Art criticism is a pretty simple process when it comes down to it. Some would say it's as simple as this: If you have an eye for detail and can look at the technical aspects of a piece of art (Are the colors vibrant or muted? Is its texture smooth or rough? Is the composition balanced or askew?), then look at the subject for a mood, tone or story (based on content, lighting, etc.), then combine these elements to state what the art makes you feel or why you think the artist chose to create it, you've pretty much just completed a criticism.
And yet the concept of professional art criticism has always fascinated me, while at the same time eluded explanation. Who are these people and what gives their voices more credentials than the rest of us?
Now, it seems that some irreverent Japanese psychologist named Watanabe has made the same statement by training pigeons to become art critics (or rather, to distinguish "good" art from "bad").
This is a really interesting article to me, not as much for what it says but because I think this is something that digs deep into the human experience, somehow. Several paragraphs into it, even Professor Watanabe seemingly negates his own work, calling the pigeons' assessment "mechanical" and asking, where's the joy in it?