• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 11
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Artists and Critics

Some artists go to town on their creations,
striving for realism and perfection.
They mould, shape, fashion, remodel.
Some might call it ‘crafting’.
Others wince at the word.

Certain creatives go the extra mile,
think about risking a cherry on top,
then settle for a witty leaf or whimsical stalk.
Some might call it finessing.

Others don’t overdo things.
They simply wrest the ‘raw’ material
from its packet,
give it a roll, a deft twist,
and allez-oup, voilà, job done.
Some might label this minimalist.

Others potter and fuss,
patting their product,
not quite sure when it is finished,
giving it another prod or poke,
standing back to admire it –
once they’ve decided what it is.
Some will assume it is impressionist.


Artists and Critics

The thrifty will scrounge ready-mades
or trip over found objects
in their flat-cum-studio,
before piling bits up in a pièce montée
of uncertain stabilité.
Some critics might suspect they are chancers.

Some will ask ‘Can’t you see,
it’s a tangerine, a mandarin, a clementine, a satsuma.
What the heck, it’s an easy-peeler.
Whatevs, look how fresh it is,
just-picked, smell the citrus.’
Some critics might think they’re smart-arse.

Point out that a smart-arse
hasn’t made it clear whether there are pips in his dinky naranja
and s/he might just sulk,
or tweet that such questions
are irrelevant to their intent,
and rant about smart-arse critics.

Ask innocently whether the black blob on display in the gallery
is just a stand-in for a lump of coal
and receive a lecture about metaphor
and the damage fossil fuels have exacted on the planet.


Artists and Critics

Ask if the pale blue jobby,
looking like a little rolled up cable-knit cricket jumper for Barbie’s Ken
that has, alas, been through Barbie’s front-loader
with a new pair of Barbie’s designer blue jeans,
and expect a tantrum at such childish notions –
with a flounce, or a door-slam,
and a ‘bloody critics’
yelled back at you through the keyhole.

See, it’s prudent to limit critique to a one-word response.
when presented with New Work.
A ‘Great’, ‘Super’ or ‘Fabulous’ will suffice.
A ‘Fabby’ not so much.