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My perspective of critique

Critique is a respond from the viewer. Since the viewer is part of the artwork, so critique become very important for both audience and artist today.

For me I have a very complicated feeling about critique from my personal experience. I went to Beijing Film Academy in China for my undergrad. During that time all the critiques were about if your work looks “professional�(technically) or not. What means “professional� in term of this situation is kind of skill which the people who are not in art field couldn’t learn by themselves without some kind of training. Normally the professor of the class led the critiques, and what he or she focused on were always about technical things. They paid less attention about concept. He or she had power to say right or wrong.

A few years ago I went to NYU for grad school. We had many critiques there as well. I found out that people paid more attention about concept instead of technical professional things. The value of artworks is so different between the two schools. Frankly both kinds of critiques were very useful for me. When I was in BFA, I need to learn basic and fundamental skill for practicing art. But after a while I need to be a really artist, I need to have my independent ideas about art. The NYU critiques fit my requirement at the right time. Suddenly I opened my mind, and felt I got more freedom and less limitation for practicing art.

Today we still have many critiques for being professional artists. Recently, I found out that critiques could go to two directions.

At the university, critique is used as the tool to assign a grade as well as create a dialog between classmates and instructor. People would like to get the positive feed back since they want to get the good grades, therefore they have to choose some faster and popular way to please the group people even they don’t realize they tried to do so. Nothing is wrong about that, after a while the same group people ‘s art works will stay in the same level and no one even can feel the critiques goes that way. In term of this situation, I really appreciate that we had many artist guests in this semester. Since they came from different background and had different ideas and opinions about art. I personally think that the most helpful critiques always come from the people who are not familiar your works and even not come from the same filed.

Critiques also could go to another direction, which is “saying art more than practicing art� When artist making art, sometimes they didn’t think too much. But when people critique the artist works, sometimes they give over explanations.

Personally I think critiques are still very useful anyway. But artists themselves should know what are more important. I mean making the artwork, which you feel satisfy is always the most important thing for artist.

Meng Tang