On Thursday, August 12th, Jerry Saltz, art critic for New York Magazine and judge on Bravo's Work Of Art, friended me on Facebook. On Sunday, August 15th, Jerry Saltz, art critic for New York Magazine and judge on Bravo's Work Of Art, DEfriended me on Facebook. I blame Mark Zuckerberg.-
Jerry Saltz has one of the most exciting, culturally relevant Facebook pages in existence. It is a place where movers and shakers in the art world (critics, curators, artists) can discuss art with laypeople. His page has even been written up in the New York Observer (and how many people can say that about their facebook page?)
In early February, Jerry Saltz, Art Critic stated that the goal of Jerry Saltz, Facebook Page is to "demystify the art critic in the eyes of readers and artists." Through lively discussions that take place entirely on his Facebook wall, Mr.Saltz has managed to make art criticism accessible to anyone with a computer and an opinion.
On August 11th, when the final episode of Work Of Art aired, he asked his friends: "Who WILL Win? Who SHOULD win?". It's not every day a judge on a popular reality television show gets immediate feedback from his audience.
People have long romanticized the idea of Bohemian cafe culture: the idea of being able to walk into a cafe and have impassioned debates on art with the people who make art happen. Jerry Saltz's Facebook page is the 21st century version: you can drop by, stay as long as you like, and say whatever you'd like as long as you are able to defend your opinions, knowing that people who matter are listening. The only downside: this particular cafe has a seating capacity of only 5,000.
Yes, Facebook, the medium responsible for this brave new world of art criticism also manages to impede its growth, by capping the maximum amount of friends a user can have at 5,000. Jerry Saltz, naturally, has a lot of friends.
"It is time again. I have to cull 1000 people off my FB friend list to make room for 1000 others (there are more than 5000 people awaiting confrmation)"
And sadly, tragically, a mere three days after being initiated in, I've been left out cold on the street.
Here's a thought for you, Facebook: If you REALLY want to become culturally relevant, if you REALLY want to bring the world together to discuss the higher things in life, if you REALLY want to make Facebook to connect people who might otherwise not be connected: end the stupid 5,000 cap.
And here's a thought for you, Mr.Saltz: The domain name "Jerrysaltz.com" is still available!
(In closing, here is a picture of Miles Mendenhall and Ryan kissing at the afterparty. It's just the sort of thing you can hope to find on Jerry Saltz's Facebook Page.)
[Photos via Facebook and The Art Newspaper]