Did you miss NCECA? Or maybe you were at NCECA, but missed New York Magazine senior art critic Jerry Saltz’s charismatic keynote speech? Well its your lucky day! The speech is now available in our library! If you are already a member, watch the speech, or begin your 30-day free trial of cfile.campus.
Speaking for the first time to a giant auditorium of ceramists, Saltz implores:
“All of you are called to make your work. I would tell all artists not to be artists. Don’t be an artist… unless you really really really really really have to be. Because you’re going to spend a real lot of time alone — ungodly amounts of time alone until you love it in a diseased way. Right now we’re out here with each other in public, but we’re barely functioning!
Jasper Johns says an incredible thing. You do everything you can do until you are helpless to do the thing that you have to do.”
And later, on artists who call themselves “ceramists”:
Here’s my only advice…don’t call yourself a ceramist. I know, this is where the talk goes south. Jerry tanked. You know what I call you: artists. You’re sculptors you assholes! In other schools and other conferences, a painter that uses fabric doesn’t say ‘I’m a a macreme-ist, motherfuckers.’
I mean lets get our priorities straight! Don’t define yourself only by medium. You can’t stop the painters… fuck them.”
Saltz has been the senior art critic for New York Magazine since 2007. Previously, he was senior art critic for the Village Voice. He is a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism and has published two volumes of criticism. The 2007 winner of the Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism from the College Art Association, he has lectured widely including at Harvard, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has taught at Columbia University, Yale, Rhode Island School of Design, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, among many others.
Among younger generations, Saltz is known for his bawdy and much loved Instagram presence, wherein he posts erotic painting and political commentary. Saltz is married to New York Times art critic Roberta Smith.