Should Art be reviewed? 

Art criticism has been part of history for a long time now.

Different people around the world have a different take about it. If we go by the definition, Art criticism is not to shame the artwork or artist but to evaluate the work and present the point of view as a critic.  The evaluation of the critic is based on the basic fundamentals of aesthetics. It is the study of the beauty of the artwork.

With the rise of online reviews, which over 80% of people trust should art also be subject to this?

The critic when passes a review is based on the principles set.  The question of art being reviewed or not arises as there is a school of thought that says, that sometimes these reviews are biased. Biased, based on the social and political scenario of that particular place.

There have been instances in the history where the art or artists were not respected in their times and in later years, their art pieces were much appreciated.  As there have been many avant-gardes, art movements have divided the works into different sections.

The art movement carried by the various group of artists has divided the art forms in different age period or art forms. This is a very sensible division that was done because there have been times when many art forms came to light which were considered as the revolutionary, experimental art forms.

Reviewing an art form is not an easy job. Many aspects have to be kept in mind. It is based on the perception of the people of that time, the cognition. The art critic looks for the details, how the art form represents the culture, the idea of the era.

What does artwork say? Is it acceptable as per the standards of the society? Is it mocking the norms of society? In short, what is this piece of art saying?

The critics try to understand the artwork and put it to words so that the common man is also able to understand what the artist is trying to say. It is a wrong conception where it is thought that the critics are just meant to criticize the work in a bad light.

The critics present their point of view about the art to make it easier for the people to understand. Artwork does not only mean the paintings.

It includes all forms of art from sculpture, theatre, artists themselves. The art reviews are carried to get an insight.  It is true that art reviews have an angle of being based on personal preferences and perceptions too.

The social acceptance for a form of art also plays a very huge role. And reviewing art is like providing your viewpoint about the artwork carried.

Like the artist has tried to present his/her point of view while sculpting it. It is what as a viewer you take out of it. You may find it obscene. Some others may find it revolutionary, too much experimental or expressive.

So, reviewing art all fall under the umbrella of what you take out of the art form that has been presented in front of you by the artists. It is not surprising that whenever something new has been tried, the world has not accepted it easily.

Modern art had faced too much criticism and it took time for the people of that era to accept it as an art form.  In short, reviewing art is not a bad thing.

Art should be reviewed to understand the mind of the artist and what the people of that particular generation think of it. Any art form can be understood with deep knowledge and an open mind.

Adoring Appetite

Caitlin Berrigan & Anya Liftig often use food in their work as a driving force of desire and social allegory. In this collaborative intervention, they will explore the obsessions, myths and terrors of motherhood through an act of cannibalism. Amidst unsuspecting midday lunchers and farmers market shoppers, the two young & upright mommies coddled, pet, kissed, licked and ultimately devoured life-sized babies cast in chocolate.

Performances →

  • Skowhegan Performs, Socrates Sculpture Park, NYC (2011)
  • Rankinlive (NYC 2011)
  • Art in Odd Places Festival on 14th St., NYC (2011)

Slide →

Promotional Photograph by Bami Adedoyin

Spectrum of Inevitable Violence

‘Spectrum of Inevitable Violence’ is a choreography in quiet paranoia that explodes into irreverence and revolt. This installation and public performance invites participants to survey and analyze their class background across four categories of power: Socioeconomic Status, Cultural Capital, Class Status, and Social Mobility. The resulting scores are mapped onto a four quadrant stage that serves as territory to defend in a dynamic confrontation—with food as ammunition.

For the deCordova 2012 Biennial, the event was a spatial, one-night experience with approximately 100 participants, 30 volunteers, 5 Mariachi musicians and 1 pig.

This public battle invites open dialogue about subjects we mostly keep to ourselves: how class and social mobility permeate our culture, interpersonal relationships and careers. The elaborate survey asks boldly intimate questions about an individual’s family income, education, eating & exercising habits, travel, unpaid internships, etc. The questions initiate reflection on the complex networks that inform how we see ourselves and how others see us; how honest we are with ourselves about social class; how anxious we are to position ourselves relative to others.

Take the Survey →

What is your score? Download the survey, scoresheet & Occupational Standards

Thanks →

Commissioned for the 2012 Biennial of the deCordova Museum & Sculpture Park. With the participation of the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Video →

Caitlin Berrigan, Philip Cartelli

Photographers →

Liam Carleton / Eric Gottesman / Meredith Jenks / Derin Korman / deCordova Museum

Marshmallow Crash

Marshmallow Crash depicts an American Pie character as she violently confronts an oversized marshmallow amidst an idyllic pastoral landscape. The light, fluffy buoyancy promised by the giant marshmallow is never quite delivered as the character repeatedly impacts the marshmallow and is left marked, exhausted and unfulfilled.

Video →

Digital video with sound, 4 min, looping
Audio is best experienced with headphones

Thanks →

Navin Norling, production assistance; Skowhegan faculty, staff and residents; Produced & filmed at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Special thanks to Chris Kubick of the Double Archive for sound assistance.