The world of art magazines is crowded—not because there are so many, but because the space itself is small. Like sharks thrashing about in a swimming pool, they carve out audiences and niches, corners of toothy opinion, critique, and praise.
In this space, with its essays, reviews, poetry, and interviews, The Curator is a magazine of art and art criticism. We live in an “age of opinion” where the cultural place of art and art criticism can be a mess–and that’s okay. However, even with the cultural disorder of the art world, the practice of criticism is everywhere. My dog’s unwillingness to eat my leftovers confirms that indeed, everyone is a critic.
“Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a fuckload of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but Christ, that is what matters. What matters is saying yes.” –Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers wants you to stuff your bags with all the truth and beauty that you can grab and flee from the house of criticism. Recognize the warped despot at the keyboard for what he or she is. Your soul will thank you later.
Our hope is that the art and art criticism at The Curator is about the ‘yes.’ When we say ‘no’ we point to the yes and sharpen it. No becomes the fallout of our yeses. If we have the courage to say, “we don’t know,” it adds fitting question marks to our yeses. We will argue about the yes, deepen the humility of the yes. We will say yes to good sentences, to well shot scenes, to the unsettling dissonance of a song, to the splinters of art stuck under your skin. Like Molly Bloom at the end of Ulysses, our hearts will be mad with the unbroken sentence of the yes. Through the well said yes, we move toward “the world that ought to be.”
When I’m not with people, I’m with words, papered and screened, penned and keyboarded. It is a long and sometimes tedious, but enjoyable friendship. I’m honored that this friendship with words now includes working as Editor-in-Chief of The Curator.
A little about me: I’m a Christian. A few years ago I graduated from Duke Divinity School and since then have edited for publishers and Christian non-profits. If I am from anywhere, it is Washington, D.C., but now live near Chicago. Once, a Phillies fan punched me. I collect dictionaries.
The Curator loves its writers and is always looking for new ones. The Curator loves good writing, but is also looking for more than writers. If you are a filmmaker, painter, musician, game programmer, photographer, or any type of artist, I encourage you to reach out to us. We are looking for new ways to share and reflect on the work of art, to thoughtfully engage our shared passions and questions. This is an invitation: write for us, read us, critique us, converse with us, and most importantly, refine your yeses with us.