Why Does Art Critic Jerry Saltz Want You to Think He Is Really Poor—And Is It True?

Should we pitch in for a retirement fund?

Jerry Saltz

Crusading art critic Jerry Saltz has taken to Facebook to let his friends know that the art world is not always a great place to get rich.

Amid the hustle and bustle of New York auction season, with Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips offering over $2.1 billion worth of art for sale, there’s a lot of talk about the market. But Saltz wants you to know that some of us do it for love. And vaginas.


Jerry Saltz’s receipt for aspirin.
Photo: Facebook.

Saltz offers an ATM receipt as proof, showing a balance of just $3,832.16.

In the Facebook post, the New York magazine critic writes, “All of you are always saying how ‘lucky’ and ‘privileged’ I am.”

He continues:

But like most of you there’s also something else I’m pretty much thinking about all day every day.

Not vaginas. Although ….. …. …..

This is my account balance from Chase: $3,832.16.

I don’t have a 401-c3 account; I don’t even know what a 401-c3 is!

Or any retirement or pension plan.

ANd I am like 100 years old.

I can’t go back to being a long-distance truck driver again, or an art-handler. You know?

I have a very very small savings account.

So, we all need to remember that except for like 1% of 1% of 1% of everyone in the art world, almost no one in the art world makes money.

I love the art world.

I love that the art world is an ALL-volunteer Army. And always will be.

We didn’t come here for money.

We came here for something-else.

This isn’t a complaint. Just a fact.

And … I AM LUCKY and incredibly privileged.

Other than vaginas — that is what I am thinking about almost all day every day.

So let’s go gentle on one-another. We know what this world can do ….

(Although I was able to afford this big bottle of generic aspirin.)

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