Tax-payer dollars towards insults from a NY arts critic

The inability to swipe clear our internet offerings, comments, posts once again saves the day! Well, maybe doesn’t save the day, but it made mine a little better.

I finally tracked down a few of my early reviews as a writer in New York with Scene B Seen– there is my interview with Women’s Wear Daily Illustrator and independent artist Sally Weiss in her upper west side home/ gallery. There is my review from The School of American Ballet Workshop in Lincoln Center with a reception with the who’s-who in a Juilliard Conference room. There is my coverage of the International Photography Awards at the Chelsea Pier where I was told while waiting in a roped off ‘press section’ by visiting guest Calvin Klein that I was ‘too pretty to be in the press’. Oh yes, that happened! Are you impressed with my name and place dropping?

I know someone who would be- the New York ‘critic-for-hire’ Michael Wilson.

The King of Opinions was hired by the st. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission to have a nose around the stl art scene and more specifically, the grand unveiling of the new wing at the St. Louis Art Museum which he then covered for Artforum Magazine.And let’s just say he was NOT impressed.

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Images of the new david Chipperfield wing via DesignBoom- by Jacob Sharp and Simon Menges

Images of the new david Chipperfield wing via DesignBoom- by Jacob Sharp Wesley Law and Simon Menges

RFT has a good summary of Wilson’s trails and tribulations in our fair regional city. Basically his main gripes were: the weather (funny, because I recall New York having a fair share of heat waves and thunderstorms) a grammatical error in the brochure for The Cheshire Inn, how UNNECESSARY  the contemporary art museum happens to be (though I’m pretty sure that I have taught for their Family  Day event and I don’t think those kids and families would agree) the heat during a tour of the Botanical Garden premises (not a word on the actual garden) the PITIFUL Chess Hall of Fame (man, they don’t impress anyone do they?) and the lack of celebrities at the Art Museum new wing unveiling. Read the full Snobby New York Art Critic Article.

By the way, the CVC (the group that paid Mr. Smarty patalons to sneer at our art offerings) is tax-supported. So basically, you and I paid for his trip, hotel, and insults. Best of all, the CVC wants to bring the guy back. Something about, ‘his visit left a sour taste in his mouth and we want him to have another chance to see how great we are!’

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I’m sorry, maybe no one else went through middle school with a decided hierarchy of the ‘cool popular kids’ that were no smarter, no more beautiful or talented, no funnier than anyone from the less-cool lunch tables. And yet, it seemed so many of these ‘peasants’ would jump for joy at the chance to somehow be connected or befriend one of the upper-crust. Doesn’t this seem like exactly the same situation? For whatever reason, sometimes those with quote-unquote power have decided to be permanently unimpressed and yet people keep grappling at the chance to be held to their cold, frigid bosom- as if they are so smart, so credible in their thoughts. Do we actually need to pay someone like this in the hopes of receiving a rather expensive nod of approval? Are there not people already in this city with knowledge and expertise in art? Are there not already people with thoughts and an understanding of art history or community? Aren’t there people who already hate uncomfortable temperatures and airports? (You’re looking at her on that last one!)

Little Jess no likey to be cold! Therefore, all of St. Louis is AWFUL!

Little Jess no likey to be cold! Therefore, all of St. Louis is AWFUL!

I am not at all saying that I should take this man’s place as art critic; I’m still trying to convince the city that we need a knowledgable DANCE writer, and I’ll stick to that soliloquy. I am saying that we have plenty of people who ALREADY LIVE HERE, THAT HAVE EQUAL KNOWLEDGE AND ARTICULATION, AND PROBABLY VALUE THE COMMUNITY. Jessica Baran from the RFT, who wrote a rebuttal ‘Flyover This’ is one such person I might propose for the job. I would prefer if not a cent of my taxes went to a plane ticket to bring Mr. Wilson back.

I never ask this, but I am this time- asking my dear friends to please share this for two reasons:

1. Please help me! I am hopeful that it will somehow reach Ms. Baran so that she knows that she, and local qualified critics are supported

2. I hope to spread some awareness of the lack of respect for local afficianados and the complete necessity for them, as well as the waste of our own money by looking towards ‘top-notch critics’.

I am personally pretty annoyed by someone who takes our tax dollars to offer an opinion towards art events and museums that can’t seem to deliver a critique on the art or environment beyond his own temperature sensitivity while supposed to be paying attention to less selfish causes. I am not saying a review must be nice, but if it’s going to be mean and insulting, it should at least be free for all of us.

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