Jerry Saltz wins National Magazine Award for How to Be an Artist
JERRY SALTZ HOW TO BE AN ARTIST
November 27, 2018
Sharing this incredible article by art critic Jerry Saltz for New York Magazine. I highly recommend you read entirely if you are interested in being an artist or more artful in your every day.
How to Be an Artist
33 rules to take you from clueless amateur to generational talent (or at least help you live life a little more creatively).
By Jerry Saltz
Art is for anyone. It’s just not for everyone. I know this viscerally, as a would-be artist who burned out. I wrote about that last year, and ever since, I’ve been beset — every lecture I give, every gallery I pop my head into, somebody is asking me for advice. What they’re really asking is “How can I be an artist?”
When, last month, Banksy jerry-rigged a frame to shred a painting just when it was auctioned, I could almost hear the whispers: “Is that art?” This fall, the biggest museum event in New York is the Whitney’s retrospective of Andy Warhol — the paradigmatic self-made, make-anything-art-and-yourself-famous artist. Today, we are all Andy’s children, especially in the age of Instagram, which has trained everyone to think visually and to look at our regular lives as fodder for aesthetic output.
How do you get from there to making real art, great art? There’s no special way; everyone has their own path. Yet, over the years, I’ve found myself giving the same bits of advice. Most of them were simply gleaned from looking at art, then looking some more. Others from listening to artists talk about their work and their struggles. (Everyone’s a narcissist.) I’ve even stolen a couple from my wife.
There are 33 rules — and they really are all you need to know to make a life for yourself in art. Or 34, if you count “Always be nice, generous, and open with others and take good care of your teeth.” And No. 35: “Fake it till you make it.”
Image: Jerry Saltz, New York’s art critic, as Salvador Dalí, based on a photograph by Philippe Halsman. Photo: Photo by Marvin Orellana. Photo Illustration by Joe Darrow. Excerpt from New York Magazine