How to become a pseudo art-critic

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Sunday, 14 March 2010

Let me begin this post by stating that I know very little about art and have very little ability in art. I cannot draw, nor paint, nor sculpt nor carve and in my opinion, Mr Squiggle was a genius. But despite this, I still enjoy going to art galleries, I still enjoy looking at different types of artwork and I still enjoy living in a society that supports artists, whether I like the art they’re producing or not.

But the great thing about art is that it does not matter whether you can tell the difference between a Monet or a Michelangelo, (or even if you think the latter was the one who had nun chucks), you can still discuss, debate, dispute and deliberate over art without anyone discovering your secret.

In order to help you join the large ranks of imposter art critics, (like myself) who mingle in and amongst the many genuine people who devote their lives to studying art and do actually know a lot about art, art history and art movements, I have compiled a list of words that you need to start using if you want to sound like an art critic, and a few examples of how to incorporate these words into a sentence. (Please note, by following my advice you will not actually be an art critic, but you may begin to sound like one).

Here is my preliminary list of words (most of which are rarely used in any other area of life):

... symbolic, juxtaposition, moving, discrete, novel, expressive, dichotomy, subtle, bold, tones, poignant, abstract, systematic, perception ...

While I will again plead my general ignorance on art, art-history, and art-movements, (and at this point I want to underscore my respect for genuine art critics) it appears to me that if you use enough of these words in general conversation about art, in no time at all you will begin to sound like an art critic. Have a listen:

  • “What a novel yet expressive juxtapositioning of subtle and symbolic colours.”
  • “It is truly a moving piece of art with a dichotomy of shades that systematically takes the viewer on a journey within.”
  • “The perception one gets is of discrete tones and bold colours, which is what makes abstract art so poignant.”
In my attempts to become a pseudo art critic, I would like to compile a more extensive list of “art” words, so please let me know if you have heard of others.


Anonymous said...

Captures, zeitgeist

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