By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
I can't speak for others, but I'd like to see my writing aim at three things: clarity, validity, and impartiality. The first means that you can understand what I say without having to frown too often; the second requires my writing to be relatively in sync with what you -- and I -- see. And the third would maintain that one can indeed keep one's biases under control in order to be fair.
Suppose that our openly biased critic publicly praises a friend's work in a review. Should the public and his artist friend consider his positive appraisal to be a valid assessment? If one is openly biased and unwilling to keep it under control -- by friendship or anything else -- the critique of the work can be (reasonably) tainted. Suppose the work is really bad but the critic will not see it that way, or would refuse to see it, since his bias is not something that concerns him. If the public did consider the biased critic's assessment to be valid, that would put into doubt the artwork's possible inherent merit -- which would be counterintuitive.
Writing with clarity, validity, and impartiality is not something to brag about. After all, we can still make mistakes.