In Uncategorized on October 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

   From time to time, I’ve been asked the question, would I want to be a contestant on “Work of Art, the Next Great Artist.” And I’ve always replied, “no.”

  For those unfamiliar with the program, it is one of those reality game shows based on the weekly elimination format, where, on the basis of what seems to be fairly dubious criteria, a group of judges dismisses a contestant that fails to measure up, this time in terms of the art created by the artist/contestant. And like most of these reality shows produced in the elimination format, dismissal if often a debasing and humiliating experience. Rejection in the art worlds, particularly where juries are a factor provides enough rejection that the notion of broadcasting one’s failures to a TV audience surely cannot be appetizing.

   My reason for why I wouldn’t want to be a contestant is pretty simple. In a nutshell its called: self-respect. another word is, personal integrity, well that’s two words, but essentially those are my reasons. Of course I’ve been asked to expand upon these principles in relation to my feelings about “Work of Art,” and in an attempt to clarify my position, which I sometimes worry might be a bit high-minded, I try to keep things simple. And as usual I utilize analogies and memories from my own past experiences as I interpret them. For one, it goes to the question of why I do art. The foundation of which puts forth a motive and thus explains what art is for me. 

  I enjoy making art. I enjoy creating art on my terms. Were I to participate on “Work of Art…” I wouldn’t enjoy it because the format of the contest isn’t based in part on creating work on one’s own terms. Rather, one goes about with a group of other artist frantically attempting to fulfill some rather silly themes dreamed up by a panel of very elitist judges for later critique within a set time limit. If your work meets the approval of the same judges, you either win a variation of that weeks contest or you are allowed to continue participating without elimination. At the end, if you’re last person standing you get a lot of money and acknowledgement from a lot of established art peers that yes, you are in fact, the next great artist.

  When I produced paintings during my two year stint at Golden Belt, I wasn’t particularly bothered by whether my paintings sold or not. I never thought of painting as a job nor hobby, but a way of life. However, our present culture is driven by strong monetary considerations and anything produced with regard to value is also thought to have presence as a commodity destined for a market.

   Well, stuff like that doesn’t mean that much to me, because art is fun on its own without worrying about what a group of suspect judges think.   


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