When someone critiques (or celebrates, or belittles, or disrespects) an artist's work, there is a powerful dynamic that occurs among the participating paries: the audience, the art, and the artist. The artist creates a piece of art, and develops a bond with the art. A creator is mysteriously and powerfully connected to their creation.
And then an audience interacts with the art, and develops a different type of bond with the art as the artist, but a bond develops nevertheless.
And the bond between the audience and the art leads to a bond (often unspoken but very palpable) between the audience and the artist. An interaction with a piece of creation speaks to that person's interaction with the creator.
The art/creation is the conduit.