The AmericansDavid Benjamin Sherry

photography by David Benjamin Sherry
text by William J. Simmons

David Benjamin Sherry is the reason I became an art critic. Until I discovered Sherry’s work and the conversation surrounding it, I considered myself a historian and nothing else. However, when a prominent art critic (someone I admire very much) wrote a critical review of Sherry’s last show in New York, I felt the need to respond. I thought to myself, there is something about this that people just don’t understand. Sherry isn’t just creating pretty landscapes, and his adherence to analogue printing techniques is not a gimmick.

As a gay man who had only recently come out, there was something about his photographs that provided a vision of a community I never had, and I wanted to figure out why. So, I secretly slipped in a quote—without a credit or indication of the source or even quotation marks, simply dropped into the last sentence—from my colleague’s unenthusiastic review into my own piece in Artforum. I have never told anyone this, because my editors would never let me do such a thing, but I finally believe that I should come clean.

Download MUSE America The Travel Issue to read the full interview.