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Appropriate criticism of Dinosaur Art?
As the result of some private mail I received, I believe it is necessary
to clarify exactly what my point of view about "criticism" of Dinosaur
Dinosaur Art in the 1990's (and undoubtedly earlier) is a form of
scientific illustration. If we were discussing a technical diagram of
the brain and someone put nine hemispheres in the drawing instead of
two, we would be justified in criticizing the accuracy of the artwork.
By the same token, a skilled Dinosaur "Illustrator" (for want of a
better term) has taken great care to portray the animal with attention
to the accuracy of the animal itself and the envirornment in which it
Unlike criticism of Van Gogh or Picasso or Lichtenstein, simple
emotional aesthetics are not the issue, and that sort of conversation is
innapropriate (to my way of thinking) in this list. It belongs in
alt.art.criticism.flame.wars (or some such group). This includes the
"dis painting sucks" school of criticism.
On the other hand, if Greg Paul (nothing personal) painted a T. rex with
a unicorn horn (which I KNOW he would never do!) we'd all be correct in
pointing out the error, unless of course, he could show us the specimen
that he used as a model. This includes the "I'm not sure of where the
skin would wrinkle over that joint" school of criticism.
Now, of course, John Gurche does very dramatic paintings which evoke an
emotional as well as a scientific response. That part of the discussion
belongs off line or someplace else. That includes the "Wow! That
painting makes me wanna go out and munch helpless herbivores for lunch"
school of criticism. Tell the waitress at McDonald's and spare the rest
of us, please.
ichat PAGER - dinogazette
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