Visual criticism?

Visual criticism?

We live in a visual age, has the image potential of replacing the text? Even when it comes to criticsm? We took the chalange to look for the examples of criticism that is expressed in visual means. Are there critics (film, visual arts, performance, literature, popculture, etc.) who express their critique trough images or selection of images? Instagram, youtube, facebook, twitter, snapchat – any online platform.

It was not an easy task. Criticism, that is expressed visually might be very subtle genre, or just a too complicated concept for online platforms that are flooded with mainstream conent.

Yet we would like to introduce to one and only, special art critic Valts Miķelsons.



Who is he?

Valts Miķelsons was working as an archivist in the private art institution; he has no formal education in art history or related. It might have been that the first public art commentaries written by Valts appeared in his blog Voltmetrs (run as a part of his institution website). Later on (or may be even before) he developed his own style of art critique „In three images” – reacting to the exhibition or performance with three images, usually images of other artworks or performances. Sometimes it is supplemented with some text, but usually only credits.


The form of presentation is focusing on visual. The content (selection of pictures) is unique and not repeatative. Similar to the more traditional exhibition reviews, it links one artist’s work with others, thus providing his own take of how the exhibition could be interpreted.


His audience is not wide – mostly local members of art and culture scene. Not everybody can have access to his content: to get it you should be his „friend” on FACEBOOK because he posts his „In three Images” critics mainly on his FACEBOOK wall.

He has, however, been invited to publish his criticsm in three images also as part of the performance festival. The decriptions about photos are written in Latvian and English, this shows the will to reach international audience.


What his criticism has:

– Contextualization

– Commenting

– Reviewing

– Entertaining

– Intepreting

What his criticism is missing:

– Analysis

– Argumentation


Conclusion: Visual criticsm is not yet a (big) thing.


Anna & Zane


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