On Monday, Cara Ober attended a Jerry Saltz lecture at MICA , and has posted the highlights at Bmoreart. “More like an episode of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ than a lecture on art criticism, Saltz tormented and tickled the MICA crowd with a wicked glee, mocking art students good-naturedly and, ultimately, encouraging the hell out of everyone who attended….Jerry Saltz is sick of art criticism that likes everything. ‘It’s my job to say what I think is good and what I think is bad. I can’t make or break your career. I can shine a light on it, but that’s it.’ Then he posed a situation to the crowd, probably something he deals with all the time. ‘What happens if I write about you and I am negative to your work? And then we meet at a party and someone introduces us. What do you do now??’ He described an irate artist yelling at him that he was ‘destroying their market!’ and another who simply hissed ‘vendetta’ into his ear. I actually thought this was the most interesting part of the lecture, because it’s an unavoidable situation – both for artists and for critics. One artist raised her hand and said she’d be cordial and then invite him to her studio. Saltz said that was a good move. Another artist said they’d make polite conversation, which was, apparently, another good move. ‘What you DON’T want is to make it so I can never write about you again, so just make me feel a little bit guilty and awkward,’ he encouraged.”
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