I’ve done a handful of comic book reviews in the past several weeks, and I’m realizing a horrible, terrible, no good thing. I am a snob about art work. The funniest part is that I am completely unqualified to critique anyone’s art style because I haven’t taken an art class since elementary school. I fulfilled my college fine art requirement by taking an art history course, and I barely squeaked by with a ‘B’ in that (and the ‘B’ was not garnered entirely honestly…). So how do I feel qualified to turn my nose up at certain types of artwork or even talk about art in various media?
First, while I critique artwork in my reviews I don’t actually think that I’m better than the artists; I simply am picky about what I consider beautiful. I’ve spent my adult life around a wide variety of people including many artistic types, and I’ve somehow absorbed certain art theories simply from conversations. I’ve always been sensitive to colour as well, so how I feel about the colour in a given piece is an important component of how I feel about the artwork.
Second, I’m not necessarily concerned with how technically precise the art style is. I really want to see an artist who has taken technique and used it to create his or her own style. I find this a little strange since it seems counter to my feelings of being snobby about art. I often respond better to slightly clumsy or deliberately less realistic pieces that have individual flair over amazingly realistic artwork that looks boiler plate. I think it’s a me thing.
So am I really a snob about art work? It’s hard to say. All I know for sure is that I like what I like, and I’ll continue to comment on it in anything I review that is predominantly visual.