The Art of Robert Tracy - An Appreciation.
by Robert Knapp, Ph.D.
Robert Tracy is a self-taught romantic-realist artist. At the time he began his art career, non-objective art held a near monopoly to the claim of serious art. The art schools were among the staunchest supporters of that monopoly. The choice was to get on board or go your own way. Robert Tracy went his own way.
A casual perusal of his web site will reveal the range of his accomplishment. He has mastered oils, water colors, pencil, silver point, and acrylics. He is equally at home with painting the human figure, still life, portraits, and landscapes. His style is marked by a focused clarity and a keen sense of balance. The subjects are attractive and are intended to be contemplated and enjoyed.
Tracy’s art is not fashionable. It does not seek to shock, affront, distort, deconstruct, or dissolve. It seeks only to invite you in to share his world.
What is that world? For the most part, it is a world of peace and absorption. It is a world of people, and sometimes animals, who are intently focused on whatever they happen to be doing. A girl lovingly holds a cat. Or shoulders a miniature alligator. Or puts on makeup or an earring. Or contemplates a vista. Or reads. Or does homework. A cat stalks its prey. Or looks out the window. Or enters the house seeking attention. Though there can be drama, there is little conflict and usually no social interaction.
© 2000 Robert Knapp. All Rights Reserved
If you're a student you do not have the credentials of a professional art critic. Indeed, even I, who am a professional artist don't have those credentials. Therefore I have never given a critique of another's work. For me it's a matter of does it touch me personally in some way. So I rather say "I like it" and praise someone's work for it's artistic values. However, I never second guess another's work, looking for faults. A professional Art Critic better know the philosophy of Aesthetics and have a degree in journalism. When I say "Critique Not Desired", I mean only this: unless you have the proper training, you shouldn't attempt to nit-pick at another's work. This does not mean that I don't appreciate comments. I do, and I welcome them. A comment is an observation, an insight, an opinion.
See, I recall in college the encouragement of students critiquing other students' works. I knew then I was not qualified to do so and refused to paticipate in this kind of ganging up on an individual.
Moreover, to critique is to criticize. "Criticize": to judge disapprovingly; find fault (with); censure. Webster's New World Dictionary.
In short, a critique--unless specifically requeseted--is impolite.