"Art-criticism, like art, should furnish something more and better than we can expect from life without it. What might that be?" — Peter Schjeldahl, 2011 The basic aims of good art writing are to explain and/or evaluate. For example, here is Jonathan Bayer talking about one of Ben Shahn's pictures of Ozark sharecroppers (see the picture here and here; both reproductions are not great; sorry!): "Shahn's picture of an Ozark sharecropper family can give the bizarre sensation that the child is more doll-like than the doll and that it is the doll that is the child of poverty. This in no way detracts from the wonderful face of the mother, from the Virgin Mary and Child allusion of the composition, nor from the intricacy of the lines centered around the mother's hands. But one returns to the amazing similarity of the mother's lively face looking off one way and the doll's with a matching intentness looking off in the other direction. It is the doll that shows the same lively twinkle as the mother while the baby is hauntingly lifeless and anomic.". Or consider this sample (extracted from a larger piece) from John Szarkowski, writing about Dorothea Lange's Back, 1938 (see it here): "Lange made several fine photographs of men's backs, but none more moving than this one. The man's posture is open and vulnerable and evocative of some other half-recollected memory, perhaps of prisoners of war, or burlesque dancers, or Saint Sebastian."What do you like or dislike about those examples? In these first examples, I've chosen to focus on emotional responses rather than compositional description/evaluation. Don't worry, I'll get to that soon enough. If you have examples of good writing about particular pictures, please post them! Be sure to include a link to the picture that is being written about. And please, please, choose only examples of writing about one, particular picture.