Can Criticism Be Positive?

One of the most limiting aspects of modern culture is our perception that criticism can only be a negative force. It is implied that criticism necessarily points out flaws and that pointing out flaws is a bad thing.

To criticize, however, is to be critical, which is the first step in truly understanding and enjoying art. Though criticism doesn't always lead to producing good art, it is certainly a requisite for all producers.

Criticism includes pointing out the positive and is often the most helpful agent in revealing the beauty in a given work. And even the inevitable points of disapproval can be constructive. A good critic understands the artist's flaws as much as the merits, and so can offer perspective in an attempt to correct them. Ultimately, the critic is a tool for the audience, which allows it to grow closer to the work. It is with this that I offer a look at some of the greatest works in history, and those not so great. Enjoy.