Monday, June 16, 2014

Jerry Replies

Perhaps some of you were wondering what happened with Jerry Saltz after that post. He replied.

Dear Daniel Maidman;

Thank you for sending me your “Dear Jerry; Notes on Life Drawing.”

Thank you for giving my few-lines of Facebook comment so much serious thought. I am touched. And not surprised knowing you the way I do. I respect your seriousness and diligence about art.

You write that I have “an enormous framework of doctrines within which (your) work makes sense.”
I suppose so; I love art. I don’t love your drawings. (Just as you have made clear on numerous occasions that you don't like what I have have written about artists.)

I’m sure your whole diagram about “art drive” and “sex drive” and “prior erotic force” makes sense as a theory to you. I found it tedious. Whatever theory works for you is good by me. (Probably if I had to reduce mine to a formula like that it would make no sense to anyone.)

You use the painter Jenny Morgan in your argument about your work.
I like her work very much; I have since she was a Graduate Student at SVA. I see nothing whatsoever in common between your work and hers. (Less now that you have written about your work.)

You write that me not liking your work is “a failure in” me. I have many failings; my failings “contain multitudes.”

You write and I subjected your work to “categorical dismissal.”
It may have seemed that way to you in the comment I quickly wrote on your fb. But I love a lot of highly-skilled academic figuration and “life Drawing.” Contemporary and otherwise. Of course.

I’m just not that into your work.
If you deem that as a failure on my part, fine by me. Your work leaves me cold and strikes me as typical life-drawing with nothing else to recommend it. If that’s my fault, fine.

You write that I should “transcend” my taste.
Art makes me do that every day.
Just not your art. (And I have given it years; this isn’t a “kneejerk” “categorical” dismissal.” I’d like to think that I’m at least more giving than that.)

You write that I should “drive my taste beyond my inclinations.”
Art makes me do that every day. Every day. You can’t believe the sort of art that I like that horrifies me that I like. (How do you think that I felt when I thought about George Bush’s self-portrait in the shower or bathtub “I’d buy those at a yard sale”?)

You write that your “way of making art is not a threat” to me.
Of course it isn’t. Ways of making art don’t threaten.

You write that you are not my “enemy.”
I am not yours, either.

You write that you want to teach me to draw the way you draw. (You mention that it is great as a heterosexual man to be around these naked women.)
That is a very very generous, sweet offer, Daniel. I am genuinely touched. Really.
Alas, you are right in saying, however, that I would respond by saying that I have no time. I don’t. Weekly critics only wish they had that kind of time.

Finally, Daniel, if I did have time to take you up on this extraordinary offer (especially considering the level of skill which I still think that you are mastering and have mastered), I would not want to learn to draw the way that you draw. I would not want to learn the ways that you translate the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional one; the ways that you consider space and perspective and possess and surface or color or line. And more.

Again, I love a lot of academic figuration and so-called “life-drawing.” Just not yours, is all. (And I’ve given it a lot of time.)

Thank you again for taking the time and thought to write your statement. I saw that a large community of like-minded artists felt rallied to your call. I love that. I love people who use their energy that way rather than simply criticizing how others use their energies.

Now we both really have to get back to our real work. Thank you so much again.

Jerry Saltz

1 comment:

  1. Well, what kind of "academic" drawing does he like then? I assumed from your post that this is yet another "critic" that doesn't like representational or any kind of art without an "angle" or shtick.