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Jerry Saltz: My Life As a Failed Artist

April 19, 2017

Jerry Saltz

I really enjoyed reading this article by art critic  Jerry Saltz about Jerry Saltz the artist.  For me, the best part was after he discovered three portfolios of early drawings and brought his wife, the art critic Roberta Smith, in to see them: Soon, I went to get Roberta. I told her the news and asked her to come see. She came into my office and started looking. For a long time. Longer than I had. One by one. Studying, not saying a word. After a while she turned to me and said, “They’re okay.” Stricken, I said, “Okay?! What do you mean ‘okay’? I think they’re beautiful. Aren’t they great?” She turned back to the drawings, looked a little longer, and finally said, “They’re generic. And impersonal. No one would know what these are about. And what’s with the triangles? Are they supposed to be women?” I shot back, “No! They’re Hell!” She talked about how many artists “never get better than their first work.” And just like that, I was right back to where I was when I quit: crushed, in crisis, frozen, panicky.

Jerry should not lose hope … while, according to Roberta Smith, he may not be a great artist, countless people enjoy his writings and daily posts.

Source: Jerry Saltz: My Life As a Failed Artist