How to Critique  | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

How to Critique | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

[DIGITAL TONE] This week, I want to talk
to you about something that’s been weighing on my
mind lately, and that’s the issue of critique. If you spend any
time on the internet, it’s something you
come across frequently. If you’re the victim
of internet trolls or if you are an internet
troll, listen up. There is an
etiquette to critique that has been in play for
a long time in art schools all over the world. Let’s see if we can learn
something from that world and apply it in ours. So here’s how an art
critique usually goes. An art student
sets up their work to show their teacher,
a group of teachers, their friends, their class,
or an even bigger group. Then, discussion ensues. Questions are asked. And criticism is offered. Sometimes, things do go awry. Tears are shed and
expletives hurled. But it’s usually a
civilized affair. And there is an
etiquette to these things that I think it would be
useful for us to discuss, in relation to
the art assignment and to the internet
community at large. But first, let’s talk
about why we should critique in the first place. Because it’s the internet
and you can anonymously say whatever you want? I’d say no. Because you’d like to change
the minds of the person you’re critiquing? Definitely no. Critique it’s often most
instructive for the person offering it. In looking at
other people’s work and formulating
your opinion of it, you’re learning a great deal. I don’t often see people
responding to internet comments by saying, gee, thanks. I never thought
about it that way. I agree with you now. But that’s OK, Because it’s
still a constructive process. It can help shape your
beliefs and teach you about different ways of
looking and thinking. That being said, here are
some critiquing guidelines. One, be attentive. The internet has
trained us to look at something for a millisecond
and to scan text quickly. Fight that urge. Let something
linger on the screen for seconds or even minutes. Look at it once and, then,
look at another time later in the day or the next
day or the next week. I often have
instinctual reactions when I first see something. But then, my opinion changes
the longer I spend with it, or even a week later
when I’m remembering it. Use your faculties
and your patience and trust your reactions. Two, don’t be lazy. I am a terrible
example to follow. When I look at all
of the responses that come into “The Art Assignment,”
my head fills with ideas. But then, I get a phone
call or I’m in a hurry, and I just reblog something
or say something tepid instead of saying something
substantive about it. I also lean way too heavily
on the word interesting. It’s value-neutral,
which is helpful. But it also says very little. For example, the history
of documentary photography is interesting. But “The Simpsons”
is also interesting. It’s not a particularly
specific adjective. There are lots of lazy words. And it’s OK to use
them sometimes. But try to follow them up
with something that has teeth. Instead of saying,
this is great! –say, this is great, because
you’ve done A, B, and C and then surprised
us all by adding D. Three, be generous. Try to look at each work of
art for what is successful. Performance artist
Mathew Goulish tells us in an
essay on criticism to look for the
aspects of wonder. We want to encourage more
wonder in the world, right? So when we come across
it, let’s celebrate it. Criticism can be an
incredible act of empathy. What made someone
make that thing? Why did they do it that way? Be sympathetic to
the maker and realize that the mere act of putting
yourself and your work out there takes courage. Four, find your point of entry. You don’t have to have a PhD in
art history to talk about art. So find your point of
connection to a piece, as personal as
you’d like it to be. For example, this
reminds me of a bath mat, in the best possible way. Because its tactility
is enticing, and it transports me instantly
to my friend’s bathroom, circa 1997, which had
floral wallpaper and smelled like Garnier Fructis Shampoo. As it happens, it is a bath
mat and not an artwork. But it could be an artwork. Think about what the
thing in question reminds you of, whether it’s
from the same discipline, something personal, or
something far flung. Think about the decisions that
were made along the way– maybe it’s the materials
used or not used, maybe it’s the way it’s
been arranged in space or documented for us
to see, maybe it’s what the maker decided
to include or exclude from the frame of the work. What are the skills on display? Maybe the artist is not
an amazing draftsperson but still ended up with
a delightfully peculiar, delicately-rendered
drawing that communicates much more than a perfectly
photo-realistic drawing might have done. Maybe the ideas behind a
project outweigh the execution. Maybe the execution
outweighs the ideas. And if you can’t think of
anything declarative to say, ask a question. Don’t be a jerk. There is a lot you can say about
something without declaring it to be good or bad. It can be a productive
challenge to try to not make any value judgments
while talking about a work. Most art critiques
take place in a room where all of the
individuals have to look at each
other’s faces and deal with the immediate consequences
of saying something provocative. Pretend you’re in the
same room with the person you’re critiquing. Pretend they’re
someone you know. I’m not saying to
lie or blow smoke. I’m saying, don’t be a jerk. And finally, why make yourself
available for critique? Faced with the reality of
all the internet trolls in the world, it’s
completely understandable to stay in your hole
and not participate in internet communities. I totally get that. But the positives
of participating in this and other
online projects can be real and rewarding. It’s hard to have
perspective on your work. And offering it up
for review means you might have the chance
to see it with fresh eyes and learn from the
experience of others. But it also makes
you vulnerable, which can be a miserably
crappy feeling but, sometimes, a liberating and empowering one. If you can try to take
your ego out of it, you can learn a great deal. I want you guys to talk
about each other’s work. I don’t want this to be just
me passing judgment on you guys and the amazing work you do. We must be in this together. So talk to each other. Comment on works. Don’t be mean. But think about what the aspects
of wonder might be in each work and share that with each other. It will make the experience
of “The Art Assignment” better for everyone involved. OK, so here is a
self-portrait I made in college in a painting
class I took with the artist Ed Paschke. It was an experiment
in under-painting, which is a technique
where you paint something in all the same hue,
like a darker hue, and then you paint
color over it. Let’s critique. Or if they’re commenting
on videos or Tumblr posts, it makes this community
interesting and worthwhile. Ah! I said interesting.

Dereck Turner

100 thoughts on “How to Critique | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

  1. David Schmidt says:

    "Wow it's a beautiful Rothko"
    "That's a bath mat"

  2. Mr. Numi Who says:

    Lightweight mishy mush compared to the standard serious
    contexts for art critique – i.e. 1. The historical context; 2. The formal
    context (rules); 3. Various demographic responses; 4. Grasp of reality; 5. Connections
    to other art; and 6. Cultural infusions (and I would add 7. Response from
    varying mental levels); yet all of which are nebulous mishy mush compared to
    what I look for – which is how the work relates to our struggle to survive in a
    harsh and deadly universe (and since no one has had that mentality yet, it can
    be argued that nothing of worth has been created to date). Two other curiosities
    for me are what the artist's intent was (whether noble, such as social critique
    or enlightenment, or ignoble, such as ego gratification, instant gratification,
    money, fame, domination, snobbery, ornamentation, academic or social fawning) (note
    that love is its own category), and what the work actually 'says' – which is
    seldom what the artist intended since the audience has to give it 'voice' – and
    there are varying degrees of audience mentalities, hence varying degrees of 'voices'
    (and varying degrees of voice content, from childish to mature).

    So go ahead and take this video's advice and be courteous, attentive,
    be substantive rather than tepid, don't use lazy words, be generous, look for
    aspects of wonder, be sympathetic to the artist, find your point of personal
    connection to the work (what it reminds you of, such as the bathmat example), think
    about the decisions made along the way (though this is not as simple as the
    video suggests – each work of art contains hundreds, if not thousands, of
    decisions), note what skills (and I'd add talents) are on display, note mode of
    delivery of the ideas, don't be a jerk, participate in communities to gain
    different perspectives, know that vulnerability can be liberating and
    empowering, don't let it be about you passing judgement, and don't be mean
    (unless you are me and you are completely pissed-off about the state of human
    mentalities)… and if you are not yawning from all the trivial irrelevancies yet
    you should be – because now you can see how it all misses the most important point
    above – i.e. how it relates to survival and perpetuation in a harsh universe – and it is not
    the fault of any artist – it is the fault of philosophy (which has failed us
    and which is currently in the toilet), and which (as a result) we must hodge-podge
    together trite platitudes and shallow maxims (as poor substitutes) in order to function
    at all (your core philosophy is what you weight every little (non-animal) decision
    in life against – and I can tell you, it is a mess). A clueless philosophy equals clueless art and clueless art
    critiques. So indulge me for a moment and I will offer a suggestion for a new (and adequate) philosophy:
    begin with a core value, such as 'consciousness is a good thing' (consider the alternative), and then determine
    satellite values that contribute to securing consciousness against a harsh and deadly
    universe (such as 'diversity', which is still critical to the survival of life)
    (and the realization of that alone should alleviate lack of self-worth, depression,
    suicide, envy, jealousy, hate, prejudice, evil (good and evil being goal-determined) and war) (not bad for starters). Then
    you will have a solid foundation for going about life, and for creating art, and for critiquing art.

    Was this video valuable? Most certainly – for it provided a
    starting point (from which I provided the end point).

    Now for the actual 'art critique' (on the self-portrait):

    INITIAL REACTION: The skin colors are odd – indicating perhaps not much thought went into it, but
    then thinking ahead is only one technique – you can also finish a piece and
    THEN determine if everything works together – here it could be the greenish-yellow
    skin color accentuates the expression presented (which might be "I, like
    Numi, am also sick of the current state of human mentalities (to the point of
    turning green and vomiting) – although I am keeping my chin up and braving life
    SKILL: as far as skill, it has a long way to go – it is not a Rembrandt – nor
    is it a cubist Picasso.
    SALVAGING THE PIECE (CREATIVE SUGGESTIONS): What may elevate it is another 'layer' of creativity – preferably
    after mastery in some other method has been attained – I might go with 3D
    embellishments, such as twigs or fabrics or stones… and (here's a unique,
    spontaneous, creative thought) 'complete' the portrait with another portrait (or
    several) of the rest of your body – perhaps even a series of bodies offering an
    array of all the period fashions in your particular life reflecting all the
    shifting cultures (and mindsets) you were a part of (if only passively); and along
    with actual fashions, perhaps a few personal fantasies and creative imaginings)…
    so as the work stands it is not much, but it can be used as an underlying
    'base' for further creative work (imparting future important statements)
    (hopefully in some way relating to the survival of higher consciousness in a
    harsh and deadly universe).

    Well, all that was fun (and good exercise) for me – like you
    said, thoughtful commenting also benefits the commenter; so I'm glad I stopped
    by – it was stimulating…

  3. Teancum Horning says:

    Well, I'll be giving this a try. I find your interest in composing the figures in the painting to be quite compelling. It reminds me of a film called inverted prima in which the director wanted this concept within storytelling. I could also state that this portrait seems to establish the meaning of it being about the inter workings of the mind to choose what path you want to go down. Good painting keep rocking.

  4. Madalyn M says:

    I really enjoy her shading on her potrait. It's just enough to define certain aspects of her face without being too much. It makes it lifeless yet full of reality. I'm not sure that makes sense or not. Like… there's not really an expression on the face, but, as humans, we all don't really hold that much expression on a day to day basis.

  5. Marty Nelson says:

    you are very redundant…….

  6. Biggle Man says:

    This was uploaded on my birthday!

  7. Shreyasi Rao says:

    Lets critique!
    Um I don't know, but in underpainting isn't covering the initial layer completely a little against the rules? And I guess the chin in the adjacent one is a little different. But having said that, getting the symmetry in the mirror image and inverting is very very hard and has been done beautifully. The shading scheme used in both the adjacent figures is thoughtful. And I think it is a fine piece of work.

  8. KAYCEE MILLER says:

    The different hues used in the faces is intriguing. The one on the right (upside down) reminds me of when people have a "face/body mismatch" when they apply makeup that has a slightly different color than their skin. Although your self portrait appears barren and make up free, it conveys the idea that we have control over our phenotype and image.

  9. egguy says:

    I think that this artwork is good, because the symmetry is quite pleasing to the eye, and I love the dull hues too; and my favourite part is the girl on the left is looking not at the viewer but the right one is, all with the same stern face. I also love the small differences, like the right has a darker neck and darker hair. I do have some questions: Why did you paint two of you, and right one flipped upside down? Why did you choose to do stern instead of smiling?

  10. you must not know dick about starkid says:

    Is the sign off now "Please don't be a jerk?" XD

  11. Monique Rios says:

    What I found most helpful was that she listed the "etiquette to critique," a process where many don't have the format. She also gives a great reminder that critiquing is often most instructive for the person offering it and that a person shouldn't be lazy while giving a comment. It was also helpful because she encouraged everyone to put one's work out there and let it be critiqued even if it makes you feel vulnerable because in the end you will only learn how to do it better the next time. -Monique Rios

  12. Jurgens Pieterse says:

    Anybody want to critically critique my current project? Just curious

  13. Adios Epic says:

    With something that's cut into so many frames, why do you need to read script? Is it really that difficult to speak a couple memorized sentences at a time?

  14. Lunes de comida says:

    i really love this artwork, it is so unique, I love how both you can live together in one painting, like two twins. so simple yet complex. i just love it, love the backgound, love the red glow in your hair, love the face structure, very simetric. you can improve by making a more define shadow, and make them stare in diferent direccion so it wont feel creepy. overall good.

  15. German Heart says:

    I love all your videos I have already seen. You are a great "teacher" .

  16. SoloArt Studio says:

    Very helpful, Thanks

  17. Myrk Fælinn says:

    I usually keep staring at it, or keep going back at it several times. Even the most stupid text messages xd

  18. caleb bay says:

    my typing sucks

  19. caleb bay says:

    I get it… your picture of yourself is beautiful 🙂

  20. Crushi! .Music, Art & Love. says:

    It seems people don't understand that people (us) make things anymore or ever did? I love your video! Thank you. I do think that as a whole population only about 2 percent even appreciate art and ideas and creative thoughts.

  21. Crushi! .Music, Art & Love. says:

    My nieces and nephews love doing critiques at my mom's house with our (all of us) drawings hung up.

  22. Josh says:

    I personally only like to receive critique when I ask for it. Sometimes I really just created something for the fun of it or maybe I'm really proud of something and happy that for ONCE I'm content with what I made just to then get a bunch of negative critique I didn't ask for. If I say "Something is off about this but I can't tell what, could you give me your opinion?" then SHOOT, tell me everything, good or bad (still, don't be mean). But if you really just spot me drawing something and immediately tell me what you think I should do differently…eh…don't. It really kills my motivation.

  23. Debbie Mitchell says:

    Problem with waiting, YOU CAN NEVER FIND THE POST AGAIN!

  24. Titus T says:

    This is so remedial.

  25. Crushi! .Music, Art & Love. says:

    Critique is the greatest thing. We do it in life all the time! Thank you Art Schoo!

  26. Crushi! .Music, Art & Love. says:

    What a great lecture! Please share with others!

  27. Anita Pinto says:

    I think the underpainting result was simple and assertive, the lights and shadows are really well done, very subtle. The draft has beautiful lines, traces are symmetric, except for the nose proportion, but this little difference let me think that each head belongs to a different person, like twins. The first moment that I saw these signs led me to notice the subtle representation of two sides of a personality, something about the contrast of the hair and the neck. The right side is upside down, the colors are darker and stronger. The other one has a delicate hue, it seems to have a kind and benevolent personality. Remembers me the Brazilian soap opera called "Sand Women" where there were these twins sisters "Ruth and Rachel", they had these characteristics and they look pretty much like this painting. The The chosen color behind adds to it even more drama.

  28. m m says:

    That portrait is interesting

  29. C. E. Abrams says:

    Instantly it makes me think of someone living a double life, possibly one in their head and one in the real world? I really enjoy the color choices and use of shadow. 👌 I dig it.

  30. MrSuperchicken95 says:

    Everyone gets suprised when you add the D

  31. Abstract Painting Techniques with Andy Morris says:

    I now have quite a few Online Students and I agonize over giving them critiques. Mostly I just give encouragement with a sprinkling of suggestions. They all are trying very hard and with many being beginners, I'n reluctant to be very harsh. I remind myself what it was like when I first started painting. This was a very helpful video and I'll be sharing it with them.

  32. Maku L says:

    I always love when they offer a, b, c but most importantly the D. /winkwink

  33. Spartanofblood says:

    I like that intensive look. It reminds me of an African saying that says"because you see me I exist"and she seems to look at me from two angles.

  34. Sine Somno says:

    The facial expression of the lady is of a neutral confrontation, a sense of spontaneity is present in her expression but also a sense of timelessness, her eyes and frontal posture echo this. The eyes form a feeling of tension, as eyes tend to be very strong focal points, and the two pairs of them give me a feeling of anxiety, and uncertainty as the two figures are in opposition to each other in direction, it seems they`re both following me. The painting almost seems to tremble. I feel this is a personal confrontation of the artist to herself, how she views herself and how she believes others view her, in the bleak, muddy hues used and the abstract background she sets herself on, her face expresses an intention of truthfulness and neutrality, she does not represent herself beautiful, ideal, nor does she present herself exaggerated in personality, or ugly, this painting is a true representation of what she believe she looks like to others, every single moment of her life. This expression overwhelms the viewer in how it obscures the entire painting, her two faces, one à l'envers and the other right side up, and frontal reminds me sort of a grand tree. Her eyes reflect nothing but a light source, but this short sense of naturalism is in opposition against the abstract background, and how these two figures are literal mirrors of each other. I'm not sure what her intention was but maybe this inconsistency of light was to emphasize more on the abstraction. The shadows on her skin and eyebags also echoes this sense of unease. The lines to me are reminiscent of Mexican mural art but all in all to me this is an awfully truthful and raw painting, a portrait, almost like a snapshot of a first impression of her. The frontal pose, the neutral impression that seems to be in the verge of changing. I feel your intention was to really capture yourself as truthfully as you view yourself.

    lmao kill me idek what i wrote twas fun tho

  35. Hansel Gretel says:

    Always add D guys

  36. Sarah Crookall says:

    "There's a lot you can say about something without declaring it good or bad." So incredibly true! I find that people get so caught up in their own opinion about a work that they don't engage with it very deeply. Saying something like "Your painting looks like a kid did it" doesn't interact with the various elements of it. This kind of critique doesn't help the artist or yourself. Ask yourself what is being said and comment on that. Ask if your impression is similar to what the artist aimed for. You don't even have to have the same interpretation to find your own personal meaning within it.

  37. drasticfantastic94 says:

    when she surprises us by adding D

  38. Jimmy Jimmy says:

    Let's critique: Not bad.

  39. VocalEdgeTV says:

    Not a fan of most modern art. But you are easy to love! I will continue to listen to the words you make with your face and learn from them.

  40. couchmermaid says:

    I've seen in other comments that you find the orangey neck distracting, and it does command attention, but it made me go looking for the other colors in the composition and I love how the colors shift from orangey to green and yellow. It makes it disjointed in a unified way. I also love how it won't let my eyes rest. I'm constantly darting back between the eyes. Even when I turn it upside down, the one on the right seems more stark and stern. It speaks of someone who at first glance is mild mannered, but the other side of them is harder in some way than most people expect.

  41. Charlotte Fairchild says:

    Why do we not have more women included?

  42. Evan Lawton says:

    Surprised us all by adding D. 😉

  43. Nova Caress official says:

    There's no ''right or wrong'' critique. It's better for someone to outright say ''THAT'S SHIT!!'' than nothing at all

  44. Roll Out StrawBerry! says:


  45. AlPual says:

    Your self portrait… after spending time with it, it speaks to me as a bold portrait of a single individual as both female and male. It is like looking at a yin yang of the self through the lens of gender. I’m not sure if you meant it in that way, but it is much more “interesting” to me as that than as a simple technical exercise. Technically, I think it works, but the necks seem a bit Mogdaliniesque without fully committing to the absurdly long neck.
    I have to say, though, I’d like to see some recent work too!

  46. Errin Watson says:

    Why did you choose to put one upside down. And that expression. The red calls to mind passion and the juxtaposition of that with the expression feels purposeful.

  47. Phoenix Olivia says:

    You're so good.

  48. J Cheline says:

    Its cool I think there should be more shading on the neck. Especially under the head. The lack of shading there makes the head seam unatached to the neck, but overall a cool piece.

  49. Camila Alvarenga says:

    I like your colors in your painting. They re very pailed and "sick"… But besides the nose, it does not look like you. But i guess this can be good because it really shows how you see yourself in an unconscious way haha. Did i criticized right?

  50. sandeep nandan says:

    hello help me with my criticism subject

  51. Xladimir Xtriminovich says:

    nobody identifies as a troll, in fact it can be perceived as a form of work in and of itself, trolling, shitposting, edgelords, etc

  52. Xladimir Xtriminovich says:

    for critique the technique of e prime serves well. remove the clause of "x is y" or "x becomes why" from your vocabularity and you end up forced to become more descriptive in your expression of analysis

  53. Making Cooking Fixing says:

    I invite you all to critique my paintings: curious to what you can all come up with. thanks

  54. Lachlan Bowden says:

    Why should I 'be sympathetic to the maker' when critiquing art? Shouldn't I be completely neutral as the person observing the art? perhaps this presupposes the artist is insecure about their art and might influence the critique in a biased way? I don't feel sympathetic to a business person releasing their work, although it may take a great deal of courage. But I don't really know anything.

  55. Kateryna Tykhonenko says:

    I like the bottle in the background. Real art critic

  56. Darwin Stead says:

    What's a more productive way to promote your work, a comprehensive video featuring your work on YouTube, or asking people to visit your website?

  57. Peach Swarnalata says:

    direct, clear and thought provoking, thanks Sarah! look forward to an Art history course if you make one!

  58. DickyG41 says:

    You don’t have to be a jerk to give honest feedback about how something doesn’t work. I suppose it depends on the context of the critique (is it in a school setting, or between strangers, or colleagues), but usually the work of art has an aim, and while it’s important to point out what works, it’s equally as important to say what doesn’t work according to that aim. Of course it’s tricky saying something that might hurt someone’s feelings, but here I find it important to separate the art from the artist. The critique is aimed at the art, not the artist. And if it is constructively critical, then it justifies any hurt feelings the artist might feel. If you’re afraid of telling the truth, what happens to standards?

  59. Sidharth Singh says:

    The painting is nicely balanced, and the slight changes in the colour adds interest.The complementary composition of the two faces is pleasing to look at

  60. Renzo says:

    What is civilized about swearing and tears?
    Have our standards of civility sunk so low?

  61. I L says:

    I especially like the last idea, which is put yourself out there. I don't like to comment on the internet because of ego or maybe something else. However, I just realize the importance of doing so. It can help you to actually engage in something instead of just scanning. This channel is really inspiring. Thanks.

  62. Kevin Downey says:

    Great suggestions.

  63. Kevin Downey says:

    I am no art expert, but I feel like this piece of art seems to try to highlight how the subject wants to be seen more complexly (from opposing perspectives), but feels like she is not as worthy or as beautiful from either perspective. OR, she is choosing this moment in her personal experience to highlight; a moment that might not truly reflect her complete truth…

  64. Virgil Alonso says:

    Art C. Pursin tho

  65. robswitzer96 says:

    One of the most blatant issues i have as a painter is the abject absence of the critique of my work by others. Honest feedback is valuable.

  66. Coty Schwabe says:

    interesting video.

  67. Matthew Fox says:

    I wish my instructors taught us how to critic in my university. I had to learn how to do it on my own, and this proved helpful, especiually since non of thr students seemed equiped to critic art by their forth year. No one had the maturity to take critism, and could not properly articulate their thoughts. My school sucked balls…

  68. sacredjournal says:

    Thank you for your encouragement to stay attentive. At the same time, "don't be lazy" is not nearly as good a dose of advice as is – "honor the art and honor yourself" or "use your gifts of observation and put energy into it." I also appreciate "be generous" as counsel as well as "be specific." These are great points. You might consider doing a little less reading and just talk to us.

  69. Mariam Antigua says:

    I love the way she talks, she just sounds so well that once in a while I kind of lose attention to the content for a few seconds just cuz her voice flows so smoothly, jajaja, it's a lovely channel, In glad I found it.

  70. Nindrea says:

    Really love your videos! they are very on point and great for educational purposes! Thanks for the content 🙂

  71. IAN THESEIRA says:

    Being uneconomical with words can be a worrying sign. Speaks of really wanting to pack it in there, maybe it's passion and enthusiasm at work, who knows. Having so much to say of course opens you up to all sorts of potshots also, especially for those who have been primed to automatically react negatively to the kinds of cues that you give out.

    What those cues are, I will leave to you to figure out.

    But teacher does come to mind. So on that count, when the cons have outweighed the pros so significantly over the long run, it takes more than a few shining instances to restore your faith in anything, including the teaching profession.

    In fact, some question the very basic psychological drive of the mentor or instructor archetype. I''d assume due to sometimes poor results of failed students. Past experiences inevitably coloring perception and points of view etc.

    More so with the extremely polished quality in delivery, (quite effective and well balanced I must say) so not just teacher but broadcaster or hostess also comes to mind. Because of course, annunciation and inflection is as important, as the quality of the substance being conveyed.

    But what if the spoon has more value that the slurry being fed out? Not that this comes across here. But we're trying to get to the root of these potential biases and baggage that exist in people are we? That leads to failures in critical thinking and valid criticism. To such a degree that some insist that personal opinions are only ever prides and prejudices speaking.

    In any case, great content and interesting style

  72. Neo 0101 says:

    There is a nonverbal component to viewing art. No one is required to comment. Displaying a work doesn’t need a dissertation. Telling someone how to react, how long to look, is controlling the narrative. Manipulation of the viewer continues to drive the market. It’s ok to just look, for a few seconds and move on. It’s ok to not want to “understand” what the artist was thinking, drinking or doing. One size fits all thinking is fueling a decline in public participation, their getting tired of tip toeing around hurt feelings and being told they just don’t get it. Art will find its own level. Let them look, let them be. Let them move on.

  73. Aleah Dodson says:

    About the painting at the end:
    .the proportions are pretty much spot on
    .I like the emotion coming through the subject’s face
    . I like how the emotion the subject is show is indecipherable, it reminds me of a Rembrandt
    . I like the background colour, it’s really rich
    .I like the idea of having one portrait upside down and one the right way up, it’s creative
    .the hair needs to have more dark and light values, or,in my own words, be more “shiny”
    .the neck of the upside down girl (right) is completely to the girl’s on the left
    .the skin colour is a bit yellow
    .you must never shade in black unless you’re doing it the same way comic book art does. I’m sorry to say but the end of the nose and lips especially look as though they’ve been shaded in grey rather than a cooler (therefore darker) shade of the skin colour you were already using.

    That’s all.

  74. Devin du Plessis says:

    1:20 I said that on your vid about Ai Wei Wei 😁

  75. KateReadsBooks says:

    These are the best damn videos about art on YouTube.

  76. Lena Bussman says:

    I love your painting because of its dool nature. l like the color because they a not super warm and neither sober by still being serious which l can tell would fit your mood and reflect your personality at that time in your life. I like it because it looks and feels like you. I like that you painted to the edges of the painting with no boards making yourself limitless. It works very well. Wonderful work!

  77. Cade Johnson says:

    Simply channel Ongo Gablogian when asked to critique a piece.

  78. Cefri Naldi says:

    I'm so grateful to find this video. This video is so helpful. Sometimes I always confuse to critic or respon something (mostly about art).

  79. Dmitri Strizhov says:

    I am ready for any criticism)) my paintings are well armed and ready for any war!

  80. Peyton Bell says:

    So basically I can't say a painting is shit bcuz ppl will get mad @ me? 😂

  81. Arledia Arledia says:

    very insightful .. thanks

  82. Henk-Jan Bakker says:

    The ettiquette is pretty obvious. You don't vent an opinion to be rude. Granted some honest view can be interpreted as rude but in an art setting always keep in mind being rude isn't the objective. That is it.

    Like Clint Eastwood said:"Opinions are like assholes, everybody has got one." You can either think that it is rude or realize there is no spoon and biologically speaking he is right. Crude but right.

  83. Ctrain says:

    I found this video very helpful and it helped me learn some things that I couldn’t quite figure out! Thank you

  84. Theodore Harris says:

    Thesentür: Conscientious Objector to Formalism By Theodore A. Harris 
    Thesentür: Conscientious Objector to Formalism is a series of minimal, image and quotation based works that uses poetry to confront mainstream art criticism, art history, to look beneath the surface politics of aesthetics and formalism in a presentation of art that is not self-referential or to put a Black face on the art history of imperialism.Formalism functions as the cosmetics of art criticism like aluminum siding on a slumlord’s property. It is an attempt to disguise what is crumbling beneath the surface politics of its proselytizing church bells,ringing, in the mega church / museums and galleries where there are more Black bodies guarding the white cube then exhibiting in it.What marginalized artist know is that canon formation is a battlefield and critical art is the weapon! In the crossed out words of Basquiat to repel ghosts.

  85. DMX Zooom says:

    I draw better then you!

  86. BSienk Art says:

    This is great. Thanks!

  87. Shelley Webb Russell says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share this message. It is truly needed in our world today. 💞💜👍🏼

  88. Juan Urbina says:

    Oh, Interesting " hahaha… Love your channel. It always makes me see things differently. 🙂

  89. Daniel Vela says:

    “Don’t be a jerk” seems so simple

  90. Gail Bolton says:

    Well, you certainly seem to have "caught yourself" when you were young and quite intense in your outlook on life. I can't say I actually understand why the are two of you in different orientations but I do like the juxtaposition of the two. They are an interesting young woman. She is intense but not yet the lively person she has turned out to be. Well done!

  91. G says:

    As an artist who shares her art on a lot of different online forums I wish I could share this video with everyone. Sometimes I do receive genuine substantive critiques, usually on art forums. I appreciate that. However when shared with the general public, so many people think that the only way to critique art is to say something negative, and usually they provide no detail other than an adjective. If I have to ask what their critique meant I don't think it was a successful critique.

  92. EWKification says:

    When I was in grad school all critique was based on social justice/identity politics, and anything I did was automatically upholding the patriarchy, colonialism, and son, based on my DNA at birth. Extraordinarily destructive and, let's face it, stupid. The biggest problem with critique is finding the right people to provide it. People's minds are all over the place about what is important, etc. If you are a painting, well, there's a vast arena of critique that will automatically dismiss anything you do as hopelessly antiquated. Critique seems to work better for people working in established genres, whatever they are, who agree on broad outlines of what art is and what they are trying to achieve. Otherwise it's like submitting a Black Sabbath album to Country Music judges.

  93. Al Cox says:

    Following up Critiques with affirmations and points of interests is obvious and excitingly challenging

  94. Z Richards says:

    This brings me back to my time in college, my art professor really didn't like the word "interesting". If that word was uttered, he'd turn to the speaker and immediately ask "oh? So why is it interesting?" Not that he wanted to embarrass someone, he wanted to push us towards clearer expressions of thought.

  95. 4 & 20 Black Birds says:

    you don't have any taste, do you?
    you don't bother to read about good design, do you?
    nobody has told you, you have no taste?
    this is funny to me, is it funny to you?
    90% of the people who make art sucks. you think you fall into that group?
    is it being a jerk to be forced to look at your art and have to smile?
    I must say. you're really cool! can't say the same about your art!

  96. Patrick Hawbecker says:

    My first impulse when I'm observing this is that game of identify what's the same and what's different. At first glance it is apparent that it is intended to be the same person and yet there are certain discernable differences such as the parting hair pattern, some of the cheek bones, and the different hue on the right neck. But as much as people talk about focal points and the couple sets of eyes, which could relate to our brains psychological dependence on perceiving human features, I believe from looking at this the artist intended to invoke more metaphorical questions then those of craft and taste. See, there are many ways for artists today to make the perfect duplicate, but that does not appear to be the case here. Rather, there seems to be more of the beginning questions of ontological and institutional nature. I perceive these questions of "how is this working" and "presentation" being at the forefront. I see these through the artistic devices incorporated by the artists. First, I see the prominence of device, frontal. Throughout much of art history, if there is a straightforward idea being presented artists have chosen to depict their figures in frontal. Also, it's an easy way to connect your piece to art of old. The second device incorporated is that of the diptych. An efficient approach to contain multiple ideas or a duplicity in a single image or thought, or even just telling a narrative, is the diptych. This artist uses the diptych seemingly to multiply the intensity of the self-portrait assignment. She could be trying to suggest increasing her self identity but it seems like she's more so making a point about the assignment then anything else. And the fact that she turned 1 side of the diptych upside down suggests her attempt at turning, at least partially, the artistic conventions on their head. Thirdly, well, there isn't really a third point unless you consider the rendering of the saturation of color as a jab at over-craftmanship. It is more probable that this is the artist's current level of ability. See, in my art, I try to incorporate a rule of three particularly when I am driving home a metaphorical point. If I can express, say an ontological question in at least 3 different ways then I feel more successful or justified. I know it isn't necessary but it is something I always try to grapple in the formative stages of my pieces. I feel this self-portrait diptych is a good addition to this artist's repertoire of work and I look forward to seeing her push these ideas, if not others, in her future works.

  97. David Faubion says:

    Words are just words unless they are explicit threats. The internet is like the global mind unleashed. To try to police the free flowing speech of it is prelude to thought control, mind policing. Only you can stop the cycle of pointless words.

    Surprised PBS allowed comments. PBS has comment muted for its Washington Week and some of their other feature pods.

  98. aeromodeller1 says:

    You may not want to do this.

    My high school English teacher completed his section on poetry by reading a poem and asking us to critique. No one wanted to say anything. It was a very bad poem and I explained why. It broke every rule in the book, used mixed metaphors and did everything he had told us not to do. I'm not a stickler for rules, but sometimes rules serve a purpose. This was a good demonstration of why you should be aware of the reasons for those rules. It turned out that he had written this poem for his poetry class and his teacher had made exactly the same criticisms as I had. He was hoping to get a more sympathetic response from his captive audience of high school students.

    Now to your double portrait. It did catch my attention, more than the usual art student solo portrait. Failure point number one for a work of art is you walk by it and don't even notice it. It reminded me of a playing card, the Queen of Diamonds, except that the portraits on a playing card are arranged on a vertical axis where these are on a horizontal axis. Both have approximate, but not necessarily exact, point symmetry. There is an implication of spinning. I brace myself against getting dizzy. I would expect that if she exhales strongly through her nose, the whole thing might spin like a pinwheel. There is ambiguity about up and down. Which is the "right" orientation, or would this be mounted on a Lazy Susan? I find myself looking at the left face and wanting to turn it around to look at the right face. The faces take up almost all of the surface, there are four small areas of plain red brown in the background. The faces show little emotion, maybe boredom? There is the ambiguous area where the two overlap. There is a concern about matter and antimatter, what can go wring here? Why two almost identical portraits on the same canvas? Wouldn't it have been better to make one large portrait?

    The yellow color makes the person look unhealthy.

    The problem with most student art is that it is busywork. The teacher gave an assignment; make a cyanotype. The student makes a cyanotype. Assignment completed, the student was exposed to a medium. Unfortunately the student did not have anything to say, so the picture says nothing. It does not communicate with the viewer. The picture may be a successful technical exercise, but fail as expressive art. You don't go to the symphony to listen to the violinists playing fingering exercises.

    I have seen a lot of student art and often my critique is more about the assignment than the execution. A class assignment is a collaborative work, both the teacher and the student are involved. It may not always be a successful collaboration.

    This was an experiment in underpainting. Did it succeed or not? As a class assignment, only the teacher's assessment is valid. Did it get a good grade? This reminds me of colorized photographs. In the days before color photography, colorists were employed in photo studios to color B&W portraits. Some used dyes, some used oils. The goal was to present a "realistic" color portrait. This is an extension of earlier colorists who hand painted colors onto black ink prints. Usually many impressions were colored, sometimes a whole print run of books.

  99. Dave Shaver says:

    I dont really like the work but I appreciate it nonetheless. It lacks cosmetic appeal (which is why I dont like it) but it has conceptual appeal. It also contains some fun, which I do like. Its not something I would display or acquire because it does not suit my individual taste but Im glad you created it, nonetheless. To someone who needs to imagine themselves from a totally counterintuitive point of view, it may be exactly what the doctor ordered. Oh darn, now I seem to like it now. I have no money, I am poor like Kenny on Southpark but miss, what is your ask by the way? lol 😉

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