I have to admit I have been doing some snickering into my sleeve after reading the ArtPrize(not the Art Pat on the Back) blog responses to this post http://blog.artprize.org/2009/05/08/artprize-path-to-dark-side/ . The philosophical conundrums(a tip o’ the tam to Aaron for calling it that first) buzzing around in the ArtPrize hive are a veritable feast!
The notion that there is some sort of genius vibrating within the creative process which somehow elevates the artist above the banalities, or condescension, of the monetary sort are especially fun! This hubris is beyond me–someone please condescend in my direction.
I will admit that not everyone can create art, just like not everyone is cut out to be an accountant-we are each equipped to our own unique abilities. This being said-if someone has a particular talent for numbers would it be feasible, or appropriate, to suggest that they not be compensated for their skill?? Or, say I need my car repaired-I have no skill for carburetors, thing-a-ma-jigs, or whatchamacallits residing in my car but I know someone who does. I also happen to know this person absolutely loves what they do. It would be condescending for me to believe that because they have a knack for fixing knocks that they should do it without the heretical notion of payment in mind. I will happily PAY for that skill. I will also pay more for a mechanic I know will get the job done and do it well. Is it wrong for me to ‘reward’ the better mechanic?? I don’t think so. A little competition is a great way to improve the quality of almost everything-including art.
I know there are those out there who disagree with me but there are also those who compete in art competitions on a regular basis for the challenge of it. Their work evolves and grows regularly as they attempt to improve. Does the validation they receive when they are accepted into a prestigious competition diminish them as an artist, or if they win an award are they any less of a person? Umm-no.
Let’s stop short of instituting a no artist left behind policy-a level playing field means there is no reason to try harder.