Thursday, September 16, 2010
Art Critic Jerry Saltz is licking the salt from his Work of Art: The Next Great Artist wounds.
Art Critic Jerry Saltz appears to have endured a few professional barbs due to his involvement with Bravo’s Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. The reality show pitted fourteen emerging artists against each other for a $100,000 prize and an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Now that the first season is over-- Saltz is licking his wounds in that he is admitting-- at least from what I gather from his article-- that Work of Art: The Next Great Artist was a bad move for the respectability of art and perhaps a bad move for his career as an art critic.
As Saltz pointed out in a recent New York magazine article titled ‘How the reality show Work of Art changed me as a critic, for bad and for good.’-- the art blogging community “blasted” him for being a “sellout and fraud”. In fact, some artists who once raced for Saltz’s favor now have mixed feelings concerning the validity of how important his praise for their artwork is on a professionally level. One artist, William Powhida, has apparently described past praise by Saltz as being “more like an anchor around my ankle than a life raft.” due to Saltz’s involvement with the reality show.
On Facebook Jerry Saltz reflected on his Work of Art experience-- stating, “Just last night a famous 40-something sculptor, now probably a millionaire, sniggered at me saying “You don’t think what you were doing is actually talking about art with people, do you?” People have such bad manners. I just said, “All conversation start somewhere.”.
Saltz‘s Facebook wall post stuck out to me-- especially his reply of “All conversation start somewhere.” to the artist who criticized his work on Work of Art. That statement stuck out because in the past Jerry Saltz removed me from his Facebook friend list after I included my viewpoint concerning some of his criticism. It leaves me to ask-- who exactly does Jerry Saltz want to converse with concerning art? Obviously he did not want to converse with me. Perhaps I was being "rude" for being critical of an art critic of his stature? Thus, I find the noble-- dare I say humble-- Jerry Saltz of today curious. Contradictions are always intriguing.
I ask myself-- did a reality show focused on artists achieve anything? I suppose it depends on how you look at it. One could suggest that the greatest accomplishment of Bravo’s Work of Art: The Next Great Artist is that it has muted-- at least for the next 15 minutes-- one of the most powerful voices in the mainstream art world-- which in reality is not great nor is it good for art as a whole. That said-- the question always goes back to who should have the power in the first place...
Update: I received a friend request from Jerry Saltz on Facebook about twenty minutes ago-- the same day this article was posted-- perhaps communication is indeed open.
Link of Interest:
The Future of Art Criticism: Art Critic Jerry Saltz Interacts on Social Network -- Brian Sherwin / Myartspace Blog
Take care, Stay true,