The Short Verson:
We’re going to be trying something new and exciting here. Every Monday we are going to put up a new piece of visual art for the purposes of a skeptical art critique.
We’ll be looking at a wide range of works in the coming months, but to start out I thought we’d go with something famous and clearly skeptically involved.
The question for discussion this week is:
How is this piece encouraging or critical thinking?
N.B. For those not versed in french the text translates to “This is not a pipe”
The ART Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Mad Art Lab community. Look for it to appear Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3pm ET.
The Long Version:
What is a skeptical art critique? We don’t know yet. That’s what’s exciting. We’re inventing a new field of artistic criticism here. There are a number of ways that visual art has been examined historically. Each has purpose and value in certain context. Here are a few examples:
Formalist Critique: Examining a work primarily on technical elements like colour choice, lighting, proportion, scale and so on.
Historical Critique: Interpreting the piece based primarily in the context it was created and the audience for which it was intended.
Feminist Critique: Investigating how a piece represents things like gender roles, ethnicity and so on. Its incorporates a variety of considerations like current and historical context to evaluate the impact and meanings found in a work.
This is by no means an exhaustive list and no critique style needs to be used in isolation. I’m presenting them to give a bit of context to what the aim of these critiques is. What we’re trying to do is create yet another method of evaluating artistic work. We want to discuss what, why and how a piece makes you think and feel from a skeptical perspective. There are a number of questions we want to explore and angles from which to investigate art. Some examples:
- Can a painting be logically fallacious?
- How can a sculpture encourage, incite, or restrict critical thought?
- How have advances in science influenced our understanding of a piece?
- What is the visual language of truth? How can it be applied or misused?
- How can critical thought and science inspire art?
- How can art inspire science and critical thought?
I thank you all in advance for participating. I’m extremely curious as to what we’ll get out of these discussions. Also, if you have any works that you think would be fun to critique, feel free to send them to me.