December 23, 2008

Schjeldahl hurts David Bonetti's feelings

St. Louis Post-Dispatch art critic David Bonetti has just finished reading Seven Days in the Art World, and he isn't happy. "Rodney Dangerfield ain’t got nothin on me. I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me. At least that’s what The New Yorker’s art critic Peter Schjeldahl implies. In discussing the role of art criticism with Sarah Thornton for her dishy but well-researched and well-written book, he said, 'You’re not going to get a good art critic in St. Louis.' Imagine me - an art critic in St. Louis - reading Thornton’s account of art world people and events with great enjoyment and then coming upon that bombshell! (On page 157, if you want to check it out.) Didn’t Schjeldahl know that it’s usually my job to put down what passes as the art world in the Lou? He usurpt my role and he didn’t even give me any credit! Okay, I know he was most likely using St. Louis as an example of fly-over cities and he didn’t specifically mean St. Louis, i.e. me. But why couldn’t he have chosen Atlanta or Milwaukee and let the art critics in those cities, if there are any, have that weird experience of being insulted synecdochically in a book they were reading?" Read more.

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