The idea that art blogging is an important aspect of art writing in general has gained momentum in recent years. The change in attitude has been spearheaded by the actions and influence of several art bloggers. Art in American tackled the subject in the form of an article by Peter Plagens that involved feedback from veteran art bloggers in 2007. The article, titled ‘Report from the Blogosphere: The New Grass Roots’, detailed the importance of art blogs and the role they play within the context of the arts community. Several key figures in the art blogging community participated-- including Edward Winkleman, Roberta Fallon, and Tyler Green.
This momentum of acceptance has continued to advance into 2009. A recent article by art critic Martha Schwendener for The Village Voice suggests that art blogs have helped shape a more laissez-faire climate for art writing. Schwendener states, "Art blogs have created a new, largely unedited, admirably 'unprofessional'—hence, democratic—venue for people to speak their minds, gossip, or theorize about art.”. Thus, it is obvious that mainstream art publications are starting to acknowledge the work of specific art bloggers. However, this acknowledgement is a double-edged sword due to the fact that some individuals view art bloggers as a threat to traditional art media.
One can easily discover individuals who attempt to discredit the validity of art criticism, exhibit reviews, and other art related reporting by art bloggers simply because they are “bloggers“. That attitude enforces the opinion that only a select few are worthy of offering art criticism-- which is exactly why these individuals will inevitably loose the imagined battle they are waging against art bloggers and other forms of alternative press. Today the arrogance of print is ousted at every turn. True, some art bloggers do need to have their validity questioned, but that does not mean that all art bloggers should be lumped together. After all, there have been cases of traditional art publications being discredited. Does that mean they are all bad?
These issues are of interest to me. Thus, I’ve decided to do further research concerning art blogs and the impact they have had on the global art community-- as well as the influence they have played concerning art appreciation in the eyes of the general public-- especially in the United States. This is no easy task. There are many hard line opinions concerning art bloggers and the validity of their art criticism and exhibit reviews. Even within the art blogging community there is division over the importance of art blogs. There are also strong opinions as to which art bloggers are the most valid. Fortunately, I’ve not noticed a strict pecking order yet. In fact, most of the art bloggers who focus on art criticism, exhibit reviews, and opinions are very supportive of the community as a whole.
I’m currently conducting a survey involving over 1,000 art bloggers in order to examine how art bloggers view the importance of their work compared to traditional forms of art media. So far the opinions have been mixed. Some art bloggers-- mostly those with backgrounds in traditional art media-- view art blogs as more of a hobby than anything else. In other words, they question the integrity of art blogging in general. Other art bloggers take a hard line stance against traditional art media by claiming that traditional art media is more apt to report on, critique, and review artists based on who has bought ads and the connections that artists and gallerists have with individuals who are in charge of the publications. However, some art bloggers have had similar opinions concerning specific art blogs based on the research I've conducted so far.
The opinions that have been shared with me are between me and each individual art blogger who has participated. So no, I will not publish comments without consent nor will I address specific views that may link the blogger to his or her viewpoint unless the individual desires me to do so. I want to stress that this survey is not about creating division in the art blog community nor is it designed to single anyone out. The goal is simply to address some of the thoughts that art bloggers have about art blogging in general. However, I will consider interviewing art bloggers about their art blog and their opinions of art blogging in general if anyone is interested in taking a more direct approach to the topic. This will be an ongoing project on the Myartspace Blog.
Feel free to comment with your opinion concerning the influence of art blogs in general compared to the influence of traditional art publications. Feel free to comment with your list of favorite art blogs as well.
Link of Interest:
What Crisis? Some Promising Futures for Art Criticism by Martha Schwendener for The Village Voice
Take care, Stay true,