meaning) the works of others--whether they be in MOMA or 20A.

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