Christina Schmid


After listening to a great many artists talk about their work, the perspective and viewpoints of an art critic was surprisingly refreshing and enjoyable. Schmid's work sounded very fascinating, and she seemed to be a bit of an artist with words herself. I really appreciated the way she talked about the critical process, talking about how much work she puts into reviewing different artist's work and exhibits. I also enjoyed her speaking to the art of interpreting a piece of art apart from the intentions of the artist. As an English major, this is very similar to the way that we examine literature. When we look at the work, the author's opinion is no more important than anyone else's, and we try to let the text speak on its own, because very often, as Schmid pointed out, the work is saying something other than what the artist intended.
It was great to hear her use the analogy of poking a soccer ball full of tiny pins and watching it deflate. I'm sure negative reviews are fun to write for her, but they are definitely also the most important reviews for the artist. It's always nice to hear that someone loves your work, but at the end of the day, it doesn't help all that much. We need people who are willing to get into the nitty-gritty and criticize the work we've done, because only then can we make the improvements that we don't notice ourselves. Critics fill a highly important role in the cycle of creativity, because they allow for improvement through their criticism.


Thanks for your comments. I agree that criticism of one's work can be valuable, but I think that is true about "positive" comments as much as "negative" - or neutral - ones. What is important is that the comment is thoughtful and provides insight. Saying "I hate this" is not any more helpful than "I love this." It is the ability to reflect upon the process of the artist, both outer and inner, in juxtaposition to the response of the viewer,that is of value. Good art criticism can open up new ways to think about a body of work, and bring a greater depth of understanding and appreciation. Even a more critical viewpoint says, "this idea is worth talking about," and in particular can reframe it into a context that is more effective or (for lack of a better word) "true."

Your comment comparing the study of literature to art criticism is apt. One could also compare it to other forms of study and research. It seems that people often think that art should simply be a visceral experience, that our response to it should be simply an emotional one, but the intellectual response is important as well. How does a work make us think? What does it make us think? How does it relate to other works, or to what is going on in the social,cultural, and political spheres? That doesn't mean that every creative impulse has to have a deeper significance, but it is good to ask the questions of ourselves. WHY do we respond to a piece the way we do? In its simplest form, it is an act of mindfulness.

- Allison Ruby

I agree with both your comments here. I think that negative criticism is the most constructive for the artist, it points out things that the artist may not have noticed that the audience did, and adjustments can be made from there. I also agree however with the comment about the necessity of critiques being thoughtful and insightful above all else. A critique that simply says "I love" or "I hate" doesn't help anyone. The more insightful and deep the crit the better. I know for myself, the most insightful and negative critique’s are the one’s that help me the most as an artist.

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This page contains a single entry by joh09227 published on April 17, 2013 8:42 PM.

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