Knowing –Art of Learning

Art of Learning

How to Critique Art. For some reason I have the answer

with 5 comments

If a Tree Falls in the Forest Does it Make a sound? Only to the trees with ears. I am not at all being funny. Everything is dependent on a tuned in listener. When it comes to art, sometimes there is no one there, meaning that those who can or want to understand what it is that you are up to, are not in the room. There will be others in the room who find your work similar to learning that there is “only” broccoli left in the refrigerator to eat. (Sorry broccoli lovers). This is not the feedback you need.

When having your worked critiqued, here are two questions that need to be in the mix

  1. Ask the person who is doing the critic “What does this work (the art, what ever it is) mean to you?”
  2. Then ask “What does my work say about me?”

If the answer to number 1 is nothing, then by-pass 2 and go directly to finding another critic.

Now for some Turkey.


Written by Bob Martin

November 23, 2006 at 1:56 am

Posted in Art, Artists, Painting, Paintings

5 Responses

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  1. Dear Bob you seem very enlightened about this subject,
    I agree with you when our work doesn’t mean anything to an individual is no point to make them understand it.
    Someone compared this phenomenon to whom cannot see beyond the box, it’s like clever monkeys who can do numerous abilities but when it comes to building houses with bricks than we have trouble.
    Thank you for sharing Bob…

    Angela Ferreira

    November 23, 2006 at 2:45 pm

  2. Bob, that makes it simple. I am glad you wrote this, as I am planning to approach a particular Gallery in the near future.
    This will be my first time approaching a gallery, as I have always been self-representing.
    So I feel this will be something to keep in mind, when they are going over my work. Thanks … oh and Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂
    PS: I always love seeing your work.


    November 23, 2006 at 5:43 pm

  3. Angela
    I wanted to make this noise about critiques. I work with a lot of artist and so many of them are looking for validation and they get disappointed in the feedback they get. But sometimes they are talking to a stone wall with a voice, which has not invested anytime in wanting to understand what you are saying.

    Stay wonderful

    Bob Martin

    November 23, 2006 at 8:37 pm

  4. There you go again, making me think!
    I love number two however your number one makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s because if you are ASKING for a critique the work has probably missed it’s mark. However, I do enjoy spontanious comments. I’m always curious to know why someone buys a painting of mine but seldom have a chance to ask as I’m just told it sold. It’s a nice feeling to know that something I have done has touched a total stranger.
    We should talk more about this…..Bonnie

    Bonnie Anderson

    November 28, 2006 at 5:33 am

  5. Bonnie
    I believe that the only people who are able to critique any ones work, is someone who has a stake in the work. They want to buy it, it impacts them in some way and they are willing to talk about their experience when faced with the work. If they are not impacted then they really have non experience other then they didn’t understand what you said. My example is that I don’t buy “Rap” music, not cause I think it’s bad but rather the music was not meant for me. (If I don’t speak French, how can I criticize someone for speaking French)

    For the Artist, critiques are a way to learn how close you are to the bulls-eye you set for yourself, so that you can make adjustments. It almost always needs to be about a comparison to what you wanted to say vs what people thought you said. It should never be a comparison of how well you said something vs how well someone else says something in their work.

    So if someone says “I would like that painting if there were more red in the background” let them know that “more red in the background” is currently playing down the street at another gallery.

    Bob Martin

    November 28, 2006 at 10:27 am

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