On Wednesday morning’s edition of “New Day” on CNN, art critic Jerry Saltz savaged the single work of nascent painter George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin to death in 2012.
Saltz said that the only reason anyone would want this art — if you could call it that — would be a morbid fascination with Martin’s slaying.
“Mass murderers have made art, and people have tried to buy it, have bought it, Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy,” said the critic, who writes for New York magazine. “In my humble opinion, this person got away with a crime, and in that sense, that is the only reason that anybody would want to buy anything that he made.”
Zimmerman’s first-ever painting went on sale on eBay this week for 99 cents and is currently valued at more than $110,000 with three days of bidding left.
The exorbitant price tag, however, has not kept critics of all stripes from decrying the canvas, “entitled ‘America,’ is a derivation of an arguably superior work: ‘American Flag‘ by Shutterstock,” wrote Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher.
“First of all, I wouldn’t even call this a work of art,” Saltz said. “It’s a travesty, a placard, a poster, something you might see in protest.” He also said that he sees in the work a “confession” of sorts.
“It’s talking about liberty, justice for all,” he said. “Well, you know, it’s almost like none of this ever happened. And then also, you have this is his funny little — he’s almost trying to be a cause. And the cause is that I think he is is a travesty of justice, a crime. It’s insipid, it’s not — there’s no thought in it. It’s needing to be the center of attention. I think it’s a bit psychotic.”
“To me,” Saltz concluded, “what he made was a simpleton, quasi-psychotic painting, in my opinion.”
Watch the video, embedded below via CNN: