There’s a certain separated-at-birth quality to critic Jerry Saltz and collector Stefan Simchowitz.
Saltz is a very talented writer and deeply perceptive critic somewhat overwhelmed by his own social media success. Simchowtiz is rather conventional acquisitive collector who likes to describe what he does as somehow revolutionary. What’s become clear is that Saltz can’t stay away from a mention of Simchowitz and Simchowitz can’t let any hint of criticism go without a an epic response:
Simchowitz is hardly the only art world figure who thrives on insincere indignation and aggressive persecution complex. As with the critic Jerry Saltz, self-absorbed outrage amplified by social media have become an effective method of self-promotion.
Everybody needs a gimmick, but we shouldn’t let that distract us from the fact that critics and collectors — speculative or otherwise — are defined not by their umbrage but by their track records over time.