Tag Archives: Art

One hack’s beauty is another hack’s bollocks: how the artist confounds the critic.

Why are we surprised when critics disagree about their assessments of a piece of art? It’s astonishing that when presented with the same piece of music, same set of actors, same piece of design that critics behave like they’re from different planets. Say something to one and you’ve offered a piece of golden insight: to another, you’ve insulted his mother.

Of course we know why that is: it’s because they bring their life experiences to the artwork and their own interpretations of your offering. Their criticism is not so much of you but their inner voice prompting them to explode in rage or revel in delight at their own recognition of themselves in the art work in front of them. The hacks complaint or adoration is ultimately a self-referential and self-reverential utterance and little to do with the artwork which mirrors themselves back at themselves.