7 Types of Art Critics You’ll Find in the Art World
Here are a number of types of art critics you’ll find at art fairs like Basel or on the biennale c...
News11 Jun 2018
Ah yes, who can forget Danny DeVito as Frank the art critic, running around an art gallery and calling paintings “bullshit?” With Art Basel upcoming next week, we are dying to know who will attend the world’s most coveted art fair. And more than just the artists, which critics will attend? There’s more to art criticism than just Jerry Saltz’s opinion, so here are a number of types of art critics you’ll find at art fairs like Basel or on the biennale circuit.
The husband of the curator
Sometimes art critics shack up with curators and trot the art world like a power couple. But can the art critic husband of the curator really be critical? Not unless he wants to do the dishes next week, as we’re sure she’ll make him get his payback.
The snippy academic who rolls their eyes at everything This is probably 90% of art critics who came out of academia, who wear all black and have crazy professor hairdos, sort of like Albert Einstein. Nothing anyone does can ever meet their expectations, except Mondrian or Malevich.
The blogger who can’t stop saying they live in New York City
They also ask for the Wifi password everywhere and know all the best places in Brooklyn to get avocado toast. They love the art they can pose in pictures with, but quote the artists too. They also know where the afterparty is, so you might want to ask them.
The fashion magazine writer who is suddenly an art critic
Essentially, they’re in the art world for the intellectual stimulation and the parties (just like everyone else). Sometimes, fashion writers realize their higher calling and begin writing about contemporary art, where they use copious Twin Peaks references and exclamation marks.
The ‘I’m so legendary why aren’t I a legend yet’ critic
The art critic who is literally waiting for their Pulitzer Prize at the press conference. They are sometimes also consider themselves artists or poets and have a literary highbrow to match their tweed coats, but only sometimes.
The action figure art critic who thinks they’re a superhero
This art critic thinks their opinion is the holy grail of opinions, so in their own self-reflection, they’re Superman or Superwoman in disguise. Dressed in plain, suburban-esque clothing, they might not actually have any superpowers underneath beyond descriptive analysis, critical thinking skills and an Instagram following.
An excerpt from Nadja Sayej’s forthcoming book Biennale Bitch out this month with ArtStars* Books. Text by Nadja Sayej Photos via nerdist.com, buzzfeed.com,newyorkcliche.com, interviewmagazine.com, therake.com, suckadelic.com