How to Navigate an Art Fair With Jerry Saltz

How to Navigate an Art Fair With Jerry Saltz


Art is an expression that you can either relate to or not. Give me one of these. That’s it. That’s the only way we’re going to get through. Who is that? That’s Swizz Beatz?! Jesus look there’s a whole boat load of people here. No I was in line. You’re always in line. I’m always in line. Hi, I’m Jerry Saltz, the senior art critic for New York magazine and we are going to teach you how to navigate an art fair. No. Am I in yours? That was mean. You were being mean. A little bit. If you’re insecure about navigating any art fair, don’t be. If you walk down the center of an art fair, I promise you you’re going to hit really big whales of galleries. Here we are at Larry Gagosian who only has 22 galleries around the world. The sun never sets on Gagosian. Is he the biggest gallery? Probably. Let’s see what he did for this art fair. These are the drawings of John Kern. An artist who emerged in the 1990s. Women comparing bras, women is this. Fighting, cat fights, unicorns with phalli. These would be studies for paintings. Come on let’s keep looking. Oh shit…no it’s okay. Sometimes you will walk into a booth and you may not know what you’re seeing. I’m not sure what I’m seeing but there may be a theme of the exhibition. In this case, White Cube, one of the biggest galleries in the world based in London, looks like every single thing in this show has been about recycling. You have items that have been found and put in a case. A painting made of fire hoses. Again I’m not asking you to like it. Some people wonder how do I identify the serious from the non serious? I want you to believe me. Any artist you see in this art fair is a real artist. You may not like the artist, so put that cynical question aside. Should I tell him his former job? Directed porn films. True? Yeah. And he’s a great collector. Jesus. What a life people have had. Dustin Yellin is a very famous artist and what are you doing here? What am I doing here? I got kidnapped. I was in my studio and they took me to eat some spaghetti and then they said, “You stay in the car”. And they brought me over here. I don;t know what you’re talking about. Do you have any art here in the fair? I don’t like art fairs they make me physically ill. Except that I got to see you and kiss you and love you. I’m a little nervous. I don’t know what that is. What is that? Don’t touch anything, okay? Leave it to me. Jerry Saltz. I touch everything. I shouldn’t. It’s a way that I see. You’re not supposed to touch it. If I touched it. But it’s made of ceramic it could break, right? Well if you keep touching it, probably. Oops, sorry. Some people wonder, can I haggle? Look, this stuff is kind of expensive. And how much are these? Fifteen thousand euros. It’s about sixteen thousand dollars. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. You’re gonna have a heart attack, I know. So you might just be upfront and go, “can you give me 10% off?” If you say something like “can you give me half off” you’re not a serious art collector, which is fine. I don’t collect art, but I promise you you’re going to have trouble if you do that. So be chill will ya? Now we’ve made it all the way to the other end of the art fair. You’ve seen artists for ten million dollars, you’ve seen art that costs almost nothing, you’ve seen artists that are heard of, and artists some that you’ll never hear of again. Most of the people you’ve met might seem odd but so do you to them, and so do I to you. The best advice is stay open. Don’t be afraid or intimidated and again let your eye be your guide. You’re smarter than you think. No one knows what the best art is. No one has ever known that. So come on in and enjoy! Thanks a lot from New York Magazine. Bye! I’m going to get some free food. Are you getting on my TV show? Oh my god.

25 thoughts on “How to Navigate an Art Fair With Jerry Saltz

  1. Your sense of humour is an absolute pleasure. I have seen two of your videos now and enjoyed them sooooo much. I was trying to learn more about what is a critique, because I think I do it very differently when I do What I call Practical Art Analysis. My videos are not as fun as yours. I am trying to help artists to see what effect the ingredients choices they make are having on the total recipe of their art. What the range and proportion of the ingredients are doing when used in combination with other ingredients. How every ingredient effects every other so when you try to alter your choices you can get improvement or detriment or sometimes just a trade-off in the quality of the art piece. If the artist is working toward what makes an image or art piece stronger and more memorable strictly from what is visually there then I can help them achieve that. Why is one image more exciting than another. I work to leave personal taste out of the analysis and I do make many alternative suggestions that they could now or in the future make to get a stronger more memorable result. I have found when an artist uses too many ingredients just like a food recipe you lose the strength of each of the ingredients and it gets confusing and messy so they might try limiting how many ingredients or keep 1-3 ingredients as the larger portion of the work and then add small amounts of other ingredients for added spice or flavour. If there is no main area or areas of interest you move towards the boring end of the exciting – boring range. If you are interested in understanding my method The Roz Method taken from my book "The Art Advantage" I am Roslynn Eve and I have 15 videos currently. When you talk about the solitude of artists I can soooo relate to that as I tend to be mostly a hermit. I believe I have created a masterpiece many times, sometimes for a whole month sometimes for five minutes before I want to improve this or that. Thank you for sharing your video.

  2. I love art shows Been a full time artist for 40 years, I was visiting Seattle and someone said there is an art show near here is that something you might like to see I said" get in the car" Thank you that was fun Alex

  3. You're not helping me navigate; I'm just watching you wander. Artists in art fairs may be "real artists" but that doesn't make all the art "good". Artists make "art fair art".

  4. I haven't watched yet but am hoping his navigational advice is to land some of the art hotties I see in these videos.

  5. OMG I love this guy! He gives great advice on how to enjoy looking at art.
    And he has the most important ingredients, curiosity, respect, irreverence, love and a sense of humor.

  6. thought you were going to suggest how people could navigate an art fair not talk patronising shit about not being afraid!!! that was 5 minutes of my life wasted…

  7. This is so great. Makes me think, maybe I WILL actually go to an art fair. I'm an artist and I exhibit, but art fairs make me so nervous, they seem to combine sterility and crowds with art. Ugh. But seeing Jerry talking about it makes me think I can do it.

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