Painter and dimensional artist Joseph Montgomery is having his second solo show at Laurel Gitlen titled Velveteen. Not the style of work I normally document, as this is more three dimensional than the 2D illusion of dimension with drawn line work I prefer to cover.
I wandered in randomly off the street after the Munch opening in search of more artwork and wine. I decided to take a pass on the Budweiser-in-a-can which was the only beverage the crowd seemed to be enjoying. After I made a lap around the gallery photographing a few of the pieces that weren't blocked by people I noticed Jerry Saltz and his wife Roberta Smith come in from the cold and walk right into frame.
After years of attending art openings, fairs, and galas I had never actually seen them in the flesh. Much like a white rhino, or the elusive Yeti, I was wondering if I would ever catch a glimpse of them in a gallery setting. Yet, here they were, right in front of me at a Bud can reception, on the lower east side, ON A SUNDAY NIGHT.
So few art critic powerhouses exist in the world as Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith. Saltz is the senior art critic and columnist for New York Magazine and Facebook's art guru. Roberta Smith is the head art critic for The New York Times. I was awestruck.
The wine buzz I was still riding from the previous opening a few doors down might have played a small part in this, but at the core I was in awe of the talent that had entered the room.
Not just talent, but the mighty axe that these two giant's opinions wield. A tip of either pen can rocket a young artist to superstardom, while a negative review can be crippling.
I wanted to introduce myself to them but this was not the time or place. It may sound weird, but being in "art blogging mode"(and slightly inebriated) rather than in "painting mode" and in my element, I didn't have the confidence to approach them, and especially not to talk about my work.
I now know what it would feel like to be Atreyu in The Neverending Story approaching the Southern Oracle hoping not to get struck down by the dual Sphinx's laser eyes. I just hoped to avoid their gaze and get out of there as quickly as possible.
Joseph Montgomery (on right) chats about his work.
Artist Brooke Moyse.
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