There's an adage where I come from that "free advice is worth every penny you paid for it," but I'm willing to accept that may not always be the case. As you may have read already, New York art critic Jerry Saltz has launched an online advice column at the magazine's Culture Vulture blog. Stemming from the same desire to experiment with criticism that led him to appear as a judge on the reality TV show Work of Art, Mr. Saltz is now opening up the dialog to even those who didn't make the casting call cut:
Work of Art is over (for now), but Saltz will continue his experiment in public criticism with a new column for nymag.com called Ask an Art Critic. Have a question about art, art careers, art dealers, art prices, why critics write about artists, how critics are edited, what makes a good dealer, a bad dealer, how to get back at snarky critics, how to behave around critics, what’s up with reality TV, or what makes a curator good, bad, or worse? Ask Saltz anything, and in return expect: tough love, his two cents, advice, admonitions, suggestions, information, misinformation, good guesses, opinions, warnings, and more to get irked about. Send questions to ArtCritic@nymag.com. Keep them clear, simple, and preferably short (75 words or less). All selected questions will be subject to editing. Signed questions are preferable, but all will be considered. Go ahead. Take your best shot. Ask an art critic.Obviously missing the instructions that all questions should be sent to the email address ArtCritic@nymag.com, a few folks immediately took Mr. Saltz up on his offer in the comment threads of the various places the new column was announced. Over on nymag.com, a commenter asked the kind of question I think could make the column a very helpful resource:
What do you think helps an artist's career more: selling to a notable collector, or being collected by a major museum? Are these two different paths?Over on the thread (including a charming interview with Jerry) on artinfo.com, however, a reader's question suggested Mr. Saltz has his self-assigned work cut out for him:
I’m curious to know how art critics view photography as ‘art’. Does a straight photo of say, a flower, constitute ‘art’ or must it be significantly altered i.e ‘digitalised’ given the ‘digital era’ we now live in.Ahh, the public.