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.”
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.”
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.)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.)
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.