Sorry to See You Go


It's a sad thing when someone turns out not to be the kind of person you thought they were. You can't really know everyone very well, I suppose, so what happens in my head -- and maybe in most people's heads -- is I get an impression of someone and sort of tab them with it. I like to think I can modify that if I get to know them better, but until I do, I can only work with what I have. Sometimes, unfortunately, what I thought turns out to be wildly wrong.

Take for example Martin Bromirski. I can't say I know Martin. I'm not even sure we've ever met in person. We might've met once way back in 2006 at an art blogger party at Winkleman. I don't remember. Back then I was just getting into blogging about art and there were a handful of art bloggers to keep up with and Martin was one of them. I do know that, in 2007, when John Morris was putting together the Blogger Show, Martin and I ended up with paintings on the same walls. I handled and helped hang his painting, actually. I don't remember if I met him at the opening or not.

From those meager contacts I pegged Martin as a nice guy. I'd see his comments from time to time on other art blogs. A couple of times he was on my side in arguments; one time he came on my own blog and complimented my work. And so on. But over the years I didn't keep up with his blog; he didn't really write anything that interested me that much. Which is fine. So that's where Martin stayed in my head, filed under "nice guy".

Then a little while ago I started criticizing Art Fag City and Paddy Johnson. After picking on her a few times it occurred to me that I was being somewhat unfair: Wasn't it possible lots of other bloggers were saying dopey things? There were a bunch I'd simply stopped reading. So I went back and added a number of people to my regular reading list: Tom, Carolina, Tyler, Hrag, Brent, Thomas, Joy and company, Barry, Chris, Sharon, and of course Martin.

Most of these writers don't post anything I need to comment on, make fun of, or even note. They're doing their own thing, which isn't my thing, and that's what makes the world go round. No big deal. About three weeks ago, though, Martin posted some photos of his latest paintings. And I thought they looked very good. A completely honest, innocent, sincere desire to let him know this welled up inside me. Because artists make art hoping other people will like it. So I did.

Chris Rywalt said...

These look good. A definite step up from previous paintings I've seen from you, but I haven't seen anything in the past couple of years.

Took a good long look to see those are tears in the canvas in the second one, even with the close-up. I'm not sure these need that extra bit.
2/02/2010 1:57 PM

Martin's reply surprised me.

Martin said...

somebody shoot me.
2/02/2010 4:04 PM

I plaintively asked for an explanation but he never replied. Life went on.

Yesterday there was another post at his blog about which I had something to say. Actually, I really wanted to reply to one of the comments, this one by my fun-filled online friend EAG whose blog had been mentioned by Martin.


Thanks for the link.

"shut up or nut up"

I love Zombieland.

I wrote about a third of an essay on Smith's "Post-Minimal to the Max" but it got deleted after I downloaded a virus. Will post a rewritten version soon.

And yes I agree that Saltz's feminism is a pose more than anything else. One should realize that he converses with college age women on a regular basis. Just saying...
2/21/2010 4:30 AM

I wrote a quick comment on that and also added a little about the main post. When I went back a few minutes later to see if anyone had replied I found my comment was gone. I could imagine any number of reasons for this but the most likely one was that Martin had deleted it. Which would be odd. So I asked outright and also rewrote my previous comment. Meanwhile Martin replied. Here's the whole thread before he deleted it.

Chris Rywalt said...

Martin, did you delete my comment?

2/21/2010 2:46 PM

Martin said...

yes. you are a crank and generally don't have any idea what you are talking about (on art). those kinds of comments negate all the effort i put into making this post, keep others from wanting to comment, and provide an excuse to dismiss everything i said.

i will probably delete both of our comments after i think you've seen this. especially if this comment thread starts to become a rywalt/eag thread.

(eag is a crank but he knows what he is talking about)

2/21/2010 2:57 PM

Chris Rywalt said...

Okay, let's try this again.

EAG, that comment about Jerry Saltz's conversing with college-age women is beneath you. However Jerry picks his subjects -- maybe by his chances for slipping in the word "mojo" -- it's probably not for getting into young women's pants.

As far as Roberta's article goes and her dislike for Dumas, I'd say it's because Dumas sucks, except some of Roberta's replacements for her aren't much better.

But I would second her vote for Chris Ofili, who is simply great.

2/21/2010 2:58 PM

Chris Rywalt said...

You put effort into making this post? That's just sad.

2/21/2010 3:02 PM

Martin said...

please just have a stroke already chris.

2/21/2010 3:07 PM

Chris Rywalt said...

I'm sorry if my making fun of your friends' terrible taste in art upset you so much. I expected better of you, but I can't imagine why.

2/21/2010 3:11 PM

I don't know if Martin replied to that and then eventually deleted it because after that I went out and didn't check back in until after one in the morning. It doesn't really matter if he did, though. Because clearly he isn't the nice guy I thought he was. First we have his deleting my comments, not so much because of their content but merely because he decided -- somewhere since 2007, I guess -- that I'm a crank. Which kind of bothers me a bit, because while I'm perfectly willing to be called cranky, I'd rather not be called a crank. Second, I happen to think that deleting other people's comments simply because you want to maintain some illusion of your blog as happy-happy nice-nice land is a mortal sin. And third, just because we have a disagreement over his friends' taste in art, he told me to have a stroke, then deleted the evidence of his own nastiness. Not very nice at all.

It's a damned shame, really.


I wouldn't fret too much about this, Chris. You express your views very forcefully and sometimes quite caustically, but they are always well thought out, very well written, imbued with a keen wit and humor and completely honest. Being cranky does not make you a crank. That's just your shtick I figure.

Nothing I have ever read in your blog has led me to think that you expect, want or, much less, require that everyone agree with you on everything. Apparently, there are other bloggers who do demand unity and unanimity of opinion on their blogs. That's their right, but why bother with them then?

And let me tell you, no crank could put together the stellar 7-part review of different shows that you posted on January 7th. That was a great read for anyone interested in art in NYC.

Chris, you really need to be considerably more selective about which blogs you spend time reading and participating in, unless you want to keep having similar or worse experiences than this rather sad example. And by the way, don't let the "crank" comment bother you, because I doubt that's what he really meant. I expect what he really meant was that you're not a player, like he either is or aspires to be. If you were "in" crowd material, you could be a total whack job and still be perfectly acceptable.

Let me clarify something you consider beneath me. I didn't directly say that Jerry is sleeping with the undergraduate and graduate students that he critiques. However, seduction comes in many shapes and sizes. It doesn't always lead to the sexual act.

When I was an undergraduate I joined the Young Socialist's Alliance in order to get closer to my girlfriend who was a card carrying member of the Socialist Worker's Party. I quit the organization as soon as she moved away to carry on her duties in another state. I also found myself reading a lot of Andrea Dworkin, Virginia Woolf (who I still love), and Mary Daly, and even memorizing passages in order to be a better conversationalist.

Now that isn't to say that I was sleeping around all the time because of these practices, but I was definitely considered to be enlightened by a certain sector of intelligent heterosexual (and homosexual) women, who were all college age.

So because there is a disparity between what Saltz says about the lack of art made by women in the museums, galleries, and history books, and what he actually writes about throughout the year, I think it is fair to say that his consistent harping upon issues involving women artists in the art world might have ulterior motives. That is all that I was saying, and I think Bromirski made valid points in his blog entry.

Secondly, I can't believe that Bromirski was sooooooo offended by your put down of his blog entry and the artist M. Dumas he would state that he hopes you die. Talk about being overly sensitive. It is just a blog entry folks!

I also have to agree with Jack about making a mountain out of a molehill. Really, does this petty squabbling deserve any attention at all?

please just have a stroke already chris.

For what it's worth, Saltz's ostensible feminism need not be based on lechery. It could be based on conveniently and/or opportunistically fashionable PC posturing, which seems more plausible anyway.

Which is what Bromirski did.

Yeah alright already! I was wrong. You are right. Do you hear that art world? I am admitting that I was wrong, completely wrong. I just wanted to share my story about when I was a Socialist. Not only was I wrong but I was being an asshole as well, a nasty prick. Of course it is ludicrous to suggest that Saltz gets any sexual satisfaction from all of the adoration that gets poured on him during those critiques of seductive college students' art. I am perverse, a travesty, a distorted foul minded, embittered twerp. And that is why I will always be a failure, a loser, and a psycho. Stay away from me if you know what is good for you.

When will you start admitting that you are wrong about every artist you have ever written about?


You can take the high road all you want to, Chris, but based on what I know of Saltz from his public writing, he is anything but beyond suspicion. Heat-seeking, indeed, as Yau said, and heat need not refer to something carnal, even though it could.

And by the way, EAG, to paraphrase Alice Roosevelt, I'd rather sit by you than some people I could name. But of course, I'm a "hater," after all. Or so it goes.

Mystery solved! I kept wondering why I was getting spammed by John Davis Gallery--I've never been there, have never signed their mailing list, nor have I ever reviewed a show of theirs. Now it is clear that Martin is one of those enterprising self-promoters who looks up the email address of every art blogger remotely connected with New York and puts them on his mailing list, without ever reading or commenting on their blogs.

His piece for the Blogger Show looked like a piece of the floor in a painting studio where someone had left a couple of coffee cups for about a year. It was difficult to hang, because anywhere I put it it still looked lame. From the looks of his website, his theme has altered not at all.

In short, Chris, you know how I'm always complaining about those no-talent hyper go-getter Dude Artists who are in it mainly to get laid? Exhibit A.

a. chris we have never met. i have never been to a reception for ANYthing at winkleman gallery, and i did not attend the blogger show reception.

b. hey braniac - not that this had anything to do with my regard for your opinion - NOTHING you said after your third word (about my paintings) was a compliment. that's how clueless you are.

c. i didn't delete your comments to "maintain some illusion of my blog as happy-happy nice-land", i deleted them to discourage you from further commenting. in fact, in more than five years of unmoderated comments there are only three individuals i have done this to.

d. "just because we have a disagreement over his friends' taste in art"... i don't even know what you are talking about. don't we need to have had a discussion to have a disagreement? is this some imaginary discussion like our imaginary meeting and imaginary relationship and my imaginary niceness?

e. jack, i did in fact mean 'crank'.

f. hey i guess if you morons think i really want him to have a stroke you must also assume i really want someone to shoot me.

g. pl - i have never sent you an email or postcard for anything and do not maintain a formal 'mailing list'; maybe another artist from the gallery included you, or perhaps it was the gallery. no, i never read your blog.

just yesterday - no kidding - i was telling someone that some of my new paintings kind of reminded me of coffee rings... and i have a copy of this 1969 artforum in my studio and have been looking at this helen frankenthaler -

kind of a similarity. earlier tonight i was looking at that frankenthaler and it even made me think a bit of joe bradley.

pl the painting you saw was from 2006... still a favorite. some other person once said (as a diss) that they were like leftover easter eggs that didn't get found til halloween and i was like... wow! exactly!

anyways, that's all... just commenting because i'm the rare subject of this blog's usual bunch of fucktard ignorance.

What a mess! There is a wonderful "app" for this sort of exchange. It's called the telephone. Get over you bloggin' selves.

Wow, yeah, it's impossible to even sink to his level in order to say what I think of him, because I don't *use* words like 'fucktard.' The furthest I'm willing to go is 'asshole.' He doesn't qualify as a sociopathic narcissist. Just a garden variety prick.

I know why blogs are dying -- because there aren't enough posts/exchanges like this (on art :)! Very entertaining, guys, but Martin, here's a hint: using words like fucktard can lose you credibility faster than adding elevator music to your website. Keep it civil and we won't feel tempted to laugh.

In my experience smaller, personal blogs are dying in favour of Facebook, etc. Seems the big, commercial blog is doing just fine thank you.

Chris Rywalt on the 24th 0f February , 2010 you said "I liked Facebook when I was on it. The trouble was none of my friends liked me on it". SO....your friends do not like you, those you are desperatley trying to win over think you're a crank. CEASE AND DESIST....PLEASE. SSshhhhh. Quiet time. No more inventing close personal relationships with people (like Martin) on the basis that you 'think you may just possibly have' seen his facebook profile pic flash onto your screen.....move away from the keyboard....have a nice lie down. Sleep time now Chris Rywalt. Bye bye.

Jeeeeezus Christ this is amusing. I googled 'sad cat picture' and here I am. I have no idea who any of you are and to be honest barely know my Picasso from my Velasquez, but it was unmissable reading. By God you three (Chris, Martin and EIEIO or whatever) need to put down the paintbrushes, thump the crap out of each other like real men and get over your asinine self-importance and braggadacio. While you get your artist berets bent out of shape over who-said-what-when, there's folk out there with real problems who'd love to have 'which art show should I go to' as their problem du jour. Go and paint a big fresco together or some other bonding type thing. I must subscribe to this blog, it's like Bold and Beautiful of the NY art world. Excellent.

From person in Australia who couldn't sleep and only wanted a piccture of a sad cat

"In short, Chris, you know how I'm always complaining about those no-talent hyper go-getter Dude Artists who are in it mainly to get laid? Exhibit A."

Does she know he lives in a small town in Washington County - an hour north of Albany - and works on a vegetable farm? Have they ever even met?

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