Bravo Work of Art Judge Jerry Saltz Interviewed at Time Out Chicago

by Art Fag City on May 26, 2010 · 139 comments Blurb

POST BY PADDY JOHNSON

Let the Bravo’s reality series Work of Art stories start today. Launching June 9th, TimeOut Chicago’s TV section runs an interview this afternoon with so dubbed “one of the most powerful art critics today,” Jerry Saltz. Those following Jerry Saltz’s facebook page will likely find he’s scooped himself — we’ve read a lot of this already on his wall — but it’s a good read anyway, if for no other reason than it’s a little more cohesive than smattered comments. Speaking of facebook, Jerry Saltz should consider setting up a fan page. There’s no number limit to the number of fans you can have, and with the launch of this show he’ll need it! UPDATE: Jerry Saltz has a Group page (which apparently is better than a fan page which is geared towards businesses)


  • http://www.zacharyadamcohen.com/ Zachary Adam Cohen

    Museum Nerd and Myself have been trying to train Jerry but he won’t let us. I’ve also offered to teach him how to make a cup of coffee and lend him a french press but he prefers cold deli coffee from the night before as per one of his Facebook comments a while back.

    like!

  • http://www.zacharyadamcohen.com/ Zachary Adam Cohen

    Museum Nerd and Myself have been trying to train Jerry but he won’t let us. I’ve also offered to teach him how to make a cup of coffee and lend him a french press but he prefers cold deli coffee from the night before as per one of his Facebook comments a while back.

    like!

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    Meh times infinity. Interesting that he didn’t mention how much he was getting paid in the article, even though that was the first thing he offered up during our Facebook tête-à-tête: http://bit.ly/9t1SEj

    @Zachary: No offense, but the relentless, cheery, familiar Jerry-worship is so, so exhausting to me. He’s certainly an iconic, pithy, knowledgeable, and engaging critic, but it’s really hard to stomach the unyielding, über-obvious sycophancy that this Bravo quagmire has already brought to his throne.

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    Meh times infinity. Interesting that he didn’t mention how much he was getting paid in the article, even though that was the first thing he offered up during our Facebook tête-à-tête: http://bit.ly/9t1SEj

    @Zachary: No offense, but the relentless, cheery, familiar Jerry-worship is so, so exhausting to me. He’s certainly an iconic, pithy, knowledgeable, and engaging critic, but it’s really hard to stomach the unyielding, über-obvious sycophancy that this Bravo quagmire has already brought to his throne.

  • Jerry Saltz

    Hello Art Fag City commentors:
    If I recall, someone set up a Fan PAge for me, some time ago.
    I love that we have 5000-part conversations on FB.
    I do not want to have five-thousand 5000-part conversations going on at once however.
    I believe in DENSITY in all things.
    A FAn Page is 5000 conversations at once; a FB conversation is one or two or three 5000-part conversations.
    A FB Page has multiple voices; I am not the only voice or even the center; only a destination.
    Also I hate the name, Fan Page.
    As for people wanting to teach me stuff with technology; I promise you if I ever get five or six hours I will gladly take you up on the kind offer.
    However, on second thought: I won’t. I would never ask anyone to do anything for me and NOT be paid; and since I have less than $9000 in the bank right now I am too poor to pay anyone for anything (I have never had any kind of an assistant for anything).
    Thanks again.
    Jerry

  • Jerry Saltz

    Hello Art Fag City commentors:
    If I recall, someone set up a Fan PAge for me, some time ago.
    I love that we have 5000-part conversations on FB.
    I do not want to have five-thousand 5000-part conversations going on at once however.
    I believe in DENSITY in all things.
    A FAn Page is 5000 conversations at once; a FB conversation is one or two or three 5000-part conversations.
    A FB Page has multiple voices; I am not the only voice or even the center; only a destination.
    Also I hate the name, Fan Page.
    As for people wanting to teach me stuff with technology; I promise you if I ever get five or six hours I will gladly take you up on the kind offer.
    However, on second thought: I won’t. I would never ask anyone to do anything for me and NOT be paid; and since I have less than $9000 in the bank right now I am too poor to pay anyone for anything (I have never had any kind of an assistant for anything).
    Thanks again.
    Jerry

  • Jerry Saltz

    Hello Art Fag City commentors:
    If I recall, someone set up a Fan PAge for me, some time ago.
    I love that we have 5000-part conversations on FB.
    I do not want to have five-thousand 5000-part conversations going on at once however.
    I believe in DENSITY in all things.
    A FAn Page is 5000 conversations at once; a FB conversation is one or two or three 5000-part conversations.
    A FB Page has multiple voices; I am not the only voice or even the center; only a destination.
    Also I hate the name, Fan Page.
    As for people wanting to teach me stuff with technology; I promise you if I ever get five or six hours I will gladly take you up on the kind offer.
    However, on second thought: I won’t. I would never ask anyone to do anything for me and NOT be paid; and since I have less than $9000 in the bank right now I am too poor to pay anyone for anything (I have never had any kind of an assistant for anything).
    Thanks again.
    Jerry

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    “I wanted to perform criticism in public to show that it’s not an elitist practice but specialist and subjective” (Time Out Chicago Interview)

    …yet you will block people from your page if they say something you don’t like, even if it’s legitimate criticism on the content of your postings. That’s censorious and, for me, seriously undercuts your credibility.

    You’re vying for a broader readership, and being on Bravo will probably satisfy that goal. Are you jockeying to be like other supposedly non-elitist, popular “subjective specialists?” The last time the art world had someone like that was with Bob Ross (and now there’s his evil twin, Thomas Kinkade). But as for art critics? I guess Dave Hickey would qualify, but more people know about Sister Wendy than they do him. So maybe you’ll be the first!

    People are already throwing around how unconditionally great this type of exposure is for how it will provide a broader audience some perspective on art, but I’m extremely skeptical of those claims.

    To re-quote Howard Halle’s concern (as, notably, stated during a conversation about Lady Gaga): “(T)he production and consumption of what we used to regard as fine art is being monetized for a mass audience.” There are huge ethical, intellectual, cultural, and *critical* ramifications to that paradigm shift, and it’s hugely disappointing how you’ve managed to avoid addressing those very real concerns. Did you sign a waiver or something?

    But let’s keep it light and fluffy so we don’t anger the Magical Elves (curious that Sarah J. Parker’s “Sex and the City” second-coming coincides with the start of the Bravo show).

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    “I wanted to perform criticism in public to show that it’s not an elitist practice but specialist and subjective” (Time Out Chicago Interview)

    …yet you will block people from your page if they say something you don’t like, even if it’s legitimate criticism on the content of your postings. That’s censorious and, for me, seriously undercuts your credibility.

    You’re vying for a broader readership, and being on Bravo will probably satisfy that goal. Are you jockeying to be like other supposedly non-elitist, popular “subjective specialists?” The last time the art world had someone like that was with Bob Ross (and now there’s his evil twin, Thomas Kinkade). But as for art critics? I guess Dave Hickey would qualify, but more people know about Sister Wendy than they do him. So maybe you’ll be the first!

    People are already throwing around how unconditionally great this type of exposure is for how it will provide a broader audience some perspective on art, but I’m extremely skeptical of those claims.

    To re-quote Howard Halle’s concern (as, notably, stated during a conversation about Lady Gaga): “(T)he production and consumption of what we used to regard as fine art is being monetized for a mass audience.” There are huge ethical, intellectual, cultural, and *critical* ramifications to that paradigm shift, and it’s hugely disappointing how you’ve managed to avoid addressing those very real concerns. Did you sign a waiver or something?

    But let’s keep it light and fluffy so we don’t anger the Magical Elves (curious that Sarah J. Parker’s “Sex and the City” second-coming coincides with the start of the Bravo show).

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    “I wanted to perform criticism in public to show that it’s not an elitist practice but specialist and subjective” (Time Out Chicago Interview)

    …yet you will block people from your page if they say something you don’t like, even if it’s legitimate criticism on the content of your postings. That’s censorious and, for me, seriously undercuts your credibility.

    You’re vying for a broader readership, and being on Bravo will probably satisfy that goal. Are you jockeying to be like other supposedly non-elitist, popular “subjective specialists?” The last time the art world had someone like that was with Bob Ross (and now there’s his evil twin, Thomas Kinkade). But as for art critics? I guess Dave Hickey would qualify, but more people know about Sister Wendy than they do him. So maybe you’ll be the first!

    People are already throwing around how unconditionally great this type of exposure is for how it will provide a broader audience some perspective on art, but I’m extremely skeptical of those claims.

    To re-quote Howard Halle’s concern (as, notably, stated during a conversation about Lady Gaga): “(T)he production and consumption of what we used to regard as fine art is being monetized for a mass audience.” There are huge ethical, intellectual, cultural, and *critical* ramifications to that paradigm shift, and it’s hugely disappointing how you’ve managed to avoid addressing those very real concerns. Did you sign a waiver or something?

    But let’s keep it light and fluffy so we don’t anger the Magical Elves (curious that Sarah J. Parker’s “Sex and the City” second-coming coincides with the start of the Bravo show).

  • Howard Halle

    Huh. I never knew Jerry was a first-generation American. So am I.
    My parents were from Hungary, though.

  • Howard Halle

    Huh. I never knew Jerry was a first-generation American. So am I.
    My parents were from Hungary, though.

  • Howard Halle

    Huh. I never knew Jerry was a first-generation American. So am I.
    My parents were from Hungary, though.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    from Boris Groys’ The Weak Universalism:

    “Avant-garde art today remains unpopular by default, even when exhibited in major museums. Paradoxically, it is generally seen as a non-democratic, elitist art not because it is perceived as a strong art, but because it is perceived as a weak art. Which is to say that the avant-garde is rejected — or, rather, overlooked — by wider, democratic audiences precisely for being a democratic art; the avant-garde is not popular because it is democratic. And if the avant-garde were popular, it would be non-democratic. Indeed, the avant-garde opens a way for an average person to understand himself or herself as an artist — to enter the field of art as a producer of weak, poor, only partially visible images. But an average person is by definition not popular — only stars, celebrities, and exceptional and famous personalities can be popular. Popular art is made for a population consisting of spectators. Avant-garde art is made for a population consisting of artists.”

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    from Boris Groys’ The Weak Universalism:

    “Avant-garde art today remains unpopular by default, even when exhibited in major museums. Paradoxically, it is generally seen as a non-democratic, elitist art not because it is perceived as a strong art, but because it is perceived as a weak art. Which is to say that the avant-garde is rejected — or, rather, overlooked — by wider, democratic audiences precisely for being a democratic art; the avant-garde is not popular because it is democratic. And if the avant-garde were popular, it would be non-democratic. Indeed, the avant-garde opens a way for an average person to understand himself or herself as an artist — to enter the field of art as a producer of weak, poor, only partially visible images. But an average person is by definition not popular — only stars, celebrities, and exceptional and famous personalities can be popular. Popular art is made for a population consisting of spectators. Avant-garde art is made for a population consisting of artists.”

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    from Boris Groys’ The Weak Universalism:

    “Avant-garde art today remains unpopular by default, even when exhibited in major museums. Paradoxically, it is generally seen as a non-democratic, elitist art not because it is perceived as a strong art, but because it is perceived as a weak art. Which is to say that the avant-garde is rejected — or, rather, overlooked — by wider, democratic audiences precisely for being a democratic art; the avant-garde is not popular because it is democratic. And if the avant-garde were popular, it would be non-democratic. Indeed, the avant-garde opens a way for an average person to understand himself or herself as an artist — to enter the field of art as a producer of weak, poor, only partially visible images. But an average person is by definition not popular — only stars, celebrities, and exceptional and famous personalities can be popular. Popular art is made for a population consisting of spectators. Avant-garde art is made for a population consisting of artists.”

  • Jerry Saltz

    Dear Jesse P. Martin.
    Thank you for your comment about my comment.
    I am sorry if I am “…seriously undercutting (my) credibility” in your eyes.
    I will say that I have de-friended people on my own FB page (I assume you may have had to do this too). But I have never de-friended someone simply because I disagree with them. I disagree with people all the time; many people disagree with me; and say so in no uncertain terms.
    No problem.
    I have only one hard personal FB rule: “You can attack me; but you may not attack anyone else.”

    I have de-friended a few people who:
    1. I seem to rub them the wrong way and they can’t stop for posting nasty comments. It makes the conversation about them or them-and-me.
    2. Some people just don’t seem to want to carry on a 5000-part conversation.

    But still: I understand that you don’t like that I de-Friend people on my own FB page; or that me being on a Reality TV show might seem offensive and gross to you.
    I have not seen the Reality TV show yet, myself (except for the first episode; which seemed okay to me; funnier than I expected). However, the show may end up striking me as gross too.
    Thank you,
    Jerry Saltz

  • Jerry Saltz

    Dear Jesse P. Martin.
    Thank you for your comment about my comment.
    I am sorry if I am “…seriously undercutting (my) credibility” in your eyes.
    I will say that I have de-friended people on my own FB page (I assume you may have had to do this too). But I have never de-friended someone simply because I disagree with them. I disagree with people all the time; many people disagree with me; and say so in no uncertain terms.
    No problem.
    I have only one hard personal FB rule: “You can attack me; but you may not attack anyone else.”

    I have de-friended a few people who:
    1. I seem to rub them the wrong way and they can’t stop for posting nasty comments. It makes the conversation about them or them-and-me.
    2. Some people just don’t seem to want to carry on a 5000-part conversation.

    But still: I understand that you don’t like that I de-Friend people on my own FB page; or that me being on a Reality TV show might seem offensive and gross to you.
    I have not seen the Reality TV show yet, myself (except for the first episode; which seemed okay to me; funnier than I expected). However, the show may end up striking me as gross too.
    Thank you,
    Jerry Saltz

  • Jerry Saltz

    Dear Jesse P. Martin.
    Thank you for your comment about my comment.
    I am sorry if I am “…seriously undercutting (my) credibility” in your eyes.
    I will say that I have de-friended people on my own FB page (I assume you may have had to do this too). But I have never de-friended someone simply because I disagree with them. I disagree with people all the time; many people disagree with me; and say so in no uncertain terms.
    No problem.
    I have only one hard personal FB rule: “You can attack me; but you may not attack anyone else.”

    I have de-friended a few people who:
    1. I seem to rub them the wrong way and they can’t stop for posting nasty comments. It makes the conversation about them or them-and-me.
    2. Some people just don’t seem to want to carry on a 5000-part conversation.

    But still: I understand that you don’t like that I de-Friend people on my own FB page; or that me being on a Reality TV show might seem offensive and gross to you.
    I have not seen the Reality TV show yet, myself (except for the first episode; which seemed okay to me; funnier than I expected). However, the show may end up striking me as gross too.
    Thank you,
    Jerry Saltz

  • http://www.daingore.com/ Dain Q Gore

    Q: But who critiques the critics?
    A: The rest of the Internet.

  • http://www.daingore.com/ Dain Q Gore

    Q: But who critiques the critics?
    A: The rest of the Internet.

  • Howard Halle

    I been going back and forth in my mind about whether “Work of Art” is a good thing or a bad thing. Ultimately, it’s just a thing; it’s what it represents—the demystification of the art world—that’s freaking everyone out.

    Right now, contemporary art is laboring under a dual tyranny of its own making: money and theory, and not necessarily in that order. We all know it’s a cul de sac, and that genuine artistic innovation is impossible under the current situation. Does inviting the “rabble’ into the tent offer a way out? Maybe so, maybe not. I only know that once upon a time, before Modernism, the public wasn’t as estranged from art as it is today. They saw it in churches, and they used to line up around the block to get in to see the annual Salons in Paris during the 18th century, through the first half of the 19th, much as they do for Avatar now. You could argue that what they were looking at was crap, but some of it, or its kin, still holds up just fine at places like the Met.

    There has been, I think, a fallacy to much of art theory going back to the last century, a presumption that technological change altered human nature, but that’s BS. It only enabled human nature, so who’s to say we shouldn’t all go back to having the opportunity equally to enjoy art—or not—without driving ourselves crazy about it theoretically?

    As for Jerry’s role, well you can’t hate the player just because he has the talent for acting naturally in front of a camera. Anyway, there’s no guarantee that’s he’ll become a TV star or make a shit load of money; I mean there is a downside to this for him as well.

    It got me to thinking about this line from the movie “The Right Stuff” where Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager chides his fellow test pilots for making fun of the Mercury 7 astronauts, and comparing them to space monkeys: “Monkeys? You think a monkey knows he’s sittin’ on top of a rocket that might explode? These astronaut boys they know that, see? Well, I’ll tell you something, it takes a special kind of man to volunteer for a suicide mission, especially one that’s on TV. ”

    Obviously, “Work of Art” is not life or death, but the point is, you can’t fault someone for taking a risk, unless you’re willing to take it yourself.

  • Howard Halle

    I been going back and forth in my mind about whether “Work of Art” is a good thing or a bad thing. Ultimately, it’s just a thing; it’s what it represents—the demystification of the art world—that’s freaking everyone out.

    Right now, contemporary art is laboring under a dual tyranny of its own making: money and theory, and not necessarily in that order. We all know it’s a cul de sac, and that genuine artistic innovation is impossible under the current situation. Does inviting the “rabble’ into the tent offer a way out? Maybe so, maybe not. I only know that once upon a time, before Modernism, the public wasn’t as estranged from art as it is today. They saw it in churches, and they used to line up around the block to get in to see the annual Salons in Paris during the 18th century, through the first half of the 19th, much as they do for Avatar now. You could argue that what they were looking at was crap, but some of it, or its kin, still holds up just fine at places like the Met.

    There has been, I think, a fallacy to much of art theory going back to the last century, a presumption that technological change altered human nature, but that’s BS. It only enabled human nature, so who’s to say we shouldn’t all go back to having the opportunity equally to enjoy art—or not—without driving ourselves crazy about it theoretically?

    As for Jerry’s role, well you can’t hate the player just because he has the talent for acting naturally in front of a camera. Anyway, there’s no guarantee that’s he’ll become a TV star or make a shit load of money; I mean there is a downside to this for him as well.

    It got me to thinking about this line from the movie “The Right Stuff” where Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager chides his fellow test pilots for making fun of the Mercury 7 astronauts, and comparing them to space monkeys: “Monkeys? You think a monkey knows he’s sittin’ on top of a rocket that might explode? These astronaut boys they know that, see? Well, I’ll tell you something, it takes a special kind of man to volunteer for a suicide mission, especially one that’s on TV. ”

    Obviously, “Work of Art” is not life or death, but the point is, you can’t fault someone for taking a risk, unless you’re willing to take it yourself.

  • http://anaba.blogspot.com martin

    “I have never de-friended someone simply because I disagree with them. I disagree with people all the time; many people disagree with me; and say so in no uncertain terms.”

    not true. i was de-friended immediately after i wrote this in response to a JS status update on dumas at moma.

    http://anaba.blogspot.com/2009/01/jerry-saltz-on-marlene-dumas-at-moma.html

    i had been on the page about a week and had not yet posted any comments at all.

    Weak.

  • http://anaba.blogspot.com martin

    “I have never de-friended someone simply because I disagree with them. I disagree with people all the time; many people disagree with me; and say so in no uncertain terms.”

    not true. i was de-friended immediately after i wrote this in response to a JS status update on dumas at moma.

    http://anaba.blogspot.com/2009/01/jerry-saltz-on-marlene-dumas-at-moma.html

    i had been on the page about a week and had not yet posted any comments at all.

    Weak.

  • http://anaba.blogspot.com martin

    “I have never de-friended someone simply because I disagree with them. I disagree with people all the time; many people disagree with me; and say so in no uncertain terms.”

    not true. i was de-friended immediately after i wrote this in response to a JS status update on dumas at moma.

    http://anaba.blogspot.com/2009/01/jerry-saltz-on-marlene-dumas-at-moma.html

    i had been on the page about a week and had not yet posted any comments at all.

    Weak.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    What Jerry Saltz does with his facebook page and what he’s doing on Bravo are two separate things. Let’s try to stay on topic.

    In any event, I don’t get what the big deal is about Jerry Saltz’ rationale for doing the show. If they offered me a chance to appear I would take it in a second. Why? Because it’s a chance to promote what I do and I think it’s a good opportunity to talk to the larger public about art. I’m sure everyone participating is interested in at least those things.

    It bears noting that Shear Genius is amongst the worst programs Bravo’s put out and it’s been running for like, what, three years now? You can expect this show to last longer than a season even if it sucks (and I don’t think it does).

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    What Jerry Saltz does with his facebook page and what he’s doing on Bravo are two separate things. Let’s try to stay on topic.

    In any event, I don’t get what the big deal is about Jerry Saltz’ rationale for doing the show. If they offered me a chance to appear I would take it in a second. Why? Because it’s a chance to promote what I do and I think it’s a good opportunity to talk to the larger public about art. I’m sure everyone participating is interested in at least those things.

    It bears noting that Shear Genius is amongst the worst programs Bravo’s put out and it’s been running for like, what, three years now? You can expect this show to last longer than a season even if it sucks (and I don’t think it does).

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    What Jerry Saltz does with his facebook page and what he’s doing on Bravo are two separate things. Let’s try to stay on topic.

    In any event, I don’t get what the big deal is about Jerry Saltz’ rationale for doing the show. If they offered me a chance to appear I would take it in a second. Why? Because it’s a chance to promote what I do and I think it’s a good opportunity to talk to the larger public about art. I’m sure everyone participating is interested in at least those things.

    It bears noting that Shear Genius is amongst the worst programs Bravo’s put out and it’s been running for like, what, three years now? You can expect this show to last longer than a season even if it sucks (and I don’t think it does).

  • Jerry Saltz

    Martin;
    Thank you for your comment.
    I am amazed at the way you represent.
    You don’t mention that you had been posting pictures of you and me kissing, for years; making snarky commnets about my work (which is fine)for years, and well, whatever …
    Fine, this was a one-way street only.
    Thank you.
    Jerry Saltz

  • Jerry Saltz

    Martin;
    Thank you for your comment.
    I am amazed at the way you represent.
    You don’t mention that you had been posting pictures of you and me kissing, for years; making snarky commnets about my work (which is fine)for years, and well, whatever …
    Fine, this was a one-way street only.
    Thank you.
    Jerry Saltz

  • Jerry Saltz

    Oh: And I have to admit, when I was asked by Bravo to be a judge on a Reality TV show, and they explained exactly what the structure would be, and although I was a bit freaked out at first, and still am, it never occured top me to say “No.”
    Thank you.
    Jerry Saltz

  • Jerry Saltz

    Oh: And I have to admit, when I was asked by Bravo to be a judge on a Reality TV show, and they explained exactly what the structure would be, and although I was a bit freaked out at first, and still am, it never occured top me to say “No.”
    Thank you.
    Jerry Saltz

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    According to Jesse P. Martin in this comment ( http://www.artfagcity.com/2010/05/18/you-want-privacy-on-facebook-pay-for-it/#comment-262427 ), Jerry Saltz He didn’t just defriend Jesse, but blocked him after their disagreement. If that’s true, so much for those hard personal FB rules.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    According to Jesse P. Martin in this comment ( http://www.artfagcity.com/2010/05/18/you-want-privacy-on-facebook-pay-for-it/#comment-262427 ), Jerry Saltz He didn’t just defriend Jesse, but blocked him after their disagreement. If that’s true, so much for those hard personal FB rules.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    According to Jesse P. Martin in this comment ( http://www.artfagcity.com/2010/05/18/you-want-privacy-on-facebook-pay-for-it/#comment-262427 ), Jerry Saltz He didn’t just defriend Jesse, but blocked him after their disagreement. If that’s true, so much for those hard personal FB rules.

  • http://www.harrisculptor.com jerry harris

    Jerry Saltz is old hat, tired New York writing. Charlie Finch of ArtNet.com is really good. Not much loved back there in Gotham, but he doesn’t play intellectual games, and anyway, who cares what art critics say? Probably other art critics..

  • http://www.harrisculptor.com jerry harris

    Jerry Saltz is old hat, tired New York writing. Charlie Finch of ArtNet.com is really good. Not much loved back there in Gotham, but he doesn’t play intellectual games, and anyway, who cares what art critics say? Probably other art critics..

  • http://www.harrisculptor.com jerry harris

    Jerry Saltz is old hat, tired New York writing. Charlie Finch of ArtNet.com is really good. Not much loved back there in Gotham, but he doesn’t play intellectual games, and anyway, who cares what art critics say? Probably other art critics..

  • http://anaba.blogspot.com martin

    haha JS you are absolutely humorless. it was one picture, four years ago.

    http://anaba.blogspot.com/2006/12/jerry-saltz-studio-visit-report.html

    and yeah i have had an artblog for six years and as our most celebrated and ubiquitous critic you have been mentioned probably five times a year… if you check it out sometime other than when google sends an alert you’ve been mentioned you will find that NO it is not all about you.

    LAFF RIOT.

  • http://anaba.blogspot.com martin

    haha JS you are absolutely humorless. it was one picture, four years ago.

    http://anaba.blogspot.com/2006/12/jerry-saltz-studio-visit-report.html

    and yeah i have had an artblog for six years and as our most celebrated and ubiquitous critic you have been mentioned probably five times a year… if you check it out sometime other than when google sends an alert you’ve been mentioned you will find that NO it is not all about you.

    LAFF RIOT.

  • Jerry Saltz

    Okay. I tried.

    I rub a lot of people the wrong way, I know.

    Sorry.

    السلام عليكم

  • Jerry Saltz

    Okay. I tried.

    I rub a lot of people the wrong way, I know.

    Sorry.

    السلام عليكم

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    @Howard: There is nothing less based on “planet reality” than reality television. How can you seriously suggest that this show in any way represents a “demystification of the art world?” Really, have you even seen the promo? Let’s review some facts about “Work of Art”:

    -It’s a reality show on the cable channel, Bravo
    -It’s produced by Sarah J. Parker and a company called “Magical Elves”
    -Contestants were selected after a highly organized, waiver-signing vetting process
    -The selected competitors are provided w/fully stocked studios & living quarters (just like in real life!)
    -Competitors are assigned various projects to be judged by a panel of “industry select (who) dictate which artists have successfully mastered the subject matter and creation of their piece” (BravoTV.com)
    -Naturally, the entire affair will be thoroughly edited, soundtracked, cross-marketed, and otherwise snipped, puffed, and hussied-up like that treasure & food spilling swine from “Satyricon”

    Given the above facts, I would suggest that you rethink your definition of “demystification.” For someone who has urged several commentators (including myself) to not mistake “the forest for the trees,” I would think that you’d do more than reflect on your generational-similarities to Jerry, how people are “player hating,” and dishing out gruff wisdom from “The Right Stuff.” You’re exhibiting blatant favoritism and uncharacteristic leniency for Jerry, and it’s clouding your critical facilities. I realize that you have a professional and personal connection with Jerry & Time Out, but you’re firing blanks.

    @Jerry: I never insulted or harassed you or anyone else on your FB page. You can see the entirety of our exchange on my blog, and maybe short of my (warranted) initial provocation, I treated you with civility.

    @AFC: I don’t think that anyone would say no to doing a show like this, and maybe that’s a problem. I have little faith that anything of substance won’t wither beneath this overproduced, over-hyped glamour-machine. The format is too overbearing and too “strong.” Everyone in it is doomed to become a caricature. I can be absorbed into shows like this, but they’re still resoundingly choreographed, formulaic, and alienating – in a bad way.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    @Howard: There is nothing less based on “planet reality” than reality television. How can you seriously suggest that this show in any way represents a “demystification of the art world?” Really, have you even seen the promo? Let’s review some facts about “Work of Art”:

    -It’s a reality show on the cable channel, Bravo
    -It’s produced by Sarah J. Parker and a company called “Magical Elves”
    -Contestants were selected after a highly organized, waiver-signing vetting process
    -The selected competitors are provided w/fully stocked studios & living quarters (just like in real life!)
    -Competitors are assigned various projects to be judged by a panel of “industry select (who) dictate which artists have successfully mastered the subject matter and creation of their piece” (BravoTV.com)
    -Naturally, the entire affair will be thoroughly edited, soundtracked, cross-marketed, and otherwise snipped, puffed, and hussied-up like that treasure & food spilling swine from “Satyricon”

    Given the above facts, I would suggest that you rethink your definition of “demystification.” For someone who has urged several commentators (including myself) to not mistake “the forest for the trees,” I would think that you’d do more than reflect on your generational-similarities to Jerry, how people are “player hating,” and dishing out gruff wisdom from “The Right Stuff.” You’re exhibiting blatant favoritism and uncharacteristic leniency for Jerry, and it’s clouding your critical facilities. I realize that you have a professional and personal connection with Jerry & Time Out, but you’re firing blanks.

    @Jerry: I never insulted or harassed you or anyone else on your FB page. You can see the entirety of our exchange on my blog, and maybe short of my (warranted) initial provocation, I treated you with civility.

    @AFC: I don’t think that anyone would say no to doing a show like this, and maybe that’s a problem. I have little faith that anything of substance won’t wither beneath this overproduced, over-hyped glamour-machine. The format is too overbearing and too “strong.” Everyone in it is doomed to become a caricature. I can be absorbed into shows like this, but they’re still resoundingly choreographed, formulaic, and alienating – in a bad way.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    @Howard: There is nothing less based on “planet reality” than reality television. How can you seriously suggest that this show in any way represents a “demystification of the art world?” Really, have you even seen the promo? Let’s review some facts about “Work of Art”:

    -It’s a reality show on the cable channel, Bravo
    -It’s produced by Sarah J. Parker and a company called “Magical Elves”
    -Contestants were selected after a highly organized, waiver-signing vetting process
    -The selected competitors are provided w/fully stocked studios & living quarters (just like in real life!)
    -Competitors are assigned various projects to be judged by a panel of “industry select (who) dictate which artists have successfully mastered the subject matter and creation of their piece” (BravoTV.com)
    -Naturally, the entire affair will be thoroughly edited, soundtracked, cross-marketed, and otherwise snipped, puffed, and hussied-up like that treasure & food spilling swine from “Satyricon”

    Given the above facts, I would suggest that you rethink your definition of “demystification.” For someone who has urged several commentators (including myself) to not mistake “the forest for the trees,” I would think that you’d do more than reflect on your generational-similarities to Jerry, how people are “player hating,” and dishing out gruff wisdom from “The Right Stuff.” You’re exhibiting blatant favoritism and uncharacteristic leniency for Jerry, and it’s clouding your critical facilities. I realize that you have a professional and personal connection with Jerry & Time Out, but you’re firing blanks.

    @Jerry: I never insulted or harassed you or anyone else on your FB page. You can see the entirety of our exchange on my blog, and maybe short of my (warranted) initial provocation, I treated you with civility.

    @AFC: I don’t think that anyone would say no to doing a show like this, and maybe that’s a problem. I have little faith that anything of substance won’t wither beneath this overproduced, over-hyped glamour-machine. The format is too overbearing and too “strong.” Everyone in it is doomed to become a caricature. I can be absorbed into shows like this, but they’re still resoundingly choreographed, formulaic, and alienating – in a bad way.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    “Saltz Fails to Charm Blog Commenters” (ArtNews headline)

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    “Saltz Fails to Charm Blog Commenters” (ArtNews headline)

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Hi there, I am piping in here as one of the contestants on Work of Art. Just to say…It’s silly to argue the integrity of art… or the artists… or the critics …around this TV Show! It’s just a game, and those of us who decided to say “yes” just said yes to playing this particular game. My feeling when I auditioned was…”I can walk and chew gum”….I am a serious artist, and I can play this game. It’s not even about taking risks, and I never even thought it had anything to do with my integrity or my art career. I saw it as “separate from my work as an artist” in the sense that I had no expectations to be able to reproduce my studio practice. It was a bare bones experiment… and fun. And I have NOT seen any episodes yet….. Cheers! Judith

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Hi there, I am piping in here as one of the contestants on Work of Art. Just to say…It’s silly to argue the integrity of art… or the artists… or the critics …around this TV Show! It’s just a game, and those of us who decided to say “yes” just said yes to playing this particular game. My feeling when I auditioned was…”I can walk and chew gum”….I am a serious artist, and I can play this game. It’s not even about taking risks, and I never even thought it had anything to do with my integrity or my art career. I saw it as “separate from my work as an artist” in the sense that I had no expectations to be able to reproduce my studio practice. It was a bare bones experiment… and fun. And I have NOT seen any episodes yet….. Cheers! Judith

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Hi there, I am piping in here as one of the contestants on Work of Art. Just to say…It’s silly to argue the integrity of art… or the artists… or the critics …around this TV Show! It’s just a game, and those of us who decided to say “yes” just said yes to playing this particular game. My feeling when I auditioned was…”I can walk and chew gum”….I am a serious artist, and I can play this game. It’s not even about taking risks, and I never even thought it had anything to do with my integrity or my art career. I saw it as “separate from my work as an artist” in the sense that I had no expectations to be able to reproduce my studio practice. It was a bare bones experiment… and fun. And I have NOT seen any episodes yet….. Cheers! Judith

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Continuing on the reality-show-is-unreal point that Jesse raised: It’s amusing that Howard Halle rationalizes the show since he has elsewhere sung the praises of “tactility”: “tactility is as much the subject of [Sillman’s] paintings as the means to making them. And tactility in this sense—-or rather the fact that’s it’s become suspect in contemporary art—-is, among other things, a vehicle for Sillman to speak truth to power about the state of things as they exist in this moment in art history.” So which is more subversive, I wonder–physical objects in an elegant gallery or a TV show about physical objects with “one of the most powerful critics today” playing himself?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Continuing on the reality-show-is-unreal point that Jesse raised: It’s amusing that Howard Halle rationalizes the show since he has elsewhere sung the praises of “tactility”: “tactility is as much the subject of [Sillman’s] paintings as the means to making them. And tactility in this sense—-or rather the fact that’s it’s become suspect in contemporary art—-is, among other things, a vehicle for Sillman to speak truth to power about the state of things as they exist in this moment in art history.” So which is more subversive, I wonder–physical objects in an elegant gallery or a TV show about physical objects with “one of the most powerful critics today” playing himself?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Continuing on the reality-show-is-unreal point that Jesse raised: It’s amusing that Howard Halle rationalizes the show since he has elsewhere sung the praises of “tactility”: “tactility is as much the subject of [Sillman’s] paintings as the means to making them. And tactility in this sense—-or rather the fact that’s it’s become suspect in contemporary art—-is, among other things, a vehicle for Sillman to speak truth to power about the state of things as they exist in this moment in art history.” So which is more subversive, I wonder–physical objects in an elegant gallery or a TV show about physical objects with “one of the most powerful critics today” playing himself?

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    @Judith: Yeah, it’s such a drag to take things seriously. Good luck with “separating” this from your practice! I’m having a hard time with the whole wheat/chaff problem myself these days…

    I want to see a reality show where various artists, critics, celebrities (i.e., Lady Gaga, Oprah, Tom Cruise, Flavor Flav), and just regular peeps alternate reading aloud from the following texts:

    “The Society of the Spectacle” by Debord
    http://bit.ly/YWZ1b

    “Simulacra and Simulations” by Baudrillard
    http://bit.ly/3iQ9XM

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    @Judith: Yeah, it’s such a drag to take things seriously. Good luck with “separating” this from your practice! I’m having a hard time with the whole wheat/chaff problem myself these days…

    I want to see a reality show where various artists, critics, celebrities (i.e., Lady Gaga, Oprah, Tom Cruise, Flavor Flav), and just regular peeps alternate reading aloud from the following texts:

    “The Society of the Spectacle” by Debord
    http://bit.ly/YWZ1b

    “Simulacra and Simulations” by Baudrillard
    http://bit.ly/3iQ9XM

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    @Judith: Yeah, it’s such a drag to take things seriously. Good luck with “separating” this from your practice! I’m having a hard time with the whole wheat/chaff problem myself these days…

    I want to see a reality show where various artists, critics, celebrities (i.e., Lady Gaga, Oprah, Tom Cruise, Flavor Flav), and just regular peeps alternate reading aloud from the following texts:

    “The Society of the Spectacle” by Debord
    http://bit.ly/YWZ1b

    “Simulacra and Simulations” by Baudrillard
    http://bit.ly/3iQ9XM

  • Howard Halle

    @tom moody Why do I get the feeling that you are always trying to make me choose between an apple and an orange? But anywho, is "Work of Art" itself a work of art? Intriguing question, and one I wouldn't dismiss out of hand, though the more likely result will be that the show could become fodder for art. Mash-ups of Jerry? The critic as Readymade? Why not? Hell, I even thought about doing one myself; perhaps an expression he uses a lot that can be seized upon as a catchphrase à la, "Whatchou talkin' ’bout Willis?" set to dance music, if not to Orff's Carmina Burana. On that score, btw, I'd like to add as a personal note: R.I.P Gary Coleman; your life was a peculiar sort of hell.

  • Howard Halle

    @tom moody Why do I get the feeling that you are always trying to make me choose between an apple and an orange? But anywho, is "Work of Art" itself a work of art? Intriguing question, and one I wouldn't dismiss out of hand, though the more likely result will be that the show could become fodder for art. Mash-ups of Jerry? The critic as Readymade? Why not? Hell, I even thought about doing one myself; perhaps an expression he uses a lot that can be seized upon as a catchphrase à la, "Whatchou talkin' ’bout Willis?" set to dance music, if not to Orff's Carmina Burana. On that score, btw, I'd like to add as a personal note: R.I.P Gary Coleman; your life was a peculiar sort of hell.

  • Howard Halle

    @tom moody Why do I get the feeling that you are always trying to make me choose between an apple and an orange? But anywho, is "Work of Art" itself a work of art? Intriguing question, and one I wouldn't dismiss out of hand, though the more likely result will be that the show could become fodder for art. Mash-ups of Jerry? The critic as Readymade? Why not? Hell, I even thought about doing one myself; perhaps an expression he uses a lot that can be seized upon as a catchphrase à la, "Whatchou talkin' ’bout Willis?" set to dance music, if not to Orff's Carmina Burana. On that score, btw, I'd like to add as a personal note: R.I.P Gary Coleman; your life was a peculiar sort of hell.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @Jesse P. Martin As someone who has seen the first episode I can say that Howard’s remarks aren’t off the mark, though I’d suggest it will do more to demystify art than it will the art world. It’s basically an art school studio critique with more at stake. If the general public watches the show, they’ll at least take away a better understanding of how to talk about art.

    My hope is that some episodes will take them to contemporary museum shows and such — something that contrasts assignment based work to what’s being shown in public institutions — but we’ll see. It might reveal too much. The fallacy of this show, like that of project runway, is that this kind of show creates the conditions in which one could actually find the next great artist.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @Jesse P. Martin As someone who has seen the first episode I can say that Howard’s remarks aren’t off the mark, though I’d suggest it will do more to demystify art than it will the art world. It’s basically an art school studio critique with more at stake. If the general public watches the show, they’ll at least take away a better understanding of how to talk about art.

    My hope is that some episodes will take them to contemporary museum shows and such — something that contrasts assignment based work to what’s being shown in public institutions — but we’ll see. It might reveal too much. The fallacy of this show, like that of project runway, is that this kind of show creates the conditions in which one could actually find the next great artist.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @Jesse P. Martin As someone who has seen the first episode I can say that Howard’s remarks aren’t off the mark, though I’d suggest it will do more to demystify art than it will the art world. It’s basically an art school studio critique with more at stake. If the general public watches the show, they’ll at least take away a better understanding of how to talk about art.

    My hope is that some episodes will take them to contemporary museum shows and such — something that contrasts assignment based work to what’s being shown in public institutions — but we’ll see. It might reveal too much. The fallacy of this show, like that of project runway, is that this kind of show creates the conditions in which one could actually find the next great artist.

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Just for the record…. and I’m sure I said it “on camera”…that I hated that subtitle “the next great artist”….so ridiculous!

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Just for the record…. and I’m sure I said it “on camera”…that I hated that subtitle “the next great artist”….so ridiculous!

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Just for the record…. and I’m sure I said it “on camera”…that I hated that subtitle “the next great artist”….so ridiculous!

  • Howard Halle

    @Tom Moody: Why to I get the feeling that you are always trying to make me choose between an apple and an orange? But anyway, “Work Of Art” as a work of art? An intriguing question, and one I wouldn’t dismiss out of hand. It could certainly serve as fodder for art—the critic as Readymade! Why the hell not? An artist could do a mash-up of Jerry, say, seizing upon an expression he uses regularly, and spinning it as a catchphrase à la “make it work,” or “whatchou talkin’ ’bout Willis?” Maybe set it to dance music, if not Orff’s Carmina Burana. Btw, on that note I’d like to add: R.I.P Gary Coleman; you’re life was a peculiar sort of hell.

  • Howard Halle

    @Tom Moody: Why to I get the feeling that you are always trying to make me choose between an apple and an orange? But anyway, “Work Of Art” as a work of art? An intriguing question, and one I wouldn’t dismiss out of hand. It could certainly serve as fodder for art—the critic as Readymade! Why the hell not? An artist could do a mash-up of Jerry, say, seizing upon an expression he uses regularly, and spinning it as a catchphrase à la “make it work,” or “whatchou talkin’ ’bout Willis?” Maybe set it to dance music, if not Orff’s Carmina Burana. Btw, on that note I’d like to add: R.I.P Gary Coleman; you’re life was a peculiar sort of hell.

  • Howard Halle

    @Tom Moody: Why to I get the feeling that you are always trying to make me choose between an apple and an orange? But anyway, “Work Of Art” as a work of art? An intriguing question, and one I wouldn’t dismiss out of hand. It could certainly serve as fodder for art—the critic as Readymade! Why the hell not? An artist could do a mash-up of Jerry, say, seizing upon an expression he uses regularly, and spinning it as a catchphrase à la “make it work,” or “whatchou talkin’ ’bout Willis?” Maybe set it to dance music, if not Orff’s Carmina Burana. Btw, on that note I’d like to add: R.I.P Gary Coleman; you’re life was a peculiar sort of hell.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m not convinced that the “game” format of the show, American-Idol-esque “celebrity” judges, and general big-cable-network-filter won’t mystify the hell out of the whole shebang from the get-go, regardless of the “integrity,” earnestness, and/or actual talent demonstrated by the participants, artists, and their work. And that’s fine. Maybe it’s all the apparent sincerity around this show that’s making me crazy. Hearing Jerry admit that “the show may end up striking (him) as gross, too” – and Judith’s disdain for the show’s title – were sort of a relief to hear.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m not convinced that the “game” format of the show, American-Idol-esque “celebrity” judges, and general big-cable-network-filter won’t mystify the hell out of the whole shebang from the get-go, regardless of the “integrity,” earnestness, and/or actual talent demonstrated by the participants, artists, and their work. And that’s fine. Maybe it’s all the apparent sincerity around this show that’s making me crazy. Hearing Jerry admit that “the show may end up striking (him) as gross, too” – and Judith’s disdain for the show’s title – were sort of a relief to hear.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m not convinced that the “game” format of the show, American-Idol-esque “celebrity” judges, and general big-cable-network-filter won’t mystify the hell out of the whole shebang from the get-go, regardless of the “integrity,” earnestness, and/or actual talent demonstrated by the participants, artists, and their work. And that’s fine. Maybe it’s all the apparent sincerity around this show that’s making me crazy. Hearing Jerry admit that “the show may end up striking (him) as gross, too” – and Judith’s disdain for the show’s title – were sort of a relief to hear.

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    In general also: Of course the editing is in the hands of production…and they’re producing a TV show…and they seek audiences. There is no question about that. So they have their formulas that, IMO, could use some tweaking for the subject of Art. …but again….I haven’t even seen the first episode. Which leads to the fact that this whole subject will be way more substantial AFTER we have all seen the whole thing! Personally I hope it does NOT demystify art making too much….that’s the part I like!

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    In general also: Of course the editing is in the hands of production…and they’re producing a TV show…and they seek audiences. There is no question about that. So they have their formulas that, IMO, could use some tweaking for the subject of Art. …but again….I haven’t even seen the first episode. Which leads to the fact that this whole subject will be way more substantial AFTER we have all seen the whole thing! Personally I hope it does NOT demystify art making too much….that’s the part I like!

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    In general also: Of course the editing is in the hands of production…and they’re producing a TV show…and they seek audiences. There is no question about that. So they have their formulas that, IMO, could use some tweaking for the subject of Art. …but again….I haven’t even seen the first episode. Which leads to the fact that this whole subject will be way more substantial AFTER we have all seen the whole thing! Personally I hope it does NOT demystify art making too much….that’s the part I like!

  • L. Mario Prian

    I recently got blocked form JS facebook site. I came to the conclusion that it is Jerry Saltz sandbox and he can have who every he wants in his sandbox.

    My friends thought it was quite ironic and hilarious. Hmm! An art critic who believes in censorship.

    I do not know Jerry Saltz, but I wish him the best and hope his new show is a success. Kudos to Bravo for giving artists the opportunity.

  • L. Mario Prian

    I recently got blocked form JS facebook site. I came to the conclusion that it is Jerry Saltz sandbox and he can have who every he wants in his sandbox.

    My friends thought it was quite ironic and hilarious. Hmm! An art critic who believes in censorship.

    I do not know Jerry Saltz, but I wish him the best and hope his new show is a success. Kudos to Bravo for giving artists the opportunity.

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    @Jesse: As for all the “sincerity”, I know what you mean, and I’ve had that conversation with others, but there are some aspects of the discussion that I’m steering clear of now because of all the confidentiality agreements. For the moment I decided not to bad mouth the show or the other contestants ….off camera that is! The truth is at this point I’m mostly just curious about how I will appear to myself on TV!??… and hope I keep my sense of humor about it all.

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    @Jesse: As for all the “sincerity”, I know what you mean, and I’ve had that conversation with others, but there are some aspects of the discussion that I’m steering clear of now because of all the confidentiality agreements. For the moment I decided not to bad mouth the show or the other contestants ….off camera that is! The truth is at this point I’m mostly just curious about how I will appear to myself on TV!??… and hope I keep my sense of humor about it all.

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    @Jesse: As for all the “sincerity”, I know what you mean, and I’ve had that conversation with others, but there are some aspects of the discussion that I’m steering clear of now because of all the confidentiality agreements. For the moment I decided not to bad mouth the show or the other contestants ….off camera that is! The truth is at this point I’m mostly just curious about how I will appear to myself on TV!??… and hope I keep my sense of humor about it all.

  • Howard Halle

    @Tom Moody You always seem to be asking me to compare apples to oranges. Which is more subversive, a gallery show of paintings or a reality show about art on TV? Well, neither, frankly. If want you want subversive, look at what Goldman Sachs did to the economy or what BP did to the environment. Now that’s subversion!

    But the idea that “Work Of Art” may be a work of art is an intriguing one—and not necessarily something I’d dismiss out of hand, though I’d add it’s more likely that the show could become fodder for artists. Like maybe a mashup of a particular expression Jerry uses a lot (the critic as Readymade) set to dance music if not to Orff’s Carmina Burana. It could explore the semiotics of catch-phrases like “Make it work,” or “Whatchou talkin’ about Willis?” (And btw, R.I.P. Gary Coleman; his life was a peculiar sort of hell.)

    Something else, though. Maybe it’s too far from the show’s air date, but I can’t recall seeing too many ads for it. (Feel free, anyone, to correct me if I’m wrong.) Seems like in the past, Bravo has plastered the subway with posters for upcoming shows, but not, apparently, in this case, at least not yet. Contrary to Paddy’s belief that “Work of Art” will run a minimum of three seasons, could it be that the suits at the network aren’t so sanguine about its appeal, and don’t want to throw good money after bad? I’m just asking.

  • Howard Halle

    @Tom Moody You always seem to be asking me to compare apples to oranges. Which is more subversive, a gallery show of paintings or a reality show about art on TV? Well, neither, frankly. If want you want subversive, look at what Goldman Sachs did to the economy or what BP did to the environment. Now that’s subversion!

    But the idea that “Work Of Art” may be a work of art is an intriguing one—and not necessarily something I’d dismiss out of hand, though I’d add it’s more likely that the show could become fodder for artists. Like maybe a mashup of a particular expression Jerry uses a lot (the critic as Readymade) set to dance music if not to Orff’s Carmina Burana. It could explore the semiotics of catch-phrases like “Make it work,” or “Whatchou talkin’ about Willis?” (And btw, R.I.P. Gary Coleman; his life was a peculiar sort of hell.)

    Something else, though. Maybe it’s too far from the show’s air date, but I can’t recall seeing too many ads for it. (Feel free, anyone, to correct me if I’m wrong.) Seems like in the past, Bravo has plastered the subway with posters for upcoming shows, but not, apparently, in this case, at least not yet. Contrary to Paddy’s belief that “Work of Art” will run a minimum of three seasons, could it be that the suits at the network aren’t so sanguine about its appeal, and don’t want to throw good money after bad? I’m just asking.

  • Howard Halle

    @Tom Moody You always seem to be asking me to compare apples to oranges. Which is more subversive, a gallery show of paintings or a reality show about art on TV? Well, neither, frankly. If want you want subversive, look at what Goldman Sachs did to the economy or what BP did to the environment. Now that’s subversion!

    But the idea that “Work Of Art” may be a work of art is an intriguing one—and not necessarily something I’d dismiss out of hand, though I’d add it’s more likely that the show could become fodder for artists. Like maybe a mashup of a particular expression Jerry uses a lot (the critic as Readymade) set to dance music if not to Orff’s Carmina Burana. It could explore the semiotics of catch-phrases like “Make it work,” or “Whatchou talkin’ about Willis?” (And btw, R.I.P. Gary Coleman; his life was a peculiar sort of hell.)

    Something else, though. Maybe it’s too far from the show’s air date, but I can’t recall seeing too many ads for it. (Feel free, anyone, to correct me if I’m wrong.) Seems like in the past, Bravo has plastered the subway with posters for upcoming shows, but not, apparently, in this case, at least not yet. Contrary to Paddy’s belief that “Work of Art” will run a minimum of three seasons, could it be that the suits at the network aren’t so sanguine about its appeal, and don’t want to throw good money after bad? I’m just asking.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Oops!

    Paddy, could you add quotes starting at "A more violent…" that end after "unbearably light?"

    Sorry & thank you!

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Oops!

    Paddy, could you add quotes starting at "A more violent…" that end after "unbearably light?"

    Sorry & thank you!

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Oops!

    Paddy, could you add quotes starting at "A more violent…" that end after "unbearably light?"

    Sorry & thank you!

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    @Judith: I can understand your need to keep a sense of humor over this, and I appreciate your candor (despite being beholden to a confidentiality agreement). I’m inclined to believe that there’s nothing sincere about this show at all. To say that “Work of Art” is good, critical, and non-elitist because it’s about art and on television is grossly fallacious, but that’s what we’re being encouraged to believe.

    Included in “Art Since 1900″ is a particularly esoteric glossary. The last part of the entry for “kitsch” feels appropriate to relay here, at least as something to consider with “Work of Art”:

    “A more violent definition was proposed by Milan Kundera in his novel ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being,’ when he spoke of kitsch’s transformation of disgust into universal approval and thus its dissimulation of the presence, in human life, of shit. Kitsch is thus the witless embrace of cliché as a defense against the weight of human reality. Because of this defense, he writes, “human existence loses its dimensions and becomes unbearably light.”

    p.s.- I was on a bus to Warwick today and overheard complete strangers – not two seats away – talking about this very thread. I held my tongue, but it was definitely a surreal moment.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    @Judith: I can understand your need to keep a sense of humor over this, and I appreciate your candor (despite being beholden to a confidentiality agreement). I’m inclined to believe that there’s nothing sincere about this show at all. To say that “Work of Art” is good, critical, and non-elitist because it’s about art and on television is grossly fallacious, but that’s what we’re being encouraged to believe.

    Included in “Art Since 1900″ is a particularly esoteric glossary. The last part of the entry for “kitsch” feels appropriate to relay here, at least as something to consider with “Work of Art”:

    “A more violent definition was proposed by Milan Kundera in his novel ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being,’ when he spoke of kitsch’s transformation of disgust into universal approval and thus its dissimulation of the presence, in human life, of shit. Kitsch is thus the witless embrace of cliché as a defense against the weight of human reality. Because of this defense, he writes, “human existence loses its dimensions and becomes unbearably light.”

    p.s.- I was on a bus to Warwick today and overheard complete strangers – not two seats away – talking about this very thread. I held my tongue, but it was definitely a surreal moment.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    @Judith: I can understand your need to keep a sense of humor over this, and I appreciate your candor (despite being beholden to a confidentiality agreement). I’m inclined to believe that there’s nothing sincere about this show at all. To say that “Work of Art” is good, critical, and non-elitist because it’s about art and on television is grossly fallacious, but that’s what we’re being encouraged to believe.

    Included in “Art Since 1900″ is a particularly esoteric glossary. The last part of the entry for “kitsch” feels appropriate to relay here, at least as something to consider with “Work of Art”:

    “A more violent definition was proposed by Milan Kundera in his novel ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being,’ when he spoke of kitsch’s transformation of disgust into universal approval and thus its dissimulation of the presence, in human life, of shit. Kitsch is thus the witless embrace of cliché as a defense against the weight of human reality. Because of this defense, he writes, “human existence loses its dimensions and becomes unbearably light.”

    p.s.- I was on a bus to Warwick today and overheard complete strangers – not two seats away – talking about this very thread. I held my tongue, but it was definitely a surreal moment.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Howard, I wasn’t “asking for subversion.” The phrase you used was “demystification of the art world.” Elsewhere you championed remystification through the painter’s touch. Hard comparisons can always be dismissed as “apples and oranges.” For the record the TV show “Work of Art” sounds like an utter crap premise, as if “The Society of the Spectacle” was never written. Jerry Saltz’s participation is on the level of those panels where Mark Kostabi asks critics to title his paintings.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Howard, I wasn’t “asking for subversion.” The phrase you used was “demystification of the art world.” Elsewhere you championed remystification through the painter’s touch. Hard comparisons can always be dismissed as “apples and oranges.” For the record the TV show “Work of Art” sounds like an utter crap premise, as if “The Society of the Spectacle” was never written. Jerry Saltz’s participation is on the level of those panels where Mark Kostabi asks critics to title his paintings.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Howard, I wasn’t “asking for subversion.” The phrase you used was “demystification of the art world.” Elsewhere you championed remystification through the painter’s touch. Hard comparisons can always be dismissed as “apples and oranges.” For the record the TV show “Work of Art” sounds like an utter crap premise, as if “The Society of the Spectacle” was never written. Jerry Saltz’s participation is on the level of those panels where Mark Kostabi asks critics to title his paintings.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Paddy…

    I'm a mess. Could you put "an editor of a" before "metropolitan" in the second paragraph of my last comment? If I do this again you can block me forever, a la Saltz.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Paddy…

    I'm a mess. Could you put "an editor of a" before "metropolitan" in the second paragraph of my last comment? If I do this again you can block me forever, a la Saltz.

  • Howard Halle

    @tom moody,

    What I said actually is that “Work Of Art” represents the demystification of the art world, which is what is freaking everyone out the show. That’s not an endorsement of the show, but in any case, I see no contradiction between making a note of that fact and liking Amy Sillman’s painting. I’ll tell you what we do obviously disagree on: What exactly constitutes the “mystification” of art. I’d say the mumbo-jumbo surrounding theory has done more to mystify art over the past half-century or so than the hated artist’s touch has ever done.

  • Howard Halle

    @tom moody,

    What I said actually is that “Work Of Art” represents the demystification of the art world, which is what is freaking everyone out the show. That’s not an endorsement of the show, but in any case, I see no contradiction between making a note of that fact and liking Amy Sillman’s painting. I’ll tell you what we do obviously disagree on: What exactly constitutes the “mystification” of art. I’d say the mumbo-jumbo surrounding theory has done more to mystify art over the past half-century or so than the hated artist’s touch has ever done.

  • Howard Halle

    @tom moody,

    What I said actually is that “Work Of Art” represents the demystification of the art world, which is what is freaking everyone out the show. That’s not an endorsement of the show, but in any case, I see no contradiction between making a note of that fact and liking Amy Sillman’s painting. I’ll tell you what we do obviously disagree on: What exactly constitutes the “mystification” of art. I’d say the mumbo-jumbo surrounding theory has done more to mystify art over the past half-century or so than the hated artist’s touch has ever done.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Howard, what mumbo jumbo are we talking about? I thought you liked Ben Davis’ essay. The goofy thing about “Work of Art” is–who is asking to have art’s language explained? The public? Framing art evaluation as a contest that happens once, within a certain time limit, creates an awful impression of how the process works. I wonder if we could also have shows like “Who Gets to Be a Writer?” “I’m sorry, Mr. Melville, everyone loves whales but this is too damned long.”

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Howard, what mumbo jumbo are we talking about? I thought you liked Ben Davis’ essay. The goofy thing about “Work of Art” is–who is asking to have art’s language explained? The public? Framing art evaluation as a contest that happens once, within a certain time limit, creates an awful impression of how the process works. I wonder if we could also have shows like “Who Gets to Be a Writer?” “I’m sorry, Mr. Melville, everyone loves whales but this is too damned long.”

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Howard, what mumbo jumbo are we talking about? I thought you liked Ben Davis’ essay. The goofy thing about “Work of Art” is–who is asking to have art’s language explained? The public? Framing art evaluation as a contest that happens once, within a certain time limit, creates an awful impression of how the process works. I wonder if we could also have shows like “Who Gets to Be a Writer?” “I’m sorry, Mr. Melville, everyone loves whales but this is too damned long.”

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    @Howard Halle: Again, how you can claim that a Bravo dog-and-pony/”reality show” ISN’T textbook “mystification” boggles my mind.

    And as if theory isn’t ghettoized enough, it really helps to have an art critic and an editor of a metropolitan “culture” publication dismiss it as “mumbo-jumbo.” No one “hates” the “artist’s touch.” The general public does, however, hate things that are difficult, intellectual, and otherwise not packaged for their easy understanding/consumption (and this doesn’t exclude artists, by any stretch of the imagination).

    If I’m to understand what you mean by “demystify,” it has something to do with how the fine producers at “Work of Art” have made an easy, entertaining, and utterly safe representation of the “art world” for a general audience (which means, I guess, anyone with cable who cares to watch it). The fact that there are a few “industry luminaries” on the show who are complicit in selling this pap only furthers the illusion that a contrived reality-show should be regarded a legitimate way to “understand” the “art world.”

    Art has always been available to everyone in an infinite number of ways. It’s the show itself that is suggesting that the “art world” even exists and that it’s “elitist,” because that’s an easy fallacy that people are already at home with. The idea that anyone could enter the “art world” by a sheer act of will is what really “freaks people out,” because it puts the responsibility back on the individual, rather than asking them to act as some ill-defined, obedient demographic that needs to be “enlightened.”

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    @Howard Halle: Again, how you can claim that a Bravo dog-and-pony/”reality show” ISN’T textbook “mystification” boggles my mind.

    And as if theory isn’t ghettoized enough, it really helps to have an art critic and an editor of a metropolitan “culture” publication dismiss it as “mumbo-jumbo.” No one “hates” the “artist’s touch.” The general public does, however, hate things that are difficult, intellectual, and otherwise not packaged for their easy understanding/consumption (and this doesn’t exclude artists, by any stretch of the imagination).

    If I’m to understand what you mean by “demystify,” it has something to do with how the fine producers at “Work of Art” have made an easy, entertaining, and utterly safe representation of the “art world” for a general audience (which means, I guess, anyone with cable who cares to watch it). The fact that there are a few “industry luminaries” on the show who are complicit in selling this pap only furthers the illusion that a contrived reality-show should be regarded a legitimate way to “understand” the “art world.”

    Art has always been available to everyone in an infinite number of ways. It’s the show itself that is suggesting that the “art world” even exists and that it’s “elitist,” because that’s an easy fallacy that people are already at home with. The idea that anyone could enter the “art world” by a sheer act of will is what really “freaks people out,” because it puts the responsibility back on the individual, rather than asking them to act as some ill-defined, obedient demographic that needs to be “enlightened.”

  • Howard Halle

    You guys think that theory is “marginalized”? Are you kidding me? That, as practiced today, right now in the art world, theory represents some rampart defending intellectual integrity? C’mon get real.

    Collectors line up to take continuing education courses on theory at places like NYU, so that they can learn the catechsim that will enable them to sound like they now what they’re doing, instead of just simply taking the advice of the art consultants they pay good money to make them into validators of culture.

    What world do you guys live in? Do you know what theory amounts to now? It’s the equivalent of back when the Church used to sell indulgences to allow you to get into heaven without doing any of the heavy lifting. It serves no other purpose than to permit academics on the one hand to maintain their power to dictate the “intellectual” terms of art practice, while on the other providing clothes for the various emperors who’d shell out $7 million on a Chris Wool.

    I was at dinner not long ago where this old jackass of a collector told me that he was a “Duchampian”; not told me, he practically shouted it in my face, like ‘I’M A DUCHAMPIAN!” What does it mean when some douchebag with money throws something like that around, like he just figured it out?

    Now, granted that guy was a fool,and totally out of it; but I’m sure conversations like that happen all the time in the art world, which, in effect, render the idea of discourse meaningless in my book.

    Ask yourself when was the last you really read anything “theorectical” that truly opened your eyes, that made you see something in a way you hadn’t before? I’m not talking about mastering “difficulty” or learning the arguments in some approved fashion; I mean something really truly mindblowing that made you go, “Wow!” I’ll bet you can’t think of anything, because there hasn’t anything like that in a long time. Because no one is really interested in changing things, just pretending like they are.

    Anyway, as I’ve said repeatedly, I’m not endorsing “Work Of Art”; but yes, I’m am for art speaking to people and not just the “right” sort——you know, the smart guys who get “difficulty.” If that makes me stupid, fine; I’ve been thrown out of better places than this one.

  • Howard Halle

    You guys think that theory is “marginalized”? Are you kidding me? That, as practiced today, right now in the art world, theory represents some rampart defending intellectual integrity? C’mon get real.

    Collectors line up to take continuing education courses on theory at places like NYU, so that they can learn the catechsim that will enable them to sound like they now what they’re doing, instead of just simply taking the advice of the art consultants they pay good money to make them into validators of culture.

    What world do you guys live in? Do you know what theory amounts to now? It’s the equivalent of back when the Church used to sell indulgences to allow you to get into heaven without doing any of the heavy lifting. It serves no other purpose than to permit academics on the one hand to maintain their power to dictate the “intellectual” terms of art practice, while on the other providing clothes for the various emperors who’d shell out $7 million on a Chris Wool.

    I was at dinner not long ago where this old jackass of a collector told me that he was a “Duchampian”; not told me, he practically shouted it in my face, like ‘I’M A DUCHAMPIAN!” What does it mean when some douchebag with money throws something like that around, like he just figured it out?

    Now, granted that guy was a fool,and totally out of it; but I’m sure conversations like that happen all the time in the art world, which, in effect, render the idea of discourse meaningless in my book.

    Ask yourself when was the last you really read anything “theorectical” that truly opened your eyes, that made you see something in a way you hadn’t before? I’m not talking about mastering “difficulty” or learning the arguments in some approved fashion; I mean something really truly mindblowing that made you go, “Wow!” I’ll bet you can’t think of anything, because there hasn’t anything like that in a long time. Because no one is really interested in changing things, just pretending like they are.

    Anyway, as I’ve said repeatedly, I’m not endorsing “Work Of Art”; but yes, I’m am for art speaking to people and not just the “right” sort——you know, the smart guys who get “difficulty.” If that makes me stupid, fine; I’ve been thrown out of better places than this one.

  • Howard Halle

    You guys think that theory is “marginalized”? Are you kidding me? That, as practiced today, right now in the art world, theory represents some rampart defending intellectual integrity? C’mon get real.

    Collectors line up to take continuing education courses on theory at places like NYU, so that they can learn the catechsim that will enable them to sound like they now what they’re doing, instead of just simply taking the advice of the art consultants they pay good money to make them into validators of culture.

    What world do you guys live in? Do you know what theory amounts to now? It’s the equivalent of back when the Church used to sell indulgences to allow you to get into heaven without doing any of the heavy lifting. It serves no other purpose than to permit academics on the one hand to maintain their power to dictate the “intellectual” terms of art practice, while on the other providing clothes for the various emperors who’d shell out $7 million on a Chris Wool.

    I was at dinner not long ago where this old jackass of a collector told me that he was a “Duchampian”; not told me, he practically shouted it in my face, like ‘I’M A DUCHAMPIAN!” What does it mean when some douchebag with money throws something like that around, like he just figured it out?

    Now, granted that guy was a fool,and totally out of it; but I’m sure conversations like that happen all the time in the art world, which, in effect, render the idea of discourse meaningless in my book.

    Ask yourself when was the last you really read anything “theorectical” that truly opened your eyes, that made you see something in a way you hadn’t before? I’m not talking about mastering “difficulty” or learning the arguments in some approved fashion; I mean something really truly mindblowing that made you go, “Wow!” I’ll bet you can’t think of anything, because there hasn’t anything like that in a long time. Because no one is really interested in changing things, just pretending like they are.

    Anyway, as I’ve said repeatedly, I’m not endorsing “Work Of Art”; but yes, I’m am for art speaking to people and not just the “right” sort——you know, the smart guys who get “difficulty.” If that makes me stupid, fine; I’ve been thrown out of better places than this one.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    I’m quite sure Howard doesn’t need me to defend him, but I have no idea why you two are bullying him. “The mumbo-jumbo around theory” isn’t some outlandish statement. Sure, it’s vague, but as anyone who’s read a bad theory inspired press release can tell you, the mystification of art often has to do with the fact that there is often no apparent relationship between what’s being talked about and the object itself. And honestly, what does this have to do with Work of Art, except for as some throw away line Howard offered up as something more responsible for art’s mystification than a show for millions on the subject? Frankly, it’s absurd to be arguing that point.

    The following Bruce High Quality essay may be of interest:

    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AUqOvGt6pvU9ZGcyaGdzeHhfMTIyZGd3eno5ZGQ&hl=en

    Jesse: You think Work of Art will further “mystify” the art world. Fine, but you haven’t seen the first episode, and even if you had, I don’t see why Howard’s position that art might reach more people with this show can’t be granted. It’s not like there’s only one representation of art that can be presented on a show like this with any kind of legitimacy.

    Tom: I disagree with your position on Jerry Saltz’s decision to be on the show. He’s not just titling a work, his role is like that of a teacher. This show isn’t without its problems, but comparing it to a Mark Kostabi panel is overstating the matter.

    Having said all this, it bears noting that in the one episode I’ve seen, the judges are the weakest aspect of the show. Not enough personality.

    Also: Bravo’s lack of subway ads. Good point, but I still think if it does even marginally well, it will be hard to kill it.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    I’m quite sure Howard doesn’t need me to defend him, but I have no idea why you two are bullying him. “The mumbo-jumbo around theory” isn’t some outlandish statement. Sure, it’s vague, but as anyone who’s read a bad theory inspired press release can tell you, the mystification of art often has to do with the fact that there is often no apparent relationship between what’s being talked about and the object itself. And honestly, what does this have to do with Work of Art, except for as some throw away line Howard offered up as something more responsible for art’s mystification than a show for millions on the subject? Frankly, it’s absurd to be arguing that point.

    The following Bruce High Quality essay may be of interest:

    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AUqOvGt6pvU9ZGcyaGdzeHhfMTIyZGd3eno5ZGQ&hl=en

    Jesse: You think Work of Art will further “mystify” the art world. Fine, but you haven’t seen the first episode, and even if you had, I don’t see why Howard’s position that art might reach more people with this show can’t be granted. It’s not like there’s only one representation of art that can be presented on a show like this with any kind of legitimacy.

    Tom: I disagree with your position on Jerry Saltz’s decision to be on the show. He’s not just titling a work, his role is like that of a teacher. This show isn’t without its problems, but comparing it to a Mark Kostabi panel is overstating the matter.

    Having said all this, it bears noting that in the one episode I’ve seen, the judges are the weakest aspect of the show. Not enough personality.

    Also: Bravo’s lack of subway ads. Good point, but I still think if it does even marginally well, it will be hard to kill it.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    I’m quite sure Howard doesn’t need me to defend him, but I have no idea why you two are bullying him. “The mumbo-jumbo around theory” isn’t some outlandish statement. Sure, it’s vague, but as anyone who’s read a bad theory inspired press release can tell you, the mystification of art often has to do with the fact that there is often no apparent relationship between what’s being talked about and the object itself. And honestly, what does this have to do with Work of Art, except for as some throw away line Howard offered up as something more responsible for art’s mystification than a show for millions on the subject? Frankly, it’s absurd to be arguing that point.

    The following Bruce High Quality essay may be of interest:

    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AUqOvGt6pvU9ZGcyaGdzeHhfMTIyZGd3eno5ZGQ&hl=en

    Jesse: You think Work of Art will further “mystify” the art world. Fine, but you haven’t seen the first episode, and even if you had, I don’t see why Howard’s position that art might reach more people with this show can’t be granted. It’s not like there’s only one representation of art that can be presented on a show like this with any kind of legitimacy.

    Tom: I disagree with your position on Jerry Saltz’s decision to be on the show. He’s not just titling a work, his role is like that of a teacher. This show isn’t without its problems, but comparing it to a Mark Kostabi panel is overstating the matter.

    Having said all this, it bears noting that in the one episode I’ve seen, the judges are the weakest aspect of the show. Not enough personality.

    Also: Bravo’s lack of subway ads. Good point, but I still think if it does even marginally well, it will be hard to kill it.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Paddy, you are doing a Herculean job to moderate these comments but one consequence of moderation-lag is that it makes two people appear to be working in concert – “bullying” – when they haven’t actually read each other’s comments. I’d rather not be referred to as “you guys,” much as I appreciate Jesse’s questioning spirit. I said nothing about theory being marginalized. Since Howard was ascribing theory-advocacy to me I was asking “which theory?” I’m not expecting anyone to read my blog but I always try to explain what theory I do appreciate as clearly as I can. If I’m dispensing or advocating mumbo jumbo – especially as a substitute or additive to art – I’d like to know what it is.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Paddy, you are doing a Herculean job to moderate these comments but one consequence of moderation-lag is that it makes two people appear to be working in concert – “bullying” – when they haven’t actually read each other’s comments. I’d rather not be referred to as “you guys,” much as I appreciate Jesse’s questioning spirit. I said nothing about theory being marginalized. Since Howard was ascribing theory-advocacy to me I was asking “which theory?” I’m not expecting anyone to read my blog but I always try to explain what theory I do appreciate as clearly as I can. If I’m dispensing or advocating mumbo jumbo – especially as a substitute or additive to art – I’d like to know what it is.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Paddy, you are doing a Herculean job to moderate these comments but one consequence of moderation-lag is that it makes two people appear to be working in concert – “bullying” – when they haven’t actually read each other’s comments. I’d rather not be referred to as “you guys,” much as I appreciate Jesse’s questioning spirit. I said nothing about theory being marginalized. Since Howard was ascribing theory-advocacy to me I was asking “which theory?” I’m not expecting anyone to read my blog but I always try to explain what theory I do appreciate as clearly as I can. If I’m dispensing or advocating mumbo jumbo – especially as a substitute or additive to art – I’d like to know what it is.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Why can’t someone value theory without being pegged as an elitist or a snob? I’ve given up trying to comprehend and/or “use” theory in any “approved fashion” for a while now. To assume that no one could be inspired by theoretical writing – and just because you’re tired of it, and have come to some bitter summation of its “function” – simply isn’t fair. And who says you can only be inspired by the new stuff? Every time I reread Foucault’s breakdown of the Panopticon or Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto,” I risk having my mind blown anew. But maybe I’m just more susceptible to mind-blows than you are. And I guess I’m supposed to be ashamed that I find “old” theory engaging (I can also get into Enya more than anyone I know; clearly I’m an aberration).

    My method for approaching most theory is to first treat it as intergalactic alien-speak. This takes the pressure off my having to “understand” it and makes reading it feel like an exploration instead of a chore. I’ve been hung up on Groys’ “weak images” thing lately, but I’ve also been dipping back into Benjamin’s “Arcades” fragments. I just ordered Marcuse’s “One Dimensional Man” because my partner’s former professor was horrified that none of her students had read it, and her genuine shock at our not having read it (or knowing who Herbert Marcuse is) convinced me that it’s worth reading. I could go on, but you’re probably not really interested in my reading habits (I also definitely don’t just read theory, because it can get mind-numbingly boring if you’re not in the right mindset).

    And those collectors you’re dining with sound like royal fucktards. Have you tried telling them that, rather than blaming it on (their crackpot butchering of) theory (they wrongheadedly gleaned from continuing ed. classes at NYU)?

    I definitely don’t think you’re “stupid,” but you are invoking the same patronizing, sarcastic, “everyman,” pseudo self-deprecatory thing that’s weirdly reminiscent of what Saltz pulled with me back on good ol’ Facebook.

    I’m a nerd. Cut me some slack.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Why can’t someone value theory without being pegged as an elitist or a snob? I’ve given up trying to comprehend and/or “use” theory in any “approved fashion” for a while now. To assume that no one could be inspired by theoretical writing – and just because you’re tired of it, and have come to some bitter summation of its “function” – simply isn’t fair. And who says you can only be inspired by the new stuff? Every time I reread Foucault’s breakdown of the Panopticon or Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto,” I risk having my mind blown anew. But maybe I’m just more susceptible to mind-blows than you are. And I guess I’m supposed to be ashamed that I find “old” theory engaging (I can also get into Enya more than anyone I know; clearly I’m an aberration).

    My method for approaching most theory is to first treat it as intergalactic alien-speak. This takes the pressure off my having to “understand” it and makes reading it feel like an exploration instead of a chore. I’ve been hung up on Groys’ “weak images” thing lately, but I’ve also been dipping back into Benjamin’s “Arcades” fragments. I just ordered Marcuse’s “One Dimensional Man” because my partner’s former professor was horrified that none of her students had read it, and her genuine shock at our not having read it (or knowing who Herbert Marcuse is) convinced me that it’s worth reading. I could go on, but you’re probably not really interested in my reading habits (I also definitely don’t just read theory, because it can get mind-numbingly boring if you’re not in the right mindset).

    And those collectors you’re dining with sound like royal fucktards. Have you tried telling them that, rather than blaming it on (their crackpot butchering of) theory (they wrongheadedly gleaned from continuing ed. classes at NYU)?

    I definitely don’t think you’re “stupid,” but you are invoking the same patronizing, sarcastic, “everyman,” pseudo self-deprecatory thing that’s weirdly reminiscent of what Saltz pulled with me back on good ol’ Facebook.

    I’m a nerd. Cut me some slack.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Why can’t someone value theory without being pegged as an elitist or a snob? I’ve given up trying to comprehend and/or “use” theory in any “approved fashion” for a while now. To assume that no one could be inspired by theoretical writing – and just because you’re tired of it, and have come to some bitter summation of its “function” – simply isn’t fair. And who says you can only be inspired by the new stuff? Every time I reread Foucault’s breakdown of the Panopticon or Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto,” I risk having my mind blown anew. But maybe I’m just more susceptible to mind-blows than you are. And I guess I’m supposed to be ashamed that I find “old” theory engaging (I can also get into Enya more than anyone I know; clearly I’m an aberration).

    My method for approaching most theory is to first treat it as intergalactic alien-speak. This takes the pressure off my having to “understand” it and makes reading it feel like an exploration instead of a chore. I’ve been hung up on Groys’ “weak images” thing lately, but I’ve also been dipping back into Benjamin’s “Arcades” fragments. I just ordered Marcuse’s “One Dimensional Man” because my partner’s former professor was horrified that none of her students had read it, and her genuine shock at our not having read it (or knowing who Herbert Marcuse is) convinced me that it’s worth reading. I could go on, but you’re probably not really interested in my reading habits (I also definitely don’t just read theory, because it can get mind-numbingly boring if you’re not in the right mindset).

    And those collectors you’re dining with sound like royal fucktards. Have you tried telling them that, rather than blaming it on (their crackpot butchering of) theory (they wrongheadedly gleaned from continuing ed. classes at NYU)?

    I definitely don’t think you’re “stupid,” but you are invoking the same patronizing, sarcastic, “everyman,” pseudo self-deprecatory thing that’s weirdly reminiscent of what Saltz pulled with me back on good ol’ Facebook.

    I’m a nerd. Cut me some slack.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Fair enough. I would argue though that liking Ben Davis’s essay isn’t proof that what Howard says about mumbo-jumbo is inconsistent with his thoughts here. Even if you didn’t agree with the essay you at least have to grant that it was decipherable. Mumbo jumbo, by its very name indicates that anything that falls under its hood is not.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Fair enough. I would argue though that liking Ben Davis’s essay isn’t proof that what Howard says about mumbo-jumbo is inconsistent with his thoughts here. Even if you didn’t agree with the essay you at least have to grant that it was decipherable. Mumbo jumbo, by its very name indicates that anything that falls under its hood is not.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Fair enough. I would argue though that liking Ben Davis’s essay isn’t proof that what Howard says about mumbo-jumbo is inconsistent with his thoughts here. Even if you didn’t agree with the essay you at least have to grant that it was decipherable. Mumbo jumbo, by its very name indicates that anything that falls under its hood is not.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    The Davis essay is one thing I know Howard supports. I was asking what he doesn’t support, and yes, getting in another whack at Davis–I don’t agree that terms like “semi-post-postmodernism” help anybody.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    The Davis essay is one thing I know Howard supports. I was asking what he doesn’t support, and yes, getting in another whack at Davis–I don’t agree that terms like “semi-post-postmodernism” help anybody.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    The Davis essay is one thing I know Howard supports. I was asking what he doesn’t support, and yes, getting in another whack at Davis–I don’t agree that terms like “semi-post-postmodernism” help anybody.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    uurk, "than mixing 5 parts Guston…" not "that"

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    uurk, "than mixing 5 parts Guston…" not "that"

  • Howard Halle

    Look, I admit that I got into screed-mode above; I understand that art——and we are talking about Western art tradition here——depends on rules, and always has. The rules are there precisely to be rebelled against or elaborated upon in some way that makes them seem renewed. Every great artist does this, and it’s true that the average person looking at a Poussin or a Cezanne doesn’t get that. But they don’t need to, of course, because every great artist can do at least two things at once: Play the rules game, and reach beyond them. Something for the nerds, something for everyone else.

    But there are times, historical junctures, when all art can seem to do is play the rules game, necessitating someone pushing the reset button. I believe we’re at such a juncture now. I also believe however, that the historical conditions as they exist preclude that possibility for a very long time.

    Why? Because I think were a period of civilizational stability kind of like where the Roman Empire was during the period spanning the First Centuries B.C.E and C.E. Now that sounds crazy I know, given everything that’s going down: Global warming, the economy, you name it. But I think the power structure as it exists——an amalgam of global corporatist interests protected by various governments, including, in a final stoke of irony, The People’s Republic of China——is strong enough to withstand such stresses, and continue to thrive. I mean, seriously, who are the Barbarians in this case? The Jihadists? They’re good at killing people and blowing up shit on T.V., but they don’t pose an existential threat to the current power structure and never have.

    What I liked about Davis’s essay——and I believe I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again——is that he linked the efforts to get past the label “postmodern” in the sphere of theory with these political and economic realities, which, as he correctly points out are products of postmodernism. I think what he’s saying is that the likes of Hal Foster and Rosalind Krauss are embarrassed by what postmodernism has come to represent, as well they should be. Unsurprisingly, they’d like to change the subject, and Davis, I think quite effectively calls bullshit on them.

    Anyway, I don’t consider myself an anti-elitist; after all I’m an art critic, and while I share with Jerry, perhaps, the Midwesterner’s self-delusion that I “work” for a living, I know that as art critic (because I do other things for my employer) I really don’t. I mean, being shouted at by an asshat at a fancy dinner party doesn’t constitute work, or being a populist.

    Nevertheless, I’m very frustrated by the situation as I see it. If there was really great art emerging today, it wouldn’t matter (I mean it would, but I could overlook the larger issues): but it’s not because, I believe, the cultural conditions won’t allow it. If that all changed tomorrow, I’d be a happy camper. But I don’t see it happening.

  • Howard Halle

    Look, I admit that I got into screed-mode above; I understand that art——and we are talking about Western art tradition here——depends on rules, and always has. The rules are there precisely to be rebelled against or elaborated upon in some way that makes them seem renewed. Every great artist does this, and it’s true that the average person looking at a Poussin or a Cezanne doesn’t get that. But they don’t need to, of course, because every great artist can do at least two things at once: Play the rules game, and reach beyond them. Something for the nerds, something for everyone else.

    But there are times, historical junctures, when all art can seem to do is play the rules game, necessitating someone pushing the reset button. I believe we’re at such a juncture now. I also believe however, that the historical conditions as they exist preclude that possibility for a very long time.

    Why? Because I think were a period of civilizational stability kind of like where the Roman Empire was during the period spanning the First Centuries B.C.E and C.E. Now that sounds crazy I know, given everything that’s going down: Global warming, the economy, you name it. But I think the power structure as it exists——an amalgam of global corporatist interests protected by various governments, including, in a final stoke of irony, The People’s Republic of China——is strong enough to withstand such stresses, and continue to thrive. I mean, seriously, who are the Barbarians in this case? The Jihadists? They’re good at killing people and blowing up shit on T.V., but they don’t pose an existential threat to the current power structure and never have.

    What I liked about Davis’s essay——and I believe I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again——is that he linked the efforts to get past the label “postmodern” in the sphere of theory with these political and economic realities, which, as he correctly points out are products of postmodernism. I think what he’s saying is that the likes of Hal Foster and Rosalind Krauss are embarrassed by what postmodernism has come to represent, as well they should be. Unsurprisingly, they’d like to change the subject, and Davis, I think quite effectively calls bullshit on them.

    Anyway, I don’t consider myself an anti-elitist; after all I’m an art critic, and while I share with Jerry, perhaps, the Midwesterner’s self-delusion that I “work” for a living, I know that as art critic (because I do other things for my employer) I really don’t. I mean, being shouted at by an asshat at a fancy dinner party doesn’t constitute work, or being a populist.

    Nevertheless, I’m very frustrated by the situation as I see it. If there was really great art emerging today, it wouldn’t matter (I mean it would, but I could overlook the larger issues): but it’s not because, I believe, the cultural conditions won’t allow it. If that all changed tomorrow, I’d be a happy camper. But I don’t see it happening.

  • Howard Halle

    Look, I admit that I got into screed-mode above; I understand that art——and we are talking about Western art tradition here——depends on rules, and always has. The rules are there precisely to be rebelled against or elaborated upon in some way that makes them seem renewed. Every great artist does this, and it’s true that the average person looking at a Poussin or a Cezanne doesn’t get that. But they don’t need to, of course, because every great artist can do at least two things at once: Play the rules game, and reach beyond them. Something for the nerds, something for everyone else.

    But there are times, historical junctures, when all art can seem to do is play the rules game, necessitating someone pushing the reset button. I believe we’re at such a juncture now. I also believe however, that the historical conditions as they exist preclude that possibility for a very long time.

    Why? Because I think were a period of civilizational stability kind of like where the Roman Empire was during the period spanning the First Centuries B.C.E and C.E. Now that sounds crazy I know, given everything that’s going down: Global warming, the economy, you name it. But I think the power structure as it exists——an amalgam of global corporatist interests protected by various governments, including, in a final stoke of irony, The People’s Republic of China——is strong enough to withstand such stresses, and continue to thrive. I mean, seriously, who are the Barbarians in this case? The Jihadists? They’re good at killing people and blowing up shit on T.V., but they don’t pose an existential threat to the current power structure and never have.

    What I liked about Davis’s essay——and I believe I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again——is that he linked the efforts to get past the label “postmodern” in the sphere of theory with these political and economic realities, which, as he correctly points out are products of postmodernism. I think what he’s saying is that the likes of Hal Foster and Rosalind Krauss are embarrassed by what postmodernism has come to represent, as well they should be. Unsurprisingly, they’d like to change the subject, and Davis, I think quite effectively calls bullshit on them.

    Anyway, I don’t consider myself an anti-elitist; after all I’m an art critic, and while I share with Jerry, perhaps, the Midwesterner’s self-delusion that I “work” for a living, I know that as art critic (because I do other things for my employer) I really don’t. I mean, being shouted at by an asshat at a fancy dinner party doesn’t constitute work, or being a populist.

    Nevertheless, I’m very frustrated by the situation as I see it. If there was really great art emerging today, it wouldn’t matter (I mean it would, but I could overlook the larger issues): but it’s not because, I believe, the cultural conditions won’t allow it. If that all changed tomorrow, I’d be a happy camper. But I don’t see it happening.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Since my attempts at description of web-practice fall on (Howard’s) unhearing ears, I’ll say I’m very excited by work in galleries with the same recombinant spirit, which could include old hands Rachel Harrison, Rebecca Quaytman, and Albert Oehlen and relative newcomers such as (looking back through recent blog entries) Tomory Dodge, Brenna Murphy, Wade Guyton’s black paintings… This is a time of flux, not stasis. We should be studying that instead of pining for individual “greatness.” Although Boris Groys is a cynic at heart (I believe), I like what he says about contracting time and artists transcending it through (ironically) “weak” repetitive gestures. This happens in the galleries as well as online. As he says, a weak sign is not a sign of weakness. Not sure any of this could be discussed (sexed up) on TV; it’s an understated premise but one I’m stoked about.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Since my attempts at description of web-practice fall on (Howard’s) unhearing ears, I’ll say I’m very excited by work in galleries with the same recombinant spirit, which could include old hands Rachel Harrison, Rebecca Quaytman, and Albert Oehlen and relative newcomers such as (looking back through recent blog entries) Tomory Dodge, Brenna Murphy, Wade Guyton’s black paintings… This is a time of flux, not stasis. We should be studying that instead of pining for individual “greatness.” Although Boris Groys is a cynic at heart (I believe), I like what he says about contracting time and artists transcending it through (ironically) “weak” repetitive gestures. This happens in the galleries as well as online. As he says, a weak sign is not a sign of weakness. Not sure any of this could be discussed (sexed up) on TV; it’s an understated premise but one I’m stoked about.

  • Howard Halle

    @Tom Moody. But somehow Amy Sillman is not “recombinant” enough for your taste. Where do you draw the line between recombinant and pasticheur?

  • Howard Halle

    @Tom Moody. But somehow Amy Sillman is not “recombinant” enough for your taste. Where do you draw the line between recombinant and pasticheur?

  • Howard Halle

    @Tom Moody. But somehow Amy Sillman is not “recombinant” enough for your taste. Where do you draw the line between recombinant and pasticheur?

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Great question. Wade Guyton, for example, is taking a reference like the Stella black paintings and asking what they would look like if made by a machine that didn’t exist in Stella’s time (EPSON printer) and taking it a step further to see what happens when the machine malfunctions (print heads clog and you get “stripes”). RH Quaytman folds the discourse of the photomechanical and “white cube” (how paintings sit in a room) into objects with carefully worked out combinations and cross-references. Plus both Guyton and Quaytman make tasty paintings. Forgetting Sillman’s CD and zine for the moment (please) she has nothing more recombinant on her mind than mixing 5 parts Guston, 2 of Diebenkorn, and some Matta image layering. And her paintings just kind of sit there. I was talking about work that excites me, not work that doesn’t.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Great question. Wade Guyton, for example, is taking a reference like the Stella black paintings and asking what they would look like if made by a machine that didn’t exist in Stella’s time (EPSON printer) and taking it a step further to see what happens when the machine malfunctions (print heads clog and you get “stripes”). RH Quaytman folds the discourse of the photomechanical and “white cube” (how paintings sit in a room) into objects with carefully worked out combinations and cross-references. Plus both Guyton and Quaytman make tasty paintings. Forgetting Sillman’s CD and zine for the moment (please) she has nothing more recombinant on her mind than mixing 5 parts Guston, 2 of Diebenkorn, and some Matta image layering. And her paintings just kind of sit there. I was talking about work that excites me, not work that doesn’t.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I would say more but I had to sign a confidentiality agreement.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I would say more but I had to sign a confidentiality agreement.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    I would say more but I had to sign a confidentiality agreement.

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    “Work of Art” & Marina Abramovic make a great case for how artists should just shut-up and let the media do the talking. Remember when silence used to equal death?

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    “Work of Art” & Marina Abramovic make a great case for how artists should just shut-up and let the media do the talking. Remember when silence used to equal death?

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    “Work of Art” & Marina Abramovic make a great case for how artists should just shut-up and let the media do the talking. Remember when silence used to equal death?

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    “Work of Art” & Marina Abramovic make a great case for how artists should just shut-up and let the media do the talking. Remember when silence used to equal death?

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