February 5, 2011

Critical Fragments: Criticism

The following quote from jazz great, Wynton Marsalis, about music critics strikes me as having the potential to inform us about art criticism as well. If you substitute "artist" for "musician," "art" for "music," and so forth, his comment resonates across media to reveal the challenges inherent in all criticism. I have made the substitutions of the analogous terms for you below; the links go to his original quote:

"A lot of times, reviewers don't really know enough about what you're doing to have an intelligent comment on it. It's hard to walk in and see something one time. An artist has worked on something, it has a lot of references, and it's full of things the reviewer doesn't know. A person doing an art review -- how much art do they know? How much art theory do they actually know? I understand the practical aspect of it. Yours is a piece they reviewed on Tuesday. They have a piece to review on Wednesday. I'm not mad at them. I'm just lucky to have the type of friends and artists and people dedicated to my art that I do."


Anonymous said...

What you say about Marsalis is true however he has gone to great lengths to malign such jazz greats as John/Coltrane, Albert Ayler etc. for their forays into the so-called avant-garde. If you remember that Winton Marsalis is a strict Conservative as regards music he is strictly conservative as involves the inception and roots of jazz albeit in New Orleans. He has an opinion and he doesn't speak for me. "Me thinks he doth protest too much."

Mark Cameron Boyd said...

Thanks for your comment, "Anonymous." And please re-post your other comment to "Other N-Words" - where it has relevance - and I will publish it.