So, this chapter was about being deliriously tired but not being able to sleep.
What I gathered from this reading is that you have to separate what you prefer and what you value. Preferences are like taste buds, they change. Maybe today you like one thing, but tomorrow you might like something else better. On the other hand, if you’re like me, you will always be a picky eater.
Values are more permanent. There are certain pieces of art that have greater value than others, but that some people don’t particularly like. These pieces of art have deeper roots, meanings, structures, etc.
The Frida bashing at the beginning of the chapter I did not enjoy, mostly because I love her. I found their parallels between her work and the work of Tina Modotti and Cindy Sherman to be particularly interesting because I had never made those connections before. A connection I have made, however, was between Kahlo’s work and the work of Haley Hasler, from last years visiting artist lecture. I also love her work, her link is on my blog for sure. People can judge Frida all they want, call her a feminist, communist, drama queen, whatever. I don’t care.
At the end of this reading, Barrett stated that critic’s write to “persuade people to like what they like, enjoy what they enjoy.” I’m sure it’s near impossible to keep their opinions out of their work. Barrett also said that critics don’t write for artists, that they write for art-viewers. I’m not really sure how I feel about this though, because I feel that people should have a clear mind when viewing art. They shouldn’t think about what critics said about a piece. So, in a sense I do think critics should write for artists, to judge and interpret their work so that their next works can be more successful.
I do think that criticizing sculpture is very challenging and I do enjoy reading reviews of the kinds of things Martin Puryear creates. I don’t have an extensive background in sculpture, so I am easily bedazzled. I particularly liked Colin Westerbeck’s review of one of Puryear’s pieces: “Several pieces looked as if they were attempts to build a refuge for himself, a hiding place, and interior space large enough for only one man.” This was relatively lacking of opinion, which is good, but still descriptive and interpretive.
I did agree with what the critics had to say about David Salle’s paintings. They are very strange juxtaposed images, and are very uncomfortable feeling. I can’t really find anything I do like about the image they were referencing. Two thumbs down for that image. But in looking at some of his other work, I don’t think it is all as terrible as Sextant in Dogtown, which isn’t something I found in the book which lead me to judge him as an artist before I knew of more than just that one bad painting.