The Way I See It

Jerry Saltz on Drawing

My all-time favorite quote about drawing is from New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz. The quote below first appeared in a column he wrote in May, 2000 about the James Castle exhibit at The Drawing Room. Written almost 14 years ago when Saltz was art critic for the Village Voice, it still resonates with me today.  By the way, if you are interested, the full article (called Home Alone) appears in a compendium of Saltz’s Village Voice art columns in the book Seeing Out Loud.  I highly recommend it. (One of these days I’ll tell you about meeting Jerry Saltz and having him critique my work.)

“Drawing is one of the roots of art. It’s a way of seeing and thinking, a way of seeing yourself think. An intimate art about cosmic things, and a cosmic art about intimate things, it happens mostly–but not always–sensually, physically from the fingertips. The nerve endings of the hand listen to the musings of the imagination, which marvels at the movements of the hand. The artist’s face is often very near the drawing. In ways it’s very primitive, very primary, a kind of universal language. Drawing makes old thought new and new thought accessible. Without it—in whatever form it takes—there might be no art.”

Jerry Saltz; Village Voice, April 26-May 2, 2000

Meditations on a Black Stone (detail)Meditations on a Black Stone (detail); Graphite on Paper; 22″ x 30″; 2013

More images from this series of drawings are now posted on my website in the Portfolio section.


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