Works of art are expressions of the emotions, ideologies, and experiences of the artist. They often show what the artist feels or thinks about various experiences in his or her life. As such, when carefully making a criticism of any work of art, it is important to examine the various components of such work. The various components of any work of art include the physical aspect of the art such as the materials used in making such; the various elements that are portrayed in the art, the possible message that the artist wants to convey to the audiences; and your own decoded interpretation of the message, along with an evaluation of the efficiency of the medium as a conveyer of the artist’s message.
Criteria for art critiquing process
In the case of paintings, mosaics, and sculptures there are basically three areas involved in presenting a sufficient art criticism. These are description, interpretation and evaluation.
Basically, to describe means to present the work of art in an objective manner. It means that the assessor should let the reader imagine or see the painting or the mosaic as how his senses perceive such. It means that the assessor should use his sense of sight or touch alone without including a presentation of his/her opinion about the work.
In the case of interpretation, the assessor should present the messages that the work of art aims to convey or the feelings that the work of art imparts on its spectator. The assessor should be able to define the meanings and symbolism of what he or she has perceived from the painting.
Lastly, evaluating is equated to the general assessment of the painting as a medium for feeling or thought medium. The assessor should be able to identify the efficacy of the painting or the sculpture as something which stores and then imparts the feelings and ideas of the artist.
In this paper, what will be examined is a mosaic created by Mexican Artist, Miguel Covarrubias- “Genesis, The Gift of Life.”
Basically the mural is a glass mosaic. It is comprised of tiny pieces of tesserae and the pattern and colors of these pieces carefully demonstrate the dramatic image that Covarrubias wants to impart. It construction can be traced with definite care and patience.
As like any other mosaics, this mural best fits a demonstration of life on earth, and it also serves as a main decoration for museums and the likes. It shows the four elements that are involved in the creation and the maintenance of life- the fire, earth, wind, and water. It shows the idealized interaction and representation of each of the elements which are highly emphasized in the Ancient Mexican myths about their medieval gods.
The mosaic also present each of the elements in a personified manner as shown in the various feelings that are strongly exemplified such as aggressiveness in the case of rain depicting the water element, aloofness of the wind, the boldness of fire and the calmness and serenity of the earth.
The mosaic shows the other sentiments and passion of Covarrubias aside from being an agent of art.
The whole mosaic itself, particularly the theme it focuses on and the elements present in it, point out that Covarrubias was a dedicated anthropologist and archaeologist. He was one who was deeply interested in people, their beliefs, and their culture. He was especially fond of culture and way of life that were prominent in the past. His mosaic was basically a depiction of the old views and the past systems of faith that were prevalent in his country.
The choice of elements, the color combinations, the stroke and patters present in the mosaic conveyed the artist’s positive view of the balanced interaction of the four elements, and therefore, his fascination of life as a whole. Moreover, his depiction of each of the elements in a personified manner shows that he conveys the message that each element is an active participant in our life processes.
The mosaic was an effective medium to portray the ideas of Covarrubias. Following a simple theme of elemental processes on earth, the artist was able to clearly show the importance and function of each through his choice of patterns, designs, and vibrant colors.
It seemed as if one can get a clear view of how much people from the past (and in the present) should have given much value to each of the elements. The work of art allows one to deeply realize and recognize the power that lies in each of the elements.
Through the painting, it was clear that the artist had a deep understanding and interest with the various natural processes present. Moreover, it was obvious that the artist had a great regard for Mother Nature. It may be that he wanted people to recognize that the each of the four elements should be given great importance. Also, he may want to convince everyone to acknowledge the active participation of the various elements in daily living.