Search the whole artnet database
Subscribe to our RSS feed:

RSS Feed Button








Honoré Daumier
The Critics
1862
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  

SEEING OUT LOUD
by Jerry Saltz


This month is my seven-year anniversary at the Village Voice, so I thought I'd use Frieze magazine's recent queries to me about the "de-skilling of art criticism" and "our post-critical era" as a way to write about what I think I'm trying to do here. First, I fretted I was the kind of "de-skilled" critic Frieze was referring to. I have no degrees. I started out as an artist, stopped painting, and became a long-distance truck driver. My CB handle was "the Jewish Cowboy": Shalom, partner. I didn't begin writing criticism until I was almost 40. All I knew was I loved art and had to be in the art world. The truth is, I wasn't sure what Frieze meant by "de-skilled." It sounded vaguely bad. But to me de-skilled means unlearning other people's ideas of skill. All great contemporary artists, schooled or not, are essentially self-taught and are de-skilling like crazy. I don't look for skill in art; I look for originality, surprise, obsession, energy, experimentation, something visionary, and a willingness to embarrass oneself in public. Skill has nothing to do with technical proficiency; it has to do with being flexible and creative. I'm interested in people who rethink skill, who redefine or reimagine it: an engineer, say, who builds rockets from rocks.

...more






artnet—The Art World Online. ©2014 Artnet Worldwide Corporation. All rights reserved. artnet® is a registered trademark of Artnet Worldwide Corporation, New York, NY, USA.