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wow. that's neat.

Posted by kim | January 8, 2007 12:59 PM

I think I prefer my critic/painters like Ruskin--under no illusion that his painting was anything other than Sunday painting, though his draftsmanship served well enough to create illustrations for his books. I don't expect the excellent critic to be an excellent artist (that argument always bugged the crap out of me--the critic is a receiver, not a maker, and what does being, say, an excellent reader have in common with being an excellent writer? They're different abilities.)

But when a critic illustrates that distinction, by making mediocre or unexciting art, it does seem to (albeit unfairly) undercut their authority in their chosen field.

Perhaps it's better to work outside of your main field. Instead of James Wolcott's novel Catsitters, think film critic Manny Farber's serious sideline as a painter.

Posted by Eric F | January 8, 2007 2:23 PM

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