Monday, June 4, 2007

Interview with Charlie Finch

(Interview mp3 here)

My next guest is Charlie Finch, a controversial critic who writes for Artnet. Controversial because some have called for his resignation. Some say his writings should be banned. They say he objectifies the female artists he writes about. Others say he's a genius.

Most art people might be surprised to find him on my show. After all, I’m on a “Women’s Network.”

But his particular way of writing about art, about women artists, all of it – it still somehow held my interest. Sometimes it appears that he is holding up a mirror to the art world and making fun of it. If he's licking his lips, he is magnifying how people are treated all of the time, in a more codified and unspoken way. People are commodities in the art world - and they are often meat.

Of course someone might argue that they don’t need to be reminded of the fact.

Yet his language has a way of allowing himself humanity, warts and all. It always struck me. He seemed to me to have a huge investment in art and one that had to almost stem from childhood. I don’t really know that at all – I mean to find out.

When I interviewed Paul H-O about his upcoming film a couple of years ago, he said to me: “Yeah, I was there in the trenches, a C-list artist at best, along with people like Charlie Finch,” – an image arose in my mind and unbelievably, even though I had never actually met him, the image was correct. I used to see him all over town. He looked like how he wrote, he looked like his name. Sometimes that happens. (There he is pictured above with his new bride, Marion, and step-son, Charlie.)

This is not to say that I won’t ask him about his intent. Many people have ranted about it. Here’s the opportunity to hear what they writer has to say. If you have questions or comments, you can leave something here or call during the show (866.472.5788).

Meanwhile, I leave you with a few colorful online links regarding Charlie Finch:

Mia Fineman calls him a brilliant art critic.

Edna at Anonymous Female Artist does not necessarily agree.

Art Fag City had something to say.

As did Todd Gibson.

I could go on, but Tyler Green made a very tidy short list.

But hey! Read the archives! Decide for yourself! They go back ten years.

As for me, if I pass by Artnet and see a piece by Charlie, I always read it.


christopherlee said...

The artworld needs Charlie and BOY DOES HE KNOW IT!!! :)

Dog said...

The best comedy is almost always funny because its true, and Charlie's commentary is usually spot on (and ironic; and sometimes funny).

Anonymous said...

i usually dislike art critics who don't appreciate the beauty and aesthetics of mathematics and science (in my experience it takes a true aesthete to appreciate the beauty of these fields since they are the most abstract and least sympathetic), but Charlie isn't too bad. his understanding of art is pretty mediocre, but, in general, his taste isn't the worst on the planet. at least he can entertain you, once in a while.