Sucklord on Art Critics: “If the Jerry Saltzes of the World Don’t Like My Work, I Don’t Give a Shit”


The second season of Bravo’s Work of Art: The Search for the Next Great Artist, the gallery world’s Top Chef, premieres tonight at 9pm. Completely randomly, the 14-person cast stars two recent Village Voice cover-story subjects: bike-accident victim/artist Michelle Matson and bootleg toymaker, the Sucklord.

As anticipated, the judges didn’t know what to do with the latter, a huckster performance-artist who’s made a name for himself by telling his collectors they’re assholes for buying his work. In fact, at least one thought the 42-year-old who insisted he be called Sucklord was a practical joke.

In an interview with Carolina A. Miranda posted today over at WNYC’s Gallerina, New York Magazine art critic (and former Voice staffer) Jerry Saltz admits:

There’s a character named Sucklord, who I thought was a joke being played on us by Bravo until [Work of Art mentor] Simon de Pury actually announces that he owns this Sucklord’s work. He was more endearing than I could ever imagine. But the guy gets on my nerves like crazy.

Even more amusing is that Saltz couldn’t figure out why women find this “not that good looking” guy so charming.

CM: How did you address him? As Suck? Or Mr. Lord?

JS: I tried to avoid using his name. All I was thinking was, “Who the hell is this guy? Get him out of here.” He’s the only one that’s not that good looking and what do I see? The girls seem to flirt with him. What is it with women? They love these kinds of cocky guys.

Sucklord, for good reason, doesn’t consider highbrow critics like Saltz his audience. “Jerry Saltz is a nice guy–I like him,” he told us last month. “But I read what he writes about art and it sounds like brain-in-a-jar shit. It doesn’t sound like anything. It just sounds too abstractly intellectual and it doesn’t relate to anything that I consider to be important or meaningful.”

Work of Art host China Chow, who recently got sawed in half at the Kitchen, seems to have become a Sucklord convert, Tweeting on Monday, “He’s reason enough to want to tune into #workofart.”

That’s sufficient enough praise for Mr. Lord. “If the Jerry Saltzes of the world don’t like my work, I don’t give a shit. If they did, I’d be fine with that. But I’m not chasing after that. It’s no fun, anyway.”

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