Monday, June 14

Art is Not a Competition!

Quatre Vaches
Acrylic on Canvas
11 x 14 in/28 x 35 cm 
Hi Fans & Followers-

OK I said I wasn’t going to do this, but I can’t help myself. I must blog and comment on the show, Work of Art – The Next Great Artist.

If you haven’t heard and don’t know, this is the much-hyped reality-contestant TV show that debuted last week on the Bravo channel. Just so you know, I have nothing against reality TV shows, such as Survivor, Dancing With the Stars, Chefs vs. City, etc. Gosh, I even like American Idol.

I am neither qualified nor interested in commenting on the entertainment value of these types of shows. It’s clear someone is making money on them because of their continuing proliferation.

In this particular iteration, artists “compete” against each other by creating something, which is then judged by three art critics with whom I’m not familiar. In the first show, the artists were paired up and ordered to do a portrait that captured the essence of the other artist. The word they should have used, but didn't, is physiognomy, which means just that—discovering temperament and character from outward appearance.

What I do want to comment on is the wrong-headed notion of the whole spectacle. By that I mean the whole competition thing.

Simply put, art is not and should not be a competition. Artists are not competing when they are creating art. They are not competing with themselves nor other artists.

Art is not about winning and losing. Art is about expression.

And another thing--I don’t like the whole art-jury-judge system where some “expert” gets to decide whose work gets accepted where. It is not only demeaning, it’s absurd, to me anyway, that someone else is judging my expression. I don’t really give a flip what they think about it. It’s no wonder the Impressionists started their own shows and exhibits full of their rejected paintings.

I did like what one of the artists who was almost eliminated said when questioned about her technique. She retorted with something like, “I am not responsible for your experience of my artwork.” Three cheers for her, I say.

I will keep watching this show, not because of the competition, but so I can see the artwork of these people who are willing to have it so publicly criticized.

By the way, today’s image is my little acrylic, Quatre Vaches, which I finished last Friday. I hope you like it, but if you don’t, who cares?

Until next blog…

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