Artwork biographies are our deep dives. These stories are fact-based and narrative-driven. They balance opinion with research and reporting, but their emphasis is on storytelling. You can think of them as non-academic criticism aimed at the general interest reader, or as the best program notes you've ever read.
For these stories we are particularly interested in non-canonical American artists whose legacies have not been adequately protected.
Artwork biographies are typically assigned at 4,000-5,000 words.
Critical Read is a nonprofit organization supporting the promotion of the arts and culture in the United States. By 'art' we mean nonprofit arts including but not limited to ballet, drama, classical music, opera, jazz, performance, installation, visual art and more. We have a particular interest in deserving works of art that are not (yet) considered canonical. Our priority is works of art by American artists. We are very interested in pitches about works of art by American artists whose legacies have not been adequately protected.
We will consider pitches for stories that touch on works of obscure or vintage pop culture and Americana. Your pitch should not be tied to the publicity cycle.
To pitch an artwork biography, please complete the form. This will tell us which work of art you want to profile, define the characters in the story, explain the central conflict and themes of the story you want to tell. If we are interested we'll ask you to submit a formal pitch, including the following:
- A draft outline of how you would treat the subject
- A sample introduction to the work – ~500 words