Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's knee-cap a critic day!

The best art maintains ambiguity, defying easy interpretation. This annoys some people... especially those pinched-nose weasels we call "critics."

I know, I know: this is neither kind, nor fair. To weasels.

Although there are those critics who see their role as being more that of facilitators -- teachers who can use their greater breadth of knowledge to illuminate shades of meaning the rest of us might miss -- many of them are merely bitter, frustrated artists who spend their time desperately trying to convince themselves (and anyone who'll listen) that they've transcended the very thing they haven't the talent (or, more likely, courage) to do.

They "murder to dissect," killing the ineffable spirit of a thing in order to assert dominance over it.

This is unkind, petty, and un-loving.

The difficulty with this is that whenever we discuss art, we are talking about the mumbo-jumbo elements of mystery, and spirit.  We are talking about the vast tapestry of culture and language, and the interplay of history with an individual human soul. We are talking about communication -- the most mysterious, peccadillicious adventure we can take.

I have always felt, for my part, that any art I make ought to at least have the capacity to appeal on a multiplicity of levels. For example, when I was painting more, I felt that a small child ought to be able to walk up to one of my paintings and say, "Oh! Wow! I really very do like that Red Color." Art need not be easy... but neither should it be intentionally inaccessible to all but the few who've learned the precise angle at which to up-turn their noses for a proper viewing.

I guess what I am saying is that you needn't listen, so much, to what some snarky critic tells you.

Critics are often right when they believe a piece of art to be problematic... but they are very rarely right about why. Furthermore, there is no work of art so bad as to be without virtue. It is Art! It has been made! Because of this, there is necessarily some love in it, and it is a fine thing to reciprocate.

I give you full permission, then, to turn your own nose to the sky, knee-cap any critic who tells you you can't love that work back,  and saucily walk away.

In fine... a lovely, ambiguous piece of Art I discovered this morning on Daily of the Day.

What do you think it means?

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