Melbourne needs more art critics, especially given the number of exhibitions in Melbourne. (I am still exhausted by home renovations and a head cold, so I don’t know when I will be getting out to see any exhibitions.) More critical voices need to be heard and a greater variety of critical voices need to be heard. Where is the aboriginal online art critic? I hope that bloggers can help to solve this crisis because they are easy, accessible and fun.
If you visit art galleries then why not write a blog about your thoughts? There is still plenty room for more online art critics as so many exhibitions remain unreviewed. I want to write something to empower people to be art critics, to talk and write about art beyond simple subjectivist expression of preferences. “Think hard” was the advice that John McKenzie gave in his course Introduction to Aesthetics at Monash. It may sound obvious but actually doing it is hard; maybe I don’t do it enough.
Art criticism doesn’t have to be serious or academic; there is not much variety in art criticism in mainstream publications but that doesn’t mean that is the only way to write about art. For example, there are enough art exhibition openings every week to write a blog of Melbourne’s art world gossip. And there is probably enough poor/unethical journalism in art publications for an arts media watch.
“A critic, especially when he is writing of contemporary work, should be regarded as a guide, rather than a teacher.” Wrote James Gleeson.
Some stupid people believe that you must be an artist in order to be an art critic. Some art critics like James Gleeson have also been artists, others, like Clement Greenberg or Felix Feneon, were not artists; it is not important. I had no insider knowledge of Melbourne’s street art scene when I started this blog but I have learnt as I looked more. I hope that they have provided a different perspective on Melbourne’s street art than a participant/observer.
If you have been thinking about writing a blog about art exhibitions consider this. It is hard work, you will need to think hard, read a lot, check your facts and visit many galleries. There are few rewards to writing a blog about art, aside from glasses of cheap wine at gallery openings. But I’m having fun. And if I can be of assistance to anyone wanting to write an arts blogs please contact me.