Comments: October 29, 2007

1. A note from our art critic Jerry Saltz: “Two weeks ago, a blogger noted that in my article Has Money Ruined Art?(October 15), I was guilty of using many of the same ideas, lines, and quotes that I have used in previous articles. The blogger called this ‘very lazy’; actually, he/she also called me ‘an undead zombie.’ I’m afraid I agree; it was lazy. It’s also unfair to the reader and undermines my credibility. If I want to return to similar ideas, in this case, the market, I owe every reader a fresh take on the subject, no take at all, or a heads-up that I’m about to repeat myself ‘for the hundredth time’ (as the blogger said). I think I said a lot of new things in that article, and of course, there are ideas that warrant coming back to time and again. But I shouldn’t have used any of the older quotes or lines to say them. Any taint in this regard makes me, ouch, ‘an undead zombie.’ As for a moratorium on writing about the market (as this blogger suggested), I don’t agree, but I empathize. It does get enervating to read about something that has simply become part of the everyday situation, of the art world, anyway. The market deserves attention but not obsession—and certainly not in the same ways it has been obsessed over before.”

2. It stood to reason that Vanessa Grigoriadis’s story about Gawker (Everybody Sucks,” October 22) was going to, shall we say, ruffle a few feathers. But who would’ve guessed that the most aggrieved party would be the New York Post’s “Page Six,” which Grigoriadis dared to describe as “emasculated”? Uh-oh! The editors of “Page Six” chose to publish a gratuitous personal attack on Grigoriadis that says more about the state of mind over there than anything else, and precipitated a gallant (from our perspective, anyway), though equally vicious, counteroffensive from the Radar Website. It was loads of fun for the half-dozen or so people who care, and that’s why we won’t go any further into it. Except to quote reader Mary-Thomas Turnock of Larchmont, who probably spoke for many: “I’m so glad that I’m over 50 and is not part of my sensibilities. My sympathy to those in younger generations. Life is difficult enough without the gratuitous viciousness/bitterness described in this Website.”

3. In keeping with the spirit of online vitriol, a blogger known as the Contemptster chose the occasion of a recent Look Book subject (October 15) to chastise the magazine for glorifying the rich. “We have the largest gap between rich and poor in history …and most of us are one paycheck away from sharing the sidewalk with a urine-drenched schizo, yet we need to give this woman a forum…someone please fix me an arsenic cocktail.” Coming right up!

Edward Mapplethorpe, self portrait, 1990.

4. And now, after all this, we close with a gratuitous kind word. Sanaya Kaufman wrote in to say how much she “appreciated Jonathan Van Meter’s article on Edward Mapplethorpe, brother of Robert [How Edward Mapplethorpe Got His Name Back,” September 24]. A moving piece about his work and development as an artist. And an equally touching, tender, and painful view of the relationship [with his brother Robert].”

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Comments: October 29, 2007