12 Awkward Things Artists Have Said to Art Critics;Autumn Artfest 2015 application

Art critic Clement Greenberg with artist pals Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, and Lee Krasner. Photo: Tumblr.

It’s no secret that the relationship between artists and the critics who opine on their work can be fraught with tension. Though many artists insist that they don’t care what critics say or write about them, they must care a little. Presumably no one enjoys seeing their work misinterpreted or trashed.

While some artists deal with it better than others—on occasion even befriending their critics—many of contemporary art’s biggest names have made buffoons of themselves trying to zing a critic. From Richard Prince to Jeff Koons, here are some of the most awkward things that have been said to and about art critics. We only hope to one day be so lucky as to be similarly acknowledged.

Richard Prince Photo: Patrick McMullan

1. Jeff Koons to an unnamed critic (overheard by Jerry Saltz): “You don’t get it, man. I’m a fucking genius.”

2. Marina Abramovic to Spike Magazine: “Then [Jay Z] just completely used me. And that wasn’t fair…. I was really naive in this kind of world. It was really new to me, and I had no idea that this would happen. It’s so cruel, it’s incredible.”

3. Oscar Murillo to Jerry Saltz regarding widespread criticism of “A Mercantile Novel”: “This is where my practice is now.”

Art critic Jerry Saltz. Photo: J Grassi/Patrick McMullan.

4. Richard Prince to Vanity Fair: “You couldn’t speculate about [the “Joke” paintings]. So much of art depends on the critic as the umpire. With a joke there’s nothing to interpret.”

5. Salvador Dalí to Brian Sewell while photographing him naked: It might be better if you took your clothes off.”

6. Jack Vettriano to The Radio Times: “The person who [rejected The Singing Butler for display at the Royal Academy] ought to go and live in a cave somewhere. That painting has since sold over 10 million copies. How could somebody get something so wrong?”

Jack Vettriano, The Singing Butler (1992). Photo: Wikipedia.

7. Marcel Duchamp to James Johnson Sweeney: “Repeat the same thing long enough and it becomes taste.”

8. Lawrence Weiner to Adam O’Reilly: “I don’t want to fuck up anyone’s life on their way to work. I want to fuck up their whole life.”

9. Ed Ruscha to Dave Hickey, on what artists respect about other artists: “It’s not the quality of the work, it’s the quality of the job.”

Loris Gréaud. Photo: Inhale Mag.

10. Loris Gréaud to Lauren Smart: “I really invite you…study a bit litterature, study A LOT art history and art after the 20 century (you’ll be amaze) obiviousely ill higly recommand during this 4 years studies: a boyfriend with at least 400mg Anadrol a day… and I swear you’ll make it [sic].”

11. Andy Warhol to Calvin Tompkins: “Do you have a big cock?”



Applications are now being accepted for entry into the 19th annual Autumn Artfest, a fine arts exhibition to be presented Sept. 14-25 by the Live Oak Artists Guild in partnership with the Suwannee River Regional Library. This captivating showcase usually garners around 100 submissions from 30 to 50 Suwannee Valley artists, attracting over 1,000 adults and schoolchildren to the Live Oak Public Library every fall.

“The Live Oak Artists Guild wants to promote fine art in our community and show people what great artists we have in our area and what fine art is,” said four-year Autumn Artfest Chairperson Suzanne Marcil. “It’s an opportunity to educate people about art and show them what’s going on in our community.”

Live Oak Artists Guild members and non-members aged 18 years and older are welcome to submit up to two pieces of art to the Autumn Artfest. A wide variety of mediums can be entered, like photography, including digitally altered or enhanced photos; oil, acrylic, watercolor and mixed media paintings; pastel, pencil, charcoal, and pen and ink drawings; and pottery, wood, stone and metal three-dimensional media.

At least $3,000 in prizes will be awarded to artwork in the exhibit, and award-winning pieces will be exhibited at a special “Featured Exhibition” at the Live Oak Public Library from Sept. 28-Oct. 9.

Entry applications must be submitted by Aug. 28 along with a photo or digital image of your artwork. Application forms contain more information on what size and type of artwork is acceptable at the exhibit.

You can find applications at the The Frame Shop and Gallery at 109 W. Howard St. in Live Oak or at the Live Oak Public Library at 1848 Ohio Ave S. in Live Oak. You can also download and print the application from the Live Oak Artists Guild’s blog at http://theloag.blogspot.com/. For more information, please call Suzanne Marcil, Chairperson for Autumn Artfest 2015, at 386-362-7308.