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Art Criticism is Dead: Embracing Personal Experience

Art criticism as we know it is becoming antiquated. Today, art is consumed in a far more intimate and personal way, almost as if the artist is directly present with the audience. This shift transforms how we should view and critique art.




Personal Resonance Over Universal Judgement

Art’s value is no longer dictated by a handful of critics but is instead determined by individual experience. If a piece of art does not resonate with you, any commentary on it becomes irrelevant. The essence of art lies in its ability to evoke a personal response. Attempting to universalize this experience is not only impractical but also impossible.


The Pitfall of Suggestions

One of the fundamental flaws in traditional art criticism is the belief that others can offer valuable suggestions on what might resonate. In reality, no one possesses the self-awareness to predict what will deeply affect another person. Suggestions often dilute the authenticity of the original work, guided by opinions lacking the appropriate insight. Your instinctual creation, born out of your unique perspective, is inherently more valuable than the guesses of others.


Experience in the Classroom

This phenomenon is evident in academic settings. I've observed graduate classes where students, only months removed from being learners themselves, harshly critique their peers' projects with an undue sense of certainty. This gatekeeping is counterproductive. Criticizing creative work often proves to be a futile exercise. The creator pours their perspective and focus into their work, while the audience receives it through their own lens.


Thought and Perspective: A Subjective Journey

Even when two people appreciate the same piece of art, their reasons are rarely identical. Each opinion is rooted in personal experience and resonance. Art criticism, then, should acknowledge this subjectivity rather than striving for an objective standard.


Conclusion

The role of the critic should evolve from gatekeeper to guide, helping audiences find personal meaning in art rather than dictating what art should mean. In this new landscape, all other criticism becomes secondary to the primary question: "How does this art resonate with me?" This shift acknowledges the deeply personal nature of art and honors the unique connection between the creator and each member of the audience.

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