The Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones and its deputy music editor, Laura Snapes, discuss the life of reviewing in the digital age
Jonathan Jones is the Guardians art critic. Here he recalls interviewing Yoko Ono and finding the tape recorder had failed, causing a stir over the Tower of London poppies, tracing the footsteps of Caravaggio, and swimming in the Med with Tracey Emin
If you dont think art is as important as politics, healthcare, education or any of the other topics that newspapers cover, you have probably never got on the wrong side of the power-brokers who think it is, and that they are too.
Being an art critic for this paper is not like being one on any other. I regularly meet my opposite numbers and they often seem to have genteel working lives that are as predictable as a Sunday afternoon in Surbiton. Writing for the Guardian has never been like that. In all the time I have been involved, it has been reinventing journalism in surprising, occasionally shocking ways that bring fresh writing challenges, from reporting and interviewing to quickfire commentary, epic special features and sometimes even straightforward reviews. From writing up an interview with Yoko Ono on a plane back from Bilbao to file the moment I landed and finding the tape recorder had failed, to causing such horror in the Conservative press with a bad review of the Tower of London poppies that David Cameron ended up being asked about it at prime ministers questions, its a full and varied working life.
And, obviously, a very fortunate one. How do you become a professional art critic? Having known a few, Id say we all stumbled into it. The bottom line, though, is that quality newspapers publish critics. And if they didnt, there would not really be anywhere at all where regular, readable, up-to-the-minute art commentary existed. Art magazines address a specialist audience and academia has its own idiom. Still, the question at the top returns in a troubled age for newspapers, do they really need to cover art when the resources could go to politics, healthcare, education and global news?
VidViral is a cloud based suite that turns any Video(YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, or self upload) into a Attention Grabbing Masterpiece by adding amazing Header and Footer Elements within 3 Simple Steps.