Tuesday, February 10, 2009
On art and kitsch and the need for visual arts criticism in the region
Neil Johnson writes, "On the (once again) need for a visual art critic in NW Louisiana:
The challenge for a true critic is to find someone who 1) KNOWS art/art history to some degree, 2) is not connected at the hip to the local arts scene so they can be brutally honest, 3) have a thick skin, and 4) have half-decent writing skills. A tough, but not impossible combo. A Barksdale person (or spouse) who has just transferred in and is looking for something to do in the community might be just the ticket. This person would also need to commit to the job for at least a minimum of two years.
They also must do it for the passion for the arts, i.e., there ain't no money in it. Maybe a SRAC grant? And then, where to put reviews? The TImes might do it, but ONLY if donated. Or the Forum. Or an independent website. Let's get this discussion going, folks!"
This site, Shreveport Blog, would absolutely be available for publishing reviews. If only we could find a few people that meet the standards that Neil has well stated. It does not have to be one person. This duty would only be workable if shared, in fact. And I can see young medical types and new college faculty types stroking their chins and asking "Should I speak up?"
As an editor I would be delighted to give an assignment to those of you willing to try being critics or discerning observers. Would you like to review Tattoo at Artspace? You'll find both the laudable as well the not-so-laudable in that exhibit. If you'd like to begin with a less sensitive show, take the Warhol material at Meadows Museum or the Realism show at Norton.