Sketches from Michele Trenti's essays

A Common Misunderstanding of Critics

Appunti di Michele Trenti

In art criticism, a fundamental misunderstanding that constantly appears is that how an artist conceives an idea is very different from how he expresses it in a real work. In fact, the decisive step is the successive one, when the idea actually takes shape as a finished work (often transcending the original idea). What makes an artist-creator original is not so much his ability to invent meanings as it is his ability to express them, i.e., to render them in a form that conveys the work’s meanings to others. Of course, this communication is contingent on the potential audiences having the proper cultural and linguistic codes to understand the message. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that, in art, although there may be a will, there is not always a way. Many people, amateurs and untalented professionals, are enthusiasts with interesting ideas (at least in their own eyes), yet they simply cannot express the results of their work in an appropriate manner. These ideas thus remain in a latent state that is aesthetically unexpressed. Nevertheless, in the true artist, this vision and the flashes of abstract conception of ideas are very important as they awaken the creativity that leads to the production of a real work.