7 Awesome Art Blogs to Look At

People call Gen Y so many names, but perhaps one of the most likable that also strikes true is “the visual generation.”

In fact, a new kind of “literacy” has been identified in digital natives who grew up immersed in visually-dependent, multimedia environments. Young people today respond more to imagery than any other generation before them, perhaps because new technologies have allowed more dynamic graphics on our screens, and these Photoshop amateurs have cultivated a more refined popular taste in design. And when has photography been more accessible than it is now, when anyone can come up with the best-looking compositions from their Canon digital SLRs? It’s only on rare occasions that we still call hired professionals to snap our precious moments.

Despite this budding golden age in visual communications, the visual arts remain outside the mainstream. A select few spend their Sundays going to contemporary art exhibits, galleries and museums,  yet thousands from my country visit DeviantArt daily.

But because this is “the visual generation,” I also think we have more potential to appreciate art, traditional or otherwise, even in its most academic forms, if only we try to explore it. For beginners in the intellectual-creative world of visual arts, here’s a list of some well-written, insightful, bookmark-worthy art blogs for your regular fix.

The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones on Art. Unlike many critics who scorn most art pieces they feature, Mr. Jones, a veteran of the UK daily, persists as the optimistic, laudatory type. He writes about the old masters as frequently as he does up-and-coming artists, and his reflections are accessible and unpretentious — such as when he candidly explains why Pollack is a “rock and roll master” and why Van Gogh couldn’t have won The X Factor. He’s also my personal favorite.

Modern Art Notes by Tyler Green. Green is the kind of of cultural reporter any journalism major-slash-aesthete would want to become. His blog was hailed by The Wall Street Journal as the “most influential of all visual arts blogs,” and his prose has made its way into the pages of America’s favorite newspapers. Green blogs more about current events in his immediate art sphere than works and artists. MAN isn’t the easiest read for art blog newbies, but Green’s thoughts are always worth more than two cents.

Venetian Red by Liz Hager and Christine Cariati. Hager and Cariati started Venetian Red mainly as a “vehicle” to help them reflect on the depths of art, which, in turn, can aid their creative process as artists. Their blog gives the reader a glimpse into the life of working artists who deliver enlightened commentaries on Renaissance and modern works that alternately inspire the bloggers’ own creations and document their travel itineraries.

Lines and Colors by Charles A. Parker. Charley Parker seems to be your everyday cartoonist who works on one project after another. What’s likable about his blog  is that a post on scholarly impressionist paintings encountered in a recent museum visit is followed by one on the latest comic book breakthrough. After all, Parker regards himself an anti-critic and writes only on works that impress him. And because of its friendliness, Lines and Colors is a blog in which specialists and non-specialists alike can find delight.

Snippets from the Manila Art Scene. The mysterious blogger behind Snippets runs a default WordPress theme on a default WordPress platform. There’s nothing generic about her posts though, since she seems to have been at every top exhibit in the capital city and writes about art with an insider’s view on artists, art history and the Philippine contemporary art scene. There’s definitely every bit of mystique (characteristic of artist types) and expert analysis in this amateur-looking site.

Selected Artworks. The title, the artist, the date. Period. No fuss, no long, winding descriptions, no pretentious critique. Selected Artworks is the blog for art enthusiasts who are purists enough to want to appreciate art for itself, not because of the words that often go with it.

Art History Today. I don’t really know what’s with art bloggers and anonymity. Art History Today, written by an unidentified “professional art historian” who has a “PhD in Pouissin,” reads like something from a class lecture. It’s chock full of art trivia that will thrill any closet art geek and is also a rich resource of links on world-class museums, artists and art bloggers.

Photos by cobalt123 and blogs

Camille Diola I graduated in 2009 from the best journalism program in the Philippines, and I now work for a university where I interact daily with Gen Y-ers and those who help them become wiser. In my spare time, I engage in non-profit work and advocate for responsible journalism and meaningful digital engagement. Twitter: @camillediola

View all posts by Camille Diola

10 Responses to “7 Awesome Art Blogs to Look At”

  1. H Niyazi

    Great selection!

    The world of art and particularly art history blogs has taken off markedly over the last 24 months. Of the ones listed, I am most familiar with Art History today, though its author is identified if you look closely enough at the profile page, or contact details.

    Some others worth a visit (authored by professional art historians)

    *Alberti’s Window
    *Every Painter Paints Himself

    and dare I say my own humble effort is worth a look too if you’re into the Renaissance/Baroque.

    Kind Regards
    H Niyazi
    Three Pipe Problem

    • Camille

      Yes, I made sure I’d really put in some lesser known art blogs that are interesting, but I still included the more popular ones that newbies in art would find engaging.

      Thanks for your comment! Bookmarked your site, too.

  2. Nancy Ewart

    I followed your link from Liz’s website. It’s great to have somebody outside the small circle of artists
    pay attention to well written art blogs. Sometimes I think that we are a very marginal part of the Internet and that makes me very sad – because art, the love of art, the history of art – can enrich us all.

    • Camille

      Thanks for your comment, Nancy! I totally agree. But as our friend H Niyazi mentioned, art blogs have grown in number the past couple of years. Art is here, and because of the Internet, more and more people (like me) are trying to connect with this “marginal” sector that before seemed so distant and elitist.

      The Google Art Project can help democratize this increasing appreciation for art. The future looks bright.


Leave a Reply