15 Wise Quotes Every Artist Should Take To Heart

Jerry Saltz, the silver-tongued art lover, resident New York Mag critic and one-time dance partner of Jay-Z, has a way with words. Somehow, in the span of nearly two hours of conducting a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, he's summed up much of the critique and praise we've ever wanted to scream or lovingly whisper at the art world.

"I have no degrees whatsoever (well, I do have three honorary doctorates, call me a proctologist). I love art. I love the art world," he humbly states in his AMA introduction.

We've scoured his exchanges with Redditors, and compiled our favorite nuggets of Jerry Saltz wisdom. You might not wholeheartedly agree with his art world view, but the man can formulate a striking sentence. Plus, we're big fans of any art democratizing endeavors. Behold, 10 wise quotes every artist, critic and admirer should take to heart.

1. "Don't go to a museum with a destination. Museums are wormholes to other worlds. They are ecstasy machines."

the metropolitan museum

2. "Focus on critics of your own generation. The geezers can't do much for you."


3. "Being critical of art is a way of showing art respect."

francis bacon

4. "Hold on and never, ever, think of the market in your studios."

artist studio

5. "There are many, many art worlds. Art contains multitudes."


6. "An artist can call whatever they make art. That's fine with me. [A critic's] job is to decide if it is good or bad art."


7. "My advice, other than making art every free minute of every day, is show up. Go to galleries. Go to openings. Be around other vampires."

art gallery

8. "I am lucky to have seen real, 50,000 year old cave paintings. These are the most powerful images of mammals ever made. In a way, that would make these artists the greatest I have ever seen."

cave paintings

9. "Warhol changed the way the world looks and the way we look at the world. That is fucking revolutionary."

andy warhol

10. "I said Banksy is a bad artist. In your heart you know I'm right. But I love that we all talked about art together. More, more -- but not Banksy, please."


11. "Photography is the easiest thing to make, and one of the hardest things to make well."

photography auction

12. "So young artists, come East. We have many, many uniforms for you. Come here, have your nervous breakdowns, get insomnia, and like vampires everywhere, be with as many of your own kind as possible. If you build it, we will watch."

new york

13. "Auctions make me sick. I can't stand them. They're ruining the art world."

art auctions

14. "Sorry, Louvre, your architecture is stupid, and everyone gets lost there."


BONUS: "I think Jay Z is better than Marina [Abramovic]. I'm sorry."