Ask Jerry: An Advice Column

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Dear Readers,

Today we are proud to present our first installment of “Ask Jerry,” an advice column. OE has found that Jerry Saltz, the former long-distance truck driver, current New York Magazine art columnist, and all-around guiding light, has already answered all of your burning questions via his previously-released writing. Submit your questions to OE’s Team Jerry via

Jerry, I’ve been following your Instagram account for some time. What makes someone stand out in the social media space? Not just to you, but in general?

JS: Meta-levels of great self-presentation, image echo chambers, and deep-sequencing. (1)

Dear Jerry, I have a small, flaky patch on my arm. It’s itchy. What should I do?

To me museums are ecstasy machines, places to experience rapture, and the real thing is the real thing. (2)

Jerry, my boyfriend won’t marry me. He’s an artist and I love him but I want to get married. Should I dump him?

JS: Contemporary art auctions are bizarre combinations of slave market, trading floor, theater, and brothel… At auctions new values are assigned and desire is fetishized. (3)

Dear Jerry, have you read the new Franzen novel Purity? What did you think?

JS: I think Jay Z is better than Marina [Abramovic]. I’m sorry. (4)

Dear Jerry, what’s the best arty thing to do in NYC this summer?

JS: I have not seen the city so open since the late 1970s. Kids can now live in a crappy dump in any borough, except Staten Island — I don’t go there, I think it’s like Mob Wives and I’m scared. So young artists, come East. We have many, many uniforms for you. Come here, have your nervous breakdowns, get insomnia, and like vampires everywhere, be with as many of your own kind as possible. If you build it, we will watch. (5)

Jerry, love your stuff. What are your thoughts on the world of literature? In what ways do you think the worlds of art and writing overlap?

I had this stamp made that says “Make your work better.” When I teach I stamp it on students’ wrists. It seems to work. (6)

Hi Jerry, what should I do about a nosy neighbor?

I decided to have my own sex in a museum… in the Whitney, on the deck, looking up and finding God. We stopped into a strange hotel with the neon burning bright. (7)

Dear Jerry, I think I caught sight of a peeping tom outside my window! What should I do?

Please see below. (8)

Dear Jerry,
I am late to work every day. I know I need to have a better morning routine, but I can’t seem to stop hitting the snooze button. Do you have any tips?

JS: Jesus! Just discovered something called “frappuccino” in a bottle. Fucking stuff is great! What IS it? Is there MORE caffeine in it than regular ice-coffee cause I really love caffeine. Wow! I gotta get out more. (9)

Hi Jerry,
Will you be my date to a friend’s wedding?

JS: Alas, I am not socially well-adjusted enough to be in that kind of over-charged high-pressure social space, and have nervous breakdowns alone in my hotel room. (10)

Can you give us any words of wisdom on how a young art and lit journal can improve the landscape for all artists?

JS: Corrode [your] soul with consciousness. Get a small space. Change the world. Then you can go mad. XO (11, 12)