Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Artist as Critic

Oscar Wilde's The Critic as Artist poses a myriad of questions about the nature of critique and the role it plays in relation to the medium which it portrays. Among his answers between the fictional Ernest and Gilbert is the fact that the primary role of the critic is to function as the interpreter of art; His aim is to "chronicle his own impressions."

The question of the critic's relation to the art has also been raised, though. Wilde argues that the critic "occupies the same relation to the work of art that he criticises as the artist does to the visible world of form and colour, or the unseen world of passion and of thought." It is in this statement that Wilde further validates his own composition of the piece.

No stranger to the art of writing, Wilde draws up his conclusions on critique as a man who has been continually exposed to the craft. Although he concludes that the critic is indeed as much of an artist as the medium which he interprets, he must also have a relation to said form, as this provides him with the means to understand it.

It is in this that the beauty of the piece comes forth: the meta-critical nature of Wilde's analysis, in which he provides his thesis through the fictional dialogue of Ernest and Gilbert, is informed and validated through Wilde's own experiences as a writer. It is his personal artistry that completes the critique on critique itself.

In relation to other forms of arts journalism, the same holds true. In order to interpret a piece of art, a level of experience and connection needs to be present. It is this same relation that informs the critic on that art, enough so to convey his feelings for it.

Just as Oscar Wilde uses his connection to prose to write about critique, the critic must be an artist in that field to translate the beauty that flows onto the page.

No comments:

Post a Comment