Saturday, June 8, 2013
Vent: Art competitions and Shows
I prefer to write about the more positive things in an artist's life, but -- as you might expect -- there are aspects that pull artists down. I guess that's true of all things, isn't it?
One my Facebook Friends who is also an extremely capable artist posted his opinions about art competitions. I hope he won't mind if I feature it here:
"In art competitions, the only valid criteria for judging should be the quality of the artwork, viewed with total objectivity and assessed impartially, solely on the basis of artistic merit. The identity of the respective artists competing should not be a factor, nor should the number of friends any entrant might have or how much effort he or she might have put into lobbying for votes. If I'm going to vote at all, it will be for the artwork that I see as the most worthy, no matter whose it is. Nothing personal."
I understand exactly how he feels. I've felt the same way about certain art exhibits/sales and posted my own comment:
"IMO, western art shows must be the worst when it comes to judging criteria. They often include "masters" in the show titles, but in reality, when you submit entries, they want lists of all the shows you've been in, or a list of articles that have been written about you,or a list of awards you've won -- stuff like that. In other words, they want to know how likely you are to be well-known and, thus, a good seller. Quality has little to do with it. It's popularity/fame/history of sales that they're looking for. "
It's something we artists have to put up with -- "adapt or die," as least as far as making it in the art biz is concerned. It's quite unfair and shouldn't be this way. But it is.
I really haven't decided how I want to deal with it all. I don't know that I have enough years of life left to accumulate the "stuff" that the competition/show sponsors ask for. But I know it's a part -- just one part -- of the reason why I've slowed down considerably in art: not only in creating it, but in selling it. It's far from being a level playing field, and maybe I'm getting too old to play this sport in a meaningful way anymore. (This pathetic economy doesn't help, either).
OK -- that's enough venting for now. On to more positive stuff.