Saturday, August 1, 2009
The Critic Smiles
I have been contemplating the title; The Critic Smiles. Johns is quoted as saying "Whatever I do seems artificial and false, to me." You can see, like most of us, he was his own worst critic.
If you look closely at the toothbrush where there should be bristles there are gold teeth. It is a toothbrush whose brush is made of false teeth made to look like real teeth, but gold. A google search shows images of gold toothed rappers and some people from around the world, no wealthy gamblers with turquoise rings and big belt buckles, which is what I was looking for.
The thing he might be trying to say is, you ought not trust a brush made of gold teeth, it will not clean your teeth and it isn't something that belongs to you. It doesn't even seem to serve a purpose, except to bring to mind something you know; which for me, in this case, is that it is better to have real teeth than false and that in order to do so you should brush them with a toothbrush that has bristles.
The critic is all about sharing the sort of information you have to find for yourself, it is never about what the critic actually does, because the critic is just a bunch of clues stacked together in an unusable way, but if you reconstruct the critic for yourself you will find a real message there.
I would like to quote Jasper Johns one more time, in my own defense. so here goes:
"Everyone is of course free to interpret the work in his own way. I think seeing a picture is one thing and interpreting it is another."
Ahhhh, now I don't feel so bad.