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Want To Conduct Critical Art Analysis? Then ‘STICI’ Is The Word!

Art criticism, I would say, is about the most ungrateful form of "elevated" writing I know of. It may also be one of the most challenging. If only because so few people have done it well enough to be remembered. But I'm not sure the challenge is worth it.

- Clement Greenberg

Criticizing art isn’t easy. Every painter, artist or sculptor has a unique style that is generated through the culture and life style that he has lived in which makes it difficult to analyze. There are many ways to share the ideas that the artist has. The Important thing is to convey the message to the viewer in a manner that one can understand it easily.

You may find a lot of ways through which you can conduct

critical art analysis

but most of them don’t cover all the important aspects of the subject which make the analysis futile.

Lucky for you, we have found the perfect formula for art analysis that will cover all the important elements of the art and is quite simple to memorize.

STICI is the word!

Let’s see how:

S – SUBJECT:

Here you will answer the following questions:

  • Describe what you see in the subject.
  • How does it make you feel?
  • In your opinion, what ideas or concepts is the artist trying to convey?
  • Is there any hidden symbolism or meanings in the subject?

T – TECHNIQUE:

Here you will answer the following questions:

  • What are the materials, skills and techniques that the artist has used to make the subject?
  • How was the work executed?

I – INFLUENCES:
Here you will answer the following questions:

  • What are the materials, skills and techniques that the artist has used to make the subject?
  • How was the work executed?

C– COMPOSITION:
Here you will answer the following questions:

  • Explain how the composition of all the elements has been used in the subject
  • Describe how each of the elements are contributing to the subject

I– INTENTION:
Here you will answer the following questions:

  • Talk about the message that is being communicated in the subject
  • What is the mood that the artist is trying to create through the piece
  • Why do you think that the artist created this piece?
  • Is there any background story behind the piece?
  • Is the subject trying to make any political, social or cultural impact?

So remember that art is a piece of imagination and creativity that can never be described completely through a critical art analysis because you can never really why the artist produced the piece that he did. Going with the STICI formula is the closest you can get into giving the readers a 360 degree angle of the subject.

In conclusion,
I have always tended to take art contextually. If I have any merits as a critic, they have to do with my ability as a storyteller. And above all I wanted to tell a story.

- Robert Hughes

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