Art critics, in one sense, play a role in the art world not unlike the role played by transistors in the electronic world. Transistors amplify signals. Critics are kind of like this, as viewed from the perspective of broke-ass artists.
Last week, when a painting student dropped by my office with a newspaper clipping of one of Damien's Hirst's spot paintings I hit a patch of real despair. In an art world where a figure like Hirst can rise to the top, who needs painting classes?