Last night I flipped on the TV to see what Artprize entries the professional jurors had chosen for their shortlists in the competition, and was astounded at what I saw. These folks had looked every entry in their category, and these were deemed to be the best? For example, the juror who picked entries for the 2-D category picked “Survival Does Not Lie In The Heavens”, and spent a few minutes explaining the deep meaning she saw in it. To me, it just looked like circles painted on a black background. No offense to the artist, but even in my limited viewing of Artprize exhibits, I saw many other 2-D pieces that I thought were much worthier of being chosen.
What about “Best Medicine”? This oil painting is of the author, her mother, and two sisters laughing together. I didn’t need some expert to explain this picture to me. Clearly, love and laughter are the best medicine.
How about “A Day In December”? It shows a town that is clearly past its prime, and now is in its December, or end stage of life.
At the local police department, I ran into “Love The Giraffe”, and it made me feel joyful. It brought back the memory of a paper mache giraffe that my son made many years ago.
Then there was “Broken Doughboy”, the painting of a World War One soldier huddled on the ground, struggling with shell-shock (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
“The Nest Trilogy” was spectacular in its sky-scapes, and detailed birds and houses (only one of the three pictures is shown here). It was about over-population.
And then there was the lighthearted, playful entry “An Industrious Menagerie”, a five-picture set that featured handmade clay animals working, this image of copper miners being the main picture.
Great artwork will always be in the eye of the beholder, and thankfully, we’ve been given an abundance of exhibits to feast our eyes on.