Juries and their Delusions and New Efforts


Last year in early summer I ran across something called the Parallax Blog, they had some interesting stuff. I'm going to reprint a part for your enjoyment. Sorry I don't have the writers name, hopefully he will forgive such temerity. Please enjoy.

Juries and their delusions

Juries and committees still abound in the art industry. Pride and egoism are such important hooks for selling products on that the best marketers know that a jury of some kind, however used or abused, draws in the customers. And better still if you can qualify that jury with a quasi-expert who rubber stamps the process as genuine, real and believable. For artists this process is destructive. And I am not referring to those who get sifted out. No, I am talking about those that get "chosen" or "selected". I'm talking about the seeming winners. We love hierarchy, especially when we are close to the top. We like the idea that we are "in" and others are "out" of the club. The art industry fosters this sense of exclusivity, on the belief (for that is what it is) that there is a "reality" of special knowledge and only a few are "behind" the curtain. And those on the "outside" often share in this belief too. How often do you hear someone shying away from "explaining" an art object claiming that they do not know much about art? You see, they BELIEVE that there is something unbeknown to themselves that CAN be known, in most cases, by the specialist, whether that be the artist or some other expert in the arts. So, the artist that gets "selected" believes that this process is something quite real.

This is why there is often talk about such ideas (or myths) as "quality". The process of selection, in their thinking, MUST substantiate "quality". The converse is also true for the losers. This is a great delusion- a charade played out in the art industry where there is amnesia of having placed "quality" in the first place.

If you are "selected" it means nothing in any objective sense. In fact, it could point to an intellectual laziness on the part of the "specialists". (This is the sad irony of that seeming intellectual exclusivity played out by so many in the art industry.) For they put that "quality" into your object though they often know it not. They did not find it. And if they cannot find it...it begs the question of the purpose of jurying artists and objects; of propping up and maintaining hierarchical notions of objects and makers under such a delusion. I would suggest that to do this is not to embrace the "new zeitgeist" (that strange "sound" that one sometimes hears and feels in these times and is yet to be named) but is to be planted in an age that has already passed.

Behind the curtin with Sex and the Kitty

This time I have a just finished work to share that we can deconstruct...it's called "Sex and the Kitty". At an art show a couple of years ago a customer said that I would do well if I had a picture called "Sex and the Kitty"--obviously after the well known show that ran on HBO. It's taken a while, but finally I believe I have produced something that has that unique feel.

If you look to the right you will see many of the elements that were used to compose "Sex and the Kitty." At the top is a NYC street scene from the 20's (like nearly all my background starting images, these are form the Library of Congress and are in the public domain.) Under the building are three different images of women walking (again LOB and public domain free) and to the left of the women walking a NYC policeman.

Moving down the composition I've shown four of the cats heads I've used. These are (mostly) from shoots that I've done at the Open Door animal sanctuary in House Spring MO. Below that you can see the composition of all five cats, they have great determination.

Finally this is the final composition with all elements in place, I even added a cobble stone street. I this you can now see the policeman and the part he plays. A voyeur male admiring the rear ends of the fine felines walking down the street. I'm sure it made his day.

One thing you may have noticed is that I'm not striving for complete realism anymore. There is more of an painted feel, there are elements that are left unfinished or give an impression of what they are. The building for example. I think the new look is much more interesting.

This is my bio for "Sex and the City"*... United by their ability to take on a male dominated society, on terms of their choosing, these ladies show an indomitable spirit. At the moment they are just returning from a gab fest at Moshe's Matza. a Jewish eatery on 12st at Bleecker.

Sex and the City *is offered in three limited edition sizes...

  • 8"x 10" - Bleeddartwork, signed and numbered behind the print. Placed (not mounted) on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar.
  • 17” x 22” – Overall size. Shipped of 1/8” thick acid-free foamcoar.
  • 20" x 24" - Overall size. Same size artwork area as the 17" x 22" item BUT double matted in archival white. Shipped on 1/8 thick acid-free foamcoar.