Jerry Comes Alive!Published 27 December 2018
For this special live recording from Washington, D.C., we were invited to interview Jerry Saltz, the senior art critic at New York magazine, in front of an audience as part of the “Critics in Conversation” talks program organized by the Hirshhorn National Museum of Modern Art.
Jerry has previously appeared as a guest on In Other Words—an intimate and introspective conversation in which he talked to our host Charlotte Burns about his life and work. He brought a different energy to this live recording, bouncing from topics as varied as politics to Led Zeppelin to Medieval art—and back again.
Saltz—who won a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year for his article “My Life As A Failed Artist”—talks about how he “wanted to change the structure of criticism, which felt exclusive to me. I couldn’t get in. I didn’t go to the right schools”, and dispenses advice for writers, artists and art-lovers alike: “First of all believe and trust yourself, for God’s sake! For two minutes! Is that so hard? Put down the urge to be smart. Put down the urge to be right.”
Click here for the full transcript
Charlotte Burns: Hello and welcome to In Other Words, where we cover everything you ever wanted to know about the art world but didn’t know who to ask.
I’m your host, Charlotte Burns, and today’s show is a special live recording from Washington, D.C. Last month, we were invited to interview Jerry Saltz, the senior art critic at New York magazine, in front of an audience as part of the “Critics in Conversation” talks program organized by the Hirshhorn National Museum of Modern Art.
Jerry Saltz: There’s a couple of things you need to do first of all believe and trust yourself, for God’s sake! For two minutes! Is that so hard? Put down the urge to be smart. Put down the urge to be right.
I wanted to change, for me, the structure of criticism that felt exclusive to me. I couldn’t get in. I didn’t go to the right schools. Most of you didn’t.
Jerry has been on our podcast before, which was one of our most popular episodes ever. Jerry was considerate and thoughtful in the kind of intimate environment that is a podcast. This was a live audience, and Jerry turned on the magic—and I just tried to keep up.
senior art critic and columnist, New York magazine
Jerry Saltz has been New York magazine’s senior art critic and columnist since 2006. Previously, Saltz was the senior art critic for The Village Voice. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism three times, has been a visiting critic at major universities and has contributed to Art in America, Flash Art International, Frieze and Modern Painters.
Saltz uses social media platforms to communicate with a more general audience than the readers of his art criticism, discussing issues beyond art such as personal matters and the political climate. He has also served as a judge in the Bravo television series Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.
Saltz has published two books, Seeing Out Loud: The Village Voice Art Columns (2003, reprinted 2007) and Seeing Out Louder (2009).
executive editor of In Other Words
Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.
Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.
The live record
Photos from the live event "Critics in Conversation" at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden