It took me twenty years to get Steven Parrino's work. From the time I first saw his art, in the mid-eighties, I almost always dismissed it as mannered, Romantic, formulaic, conceptualist-formalist heavy-metal boy-art abstraction.

Jerry Saltz

Jerry Saltz

Profession: Critic
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Willem de Kooning is generally credited for coming out of the painterly gates strong in the forties, revolutionizing art and abstraction and reaching incredible heights by the early fifties, and then tailing off.

In art, scandal is a false narrative, a smoke screen that camouflages rather than reveals. When we don't know what we're seeing, we overreact.

The very paradigm of revolution, of right versus wrong, good versus bad, is a relic with no bearing on the present. Yet artists, exhibitions, and curators valorize the sixties. People who wrote about these artists 30 years ago still write about them in the same ways, often for the same magazines.

Giant group events are distorting organisms: You can like and hate them in rapid succession.

Yes, 85 percent of the art you see isn't any good. But everyone has a different opinion about which 85 percent is bad. That in turn creates fantastically unstable interplay and argument.

While a large segment of the art world has obsessed over a tiny number of stars and their prices, an aesthetic shift has been occurring. It's not a movement - movements are more sure of themselves. It's a change of mood or expectation, a desire for art to be more than showy effects, big numbers, and gamesmanship.

These days, newish art can be priced between $10,000 and $25,000. When I tell artists that a new painting by a newish artist should go for around $1,200, they look at me like I'm a flesh-eating virus.

'Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era,' the Whitney Museum's 40th-anniversary trip down counterculture memory lane, provides moments of buzzy fun, but it'll leave you only comfortably numb. For starters, it may be the whitest, straightest, most conservative show seen in a New York museum since psychedelia was new.

Appropriation is the idea that ate the art world. Go to any Chelsea gallery or international biennial and you'll find it. It's there in paintings of photographs, photographs of advertising, sculpture with ready-made objects, videos using already-existing film.

I love Rauschenberg. I love that he created a turning point in visual history, that he redefined the idea of beauty, that he combined painting, sculpture, photography, and everyday life with such gall, and that he was interested in, as he put it, 'the ability to conceive failure as progress.'

I see 30 to 40 gallery shows a week, and no matter what kind of mood I'm in, no matter how bad the art is, I almost always feel better afterward. I can learn as much from bad art as from good.

Contrary to popular opinion, things don't go stale particularly fast in the art world.

Many art-worlders have an if-you-say-so approach to art: Everyone is so scared of missing out on the next hot artist that it's never clear whether people are liking work because they like it or because other people do. Everyone is keeping up with the Joneses, and there are more Joneses than ever.

Now people look at 'The Scream' or Van Gogh's 'Irises' or a Picasso and see its new content: money. Auction houses inherently equate capital with value.