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Arthur Whitman explains


If you are a regular art-blog reader, you are probably already aware of the ever-expanding response to Peter Plagens' roundtable discussion in the new Art In America with (and about) some of the most prominent art bloggers. Based on the piece, Kriston at Grammar.police took it upon himself to answer Plagens' questions, and then asked a collection of prominent bloggers to do the same. Among them are JL at Modern Kicks (a long-time BRS supporter) and one of our regular contributors, Arthur Whitman.

How is this relevant, you ask? Will Our Daily RED be answering these questions too?

No, we won't. What is most interesting is that, among the answers, Arthur has hit on the primary difference between Big RED & Shiny and most art blogs:

Some people say that there's a dearth of art criticism at length on blogs. Is this true? If so, does it have more to do with reading on a computer in general, or with art criticism in particular?

It appears to be true, although there are no doubt exceptions out there. I re-post my Times pieces on my blog but otherwise write full-length reviews only sporadically. When you are able to get paid for doing something, the motivation to do it for free tends to disappear. The paper reviews aren't that long, either: no more than 800 words. They are however more formal and thought out than most of what I blog.

This dearth has nothing whatsoever to do with computers or the Internet. It has to do with blogs where the pressure is to produce a steady flow of material and to keep it topical. There are magazine-type art publications online that appear on a regular and typically less-frequent basis. These can provide plenty of full-scale art criticism. For example, there is the Boston-based Big Red & Shiny, for which I have written myself.

Big RED & Shiny was conceived in 2003, when blogs were not very common. The project came out of various pre-existing models of print journalism and advertising, along with a heavy dose of hubris and DIY attitude. We must harness the labor of a number of people to produce a product, unlike most blogs which require only one or two contributors.

Art blogs are a fantastic thing, and I read many of them daily. BRS simply is not a blog, and yet we are not a print magazine either. I guess there is a category in between, but without an easy four-letter acronym Peter Plagens will probably never write about us in AIA.

Read Arthur Whitman's full piece here.

About Author

Matthew Nash is the founder of Big Red & Shiny. He is Associate Professor of Photography and New Media at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and was the 2011-12 Chair of the University Faculty Assembly. Nash is half of the artist collaborative Harvey Loves Harvey, who are currently represented by Gallery Kayafas in Boston and have exhibited in numerous venues since 1992.

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