Jerry Saltz: Spanx for Nothin'

Work of Art judge shares an ego-deflating on-set moment.

Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine art critic and uber-authoritative Work of Art judge, is showing his softer side – literally and figuratively – to his readers.

He's tough on the artists' work in the crits, and in his own Work of Art recap this week for NYMag, he shows readers that he understands the pain of being seen in a less than flattering light, relating a deflating on-set incident. Jerry writes, "Since artist vulnerabilities are coming out, I'll share one of my own. An hour before taping, I'm standing in my underpants in front of the show's gorgeous twentysomething stylist, Zoe, thinking to myself, Drink in the macho, baby! Zoe quietly looks me over and says, 'Um, Jerry. Do you like spanks?' Wow! The old male magic is still sizzling! I heard this generation is kinky! She wants to spank me! Here. In a reality TV dressing room! With the door partly open!"

But all that steam didn't stay in the room for long.  "Then she holds up a teeny-weenie doll-sized elastic undershirt thingy," he continues. "'This is a Spanx,' she says. A girdle. My ego retracts, turtlehead-like. Ditto my genitals. ... Carefully not using terms like 'muffin top' or 's'more,' she says, 'Spanx are trimming.'"

Quite the gamer, Jerry gave the garment a go. And the verdict? "I had no idea what kind of constricting strangulation goes on under some women's clothes," he writes.

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