Friday, September 29, 2017

Jerry Saltz - The Art Critic as The Artist

Artist: Jerry Saltz 
"Dante's Inferno: A map." This is looking down 
at the funneling cone of the Inferno. Depicted are 
the ten divisions of hell with Satan at the center 
gnawing on three sinners, Brutus, Cassius, and Judas.
The various punishments are sketched in under 
the murky color. In addition to an altarpiece, 
Saltz had intended to do huge versions 
of these drawings.
When the Critic
Was the Artist!

Jerry Saltz, one of NYC's
most in-your-face Art Critics,
shows the art world his art.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This article first appeared in the April 17, 2017, issue of New York Magazine. Go to their website for the complete text.)

"I can’t only dance naked in private. 
I have to dance naked in public." Jerry Saltz

Jerry Saltz looks at art this way. You must "dance naked in public" to ever start being an artist... holding nothing back, being vulnerable, being very, very honest with only the truth being exposed... that is the essence of art.

Saltz seems to be the most interactive art critic in NYC, he is everywhere the game is played, at all hours. He is married to the ever-so-respected (at the top of the art mountain) art critic and New York Times reporter, Roberta Smith. As a team they are the Salt and Pepper plus the Garbage Disposal for the huge feast of international art served up in New York City every year.

Saltz says it pains him to say it, but he is a failed artist himself. He says he misses the act of creating art. During his 20s and 30s he was living the starving artist, bohemian lifestyle - delving into his studio practice from dawn 'til late into the night. Of course he believes anyone not making art is also a failed artist!

His road was long from being an "artist" to becoming an "art critic" (literally he became a long haul trucker to pay for his life). Art History was a constant never-ending passion. Ultimately he became an Art Critic in New York City and has done a deep dive into that profession, with his never ending energy to go to one more show, one more museum or one more art fair before he sleeps.


I believe art needing long explanations, is missing the visual language that is art. I also believe I would never have loved Jackson Pollack's art if someone in my youth had not explained exactly what he was attempting to accomplish with his drip paintings.

Rather than caption each piece - know you are looking at illustrations and Saltz's visualizations of Dante's "The Divine Comedy." 

(Source: This article first appeared in the April 17, 2017, issue of New York Magazine. Go to their website for the complete text, art and captions.)

Until later.

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