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Christina Rees Wants More Art Criticism

The former owner of RoadAgent and current curator of  Fort Worth Contemporary Arts (and former D Magazine associate editor) presses the case that local media, including yours truly, should do more to cover the arts less promotionally and more critically.  Peter Simek at RenegadeBus seconds that motion and ups the ante (“D Magazine reeks of it,” says he, referring to a “quippy little piece that passed as arts criticism in FDLuxe“).

I am, of course, grateful for any advice I can get on how to run a media operation. As it happens, I agree with Christina. (As for Peter, I have no idea what he is talking about, except for affecting a general snobbishness toward the Great Unwashed — which I suppose includes the writers, editors, and readers of D Magazine — which role I thought Jeremy Weeks already performs admirably.) 

The problem they don’t address, and I am trying to address as I think this problem through, is how to pay critics to do the work we would all like to see them do. Advertisers aren’t interested in it; hence, the demise of art criticism in newpapers. Foundations are besieged by arts organizations for direct support; arts criticism doesn’t even make the list. So the quandry, which I am working on, is how to make Christina’s vision a reality. Meanwhile, I hope she keeps pressing the issue. Nothing good happens without a nag.

8 comments on “Christina Rees Wants More Art Criticism

  1. Wow! Hurray for Christina! Her/or your timing for this post couldn’t be better considering the #2 you all laid out in “Leading Off”.

    We, the readers of “DHome”, could also use some critical reviews on residential architecture. But I’m not in your biz vying for ads. I’m just an aesthete, who has little free time to seek out all the cool and little known art in her own backyard. Only the obvious and main stream viewpoints make it into your pubs. That just isn’t enough for some of us. Thank goodness for our local art blogs. They have managed to bring our local culture right into my home.

  2. I hate to break it to Christina, but nobody sits down at a computer and Googles for “Dallas arts criticism.”

    And if nobody Googles looking for it, then there’s no reason to deliver it.

    I think the volunteers writing on blogs will have to carry arts criticism for the foreseeable future.

  3. buck, you didn’t read her article. Did you? Googling wasn’t the point. I’m not going to “splain” it to you, because she has already done this very well. She even uses interesting phrases that aren’t too fussy such as, “dense and up-its-a$$ artspeak” to illustrate her points. Follow Wick’s link, if you really care. Try it. You might like it. Don’t be a fraidy cat.

  4. NAKED NUDE YOUNG Deploying brush strokes reminiscent of Derain during his Parisian period, with a palette that would make Chagall blush, Mr. Pretensieux somehow nonetheless achieves the remarkable effect of a flat, almost watery bleakness that bespeaks not only the enigmatic landscape of his native Brittany, but that of the human soul. GIRL ON GIRL ACTION BARELY LEGAL

    Google-hit problem solved.

  5. It’s not just art criticism that is missing. It’s intelligent, deep — sometimes controversial — coverage of the arts generally. There’s big issues out there, but too many publications — Ahem! — treat art as ornament or adornment, not as part of cuklture, the way we live.