I have always thought that one need not be formally trained or schooled in art appreciation to appreciate art. Dali's work, for instance, have always had a haunting feel about them and made me think for a long time after I had looked at one...frankly speaking, I can't pretend that I understand Dali, most of the while I don't, but the very fact that he makes me reflect over an unseemly agglomeration of distorted shapes, forms and objects is I think tribute to his originality of thought and of skill....I've felt the same with Munch's "The Scream", some Picassos and several African masks, dolls and idols, Yakshagana and Kathakali masks, Bali puppets, Easter island figurines...I'm not a great fan of modern art, most of which are not within the reach of my mind; this is perhaps because each art work represents a peculiar private point of view of the artist of something or someone, an abstract viewpoint of several billion theoretical possibilities, considering one per every living person on earth and to gauge some meaning related to the artist's perspective would be a task of considerable ingenuity and insight - not, I'm afraid, everyone's cup of tea! (I’ve always felt that there are too many who pretend to understand the modern artist.)A modern artist can only be appreciated widely if he has an original, arresting perspective which should also embody a freedom to interpretation while always being able to convey the artist's idea...its a rather tall order for asking, but I think that is why many people are captivated by Dali, Munch and Picasso rather than innumerable others (I have overlooked some practical aspects of media exposure, art circle intrigues and so on, although they may play a role, they are probably not as relevant in the current discussion...)….
Art criticism, like literary criticism, is a thoroughly individualistic perspective cloaked in apparent universality. A person puts forth an idea or feeling about an art or a literary work that might well involve a lot of insight, but would necessarily restrict a reader's outlook to the work of art or literature. In that manner, I think critics, most of whom are subjective in criticism, are dangerous in tending to curtail imagination. A successful critic would probably be more objective in his remarks and would allow for, rather, invite individual reactions and remarks from his audience. A critic of this mould is probably a rare find today...I think Aurobindo's "Future Poetry" represents a rather good example, in riveting language and style, of an atypical Indian view of literary criticism of English poetry. Thejaswi Shivanand Location: Bangalore, India posted by Dumaketu Saturday, October 29, 2005 @ 11:43 AM 14 comments