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Culmination of Criticism

Here's a collection of all the feedback I got from all the Critters.

Harmony Hammond (badass critiquing skillz)
They are strikingly beautiful and intriguing. They are rich, luscious, sensual. The feeling of being transported to another plane we don't often get to see. Think about getting the pictures off the wall. Maybe have them hanging a few inches away from the wall, or presented in some other way. Maybe having only pins in the top corners have the bottom corners free. Experiment with different papers, more unusual papers. Think of ways they can have more presence in the room. Think about size, should they be bigger? Maybe they should be "larger than life" as in, larger than people. What else can you do? Juxtapose more than one kind of veggie in the frame? Play more with multiples? More techniques like incorporating more photoshop/drawing/painting? 

Heather Ferrell (Museum Curator)
If the project is about shape/form/texture maybe have them presented in such a way that starts one way and ends another way down a progression. Curators love that stuff, she says. The garlic seems a little soft and out of focus. They definitely work well as a group and make each other stronger. They almost look a little dull because of the desaturated colors. She liked the broccoli the best because it has the most "depth."  

Emma Norman (Graduating Student)
There is a connection between my two pieces (God ball-Veggies). My work is conceptually and technically strong. They are both, literally and figuratively, "God in your hands." They are both very "tricky," they draw the viewer in and then the message sneaks up on them. The viewer goes from a question mark to an exclamation mark. Try to push the idea further so that they get to the exclamation mark faster. I keep thinking the word "scale," it's like they are microscopic and an entire landscape at the same time. Maybe these need to be wall sized.

Adam Pape (Photographer)
Being ethereal in photography is almost directly counter to the medium. It's really hard to be ethereal and have it still be a picture of something. Why am I using vegetables as a vehicle for this message? Just because they are readily available? Am I trying to be another Edward Weston? How will this work be different from his? Photographer (whose name I can't recall) in the same era as Ansel Adams who also did landscapes but his were a lot more ethereal because he took out the horizon line in most of his work. Larger size would not necessarily be better. Maybe more repetition of the same subject instead of switching subjects. Maybe show the veggies at different stages, like as they decay. 

Viet Le (Faculty)
They seem very "surface" flat, not enough depth conceptually and physically. They look commercial, like an advertisement in a magazine. We are all artists and have seen the beauty in these objects already. They're cliché. They look like Hallmark cards. We don't need any more Hallmark cards. 


So it is interesting to me that some people seem to "get it" and others don't, maybe that's natural. People seemed to like the broccoli the best overall. Because there was more "direct manipulation" of the subject (i.e. there's two broccoli in the same picture). I find this statement interesting since they interpreted that as direct manipulation, when In reality, I think I directly manipulated all of them. I sliced the kiwi thin so that the light would shine through, I peeled the garlic skins and arranged two of them together. The onion I cut and then placed in the sun. It isn't like Weston who took a bell pepper, sat it there, and shined light on it. I am directly manipulating all of them. So I guess my manipulation is so subtle that no one notices. Which I think is kind of a cool thing.

Having sat through so many critiques of others' work now, the big things the critters almost always harp on to others is like why are you doing this, and usually the artist can't answer it very well. And the second thing is the work is too "self conscious" and gimmicky. I would say from the type of critiques I got, that my work doesn't have either of those typical pitfalls. I think it's a really good sign that both Harmony Hammond (who everyone hailed as being the best "crit" ever) and Heather Ferrell, the curator, pretty much only had suggestions on presentation. Which implies that the work is good, it just needs to come in the right package. The other term thrown around a lot over here is "point of entry." Why do we spend more time in front of some art than others? Supposedly this is because the ones we spend more time with have a point of entry. Art needs an aspect or angle that makes it accessible to people and draws them in. This is often in the presentation, but can also be in the content or the style, etc.

And that's all for that.