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I really have to agree with Kevin Mitchell’s comments regarding art critics and their biased definitions of "great art."
A self-proclaimed art critic attempting to spin a definition of "great art" strikes me as being remarkably similar to a self-proclaimed Supreme Court Justice cop pulling a citizen over and attempting to define that citizen's Miranda Rights. This is the point I was attempting to make with this post.
Just as a rogue cop thinks he has the right to render on-site Supreme Court rulings defining the limitations of a citizen's Miranda Rights, so too do art critics think they have the right to spin a biased definition of great art. What's long been amusing to me is that art critics inevitably invoke the name of Clement Greenberg to "prove" their one-sided definitions by pulling something out of context that Greenberg once said and either agreeing or disagreeing it.
If a citizen were to question a cop about that cop's definition of the citizen's Miranda Rights, that cop (and they're trained to do this) will inevitably invoke the latest Supreme Court decision that affects the definition of Miranda Rights to either "prove" or "disprove" his definition.
The issue is one of authority, who has it, how did they get it and what are they doing with it.
One can only imagine the violent confrontation that would occur if a private citizen attempted to pull over a cop for speeding, ask for that cop's driver's license, read that cop his Miranda Rights before attempting to question that cop, and then arresting that cop when that cop attempts to resist.
That's exactly what I am encouraging artists to do to with respect to art critics who want to define the phrase "great art."
Of course, to be open and honest about my own bias with respect to the debate between Jeffry Cudlin and Mark Cameron Boyd, I have to confess that I'm sympathetic to the arguments of Mark. Not because I think Jeffry is a bad art critic, but because Mark's opinions are not published in a weekly newspaper that features art criticism. A newspaper that publishes art criticism is somewhat like the Supreme Court publishing its decisions. I question every word of every published Supreme Court decision.
The more the Supreme Court attempts to “define” our Miranda Rights, the more the more those rights evaporate. The more an art critic attempts to “define” great art, the more great art becomes an illusion.
The Right Reverend James W. Bailey