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The focus of this Guest Critic section is something Ive been wanting to do for some time. To ask several writers whose work I respect (often by disagreeing with it, and I hope that favor has been returned) to respond to a simple prompt: I was wrong.
Portraits, by their nature, are always about mortality and arts relation to our finite lives. I felt silly for not having thought of mortality on my first visit and was happy I had a second chance to see the paintings through a new set of eyes.
I couldnt possibly do anything lacking in merit, credibility, honor.
Another troubling aspect to the infallibility principle of art criticismby which the value of your opinion is determined by the proportion of artists you choose to write about who are still considered relevant 10 or 20 years after the factis that contemporary art is never affixed with an unwavering value, even after its no longer seen as contemporary.
Today post-critique is currently recalibrating critiques longstanding objective to interrogate, demystify, defamiliarize.
I still dont like much of the painting. The portraits, the post-impressionist rehashes, and landscapes. I dont even like the swimming pools all that much, but I can see the point of them (and the point isnt the money, though theres that).
Rather than putting myself in the picture, I instead imagined that Majolis paintings were all about her fantasies. I also thought that she had no business painting gay men having sex with one another. Treating her as a voyeurand an opportunistI blinded myself to the complexity of what her works were up to.