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Art Prizes: is it worth it?

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There are several “Art Prizes”in the modern art world in which a large part are subject to a fee,that is you need to pay a fee(that is different form prize to prize) in order to take part. Each year sprout new so called Prizes which theoretically should give great opportunity to those artists talented and deserving,but who decide who is talented and deserving compared to others? A so-called jury of experts decides who has talent or not; curators,art critics,directors of art galleries or museums, writers,journalists,sons of art etc. I noticed that in these juries there is almost never an artist like a painter,sculptor,drawer,nothing at all! How is that fair? Art critics or historical surely know art and its history,but only in theory,they have not the slightest idea of what it means to create something with their own hands,drawing,painting, shape and sculpt their own thoughts; they don’t know how much effort and how much work is behind each artworks,and so why we should be judged by someone who can’t create anything?Such people are all theory and no practice,they don’t know what it means get their hands dirty,put all yourself  in an artwork,invest time and money in themselves!

It’s not easy of course,to select the finalist of such prizes,even because so many people take part in them,in hundreds sometimes even thousands. I don’t know what is the basis of their selection method: i guess quality,composition,message of the work,topic chosen( preferably topical subject),innovation,but sometimes we see to get to the final and either win artworks of dubious artistic value that do not reflect at all the requirements listed above. So why are rejected impressive artworks and  win shoddy ones? “At the descretion of the jury”,so we read,in the rules of these art contests,an answer with no possibility of appeal! If you want to take part these are the rules,take it or leave it. Is it really worth it to spend money to take part of these art contests? Many artists took part and won these kind of prizes but complaining that their career has not changed or improved in any way even though these constests promised a big improve of visibility and career.So why take part in it? Perhaps do you want to prove to be better than others or do you want to show a certificate to family and friends? What’s the point of it? Many of these prizes have a very low rewards,sometimes ridiculous! There are very few prizes that can really change career of artist,but win them would be like winning the lottery! I think an artist can be even a genius,but hardly he stands out in the pathetic marasmus of modernism among moderrn paint,installations,video-makers,mixed media to say the least reckless and so on; true quality is often put aside in favour of unlikely innovations which will be forgotten faster than we think. Unfortunately even art has been absorbed by frantic consumerism of our society in which everything must be novelty,everything must be consumed as required by fashion and quickly forgotten into oblivion!         

Recently i tried to take part to a renowned prize in Italy in which participation fee was about 120$ ,considering that along with myself have enrolled around 20 thousands people,i’ve made a quick calculation about earning of such association and it is coming off a staggering number: 2 million and 400 thousands dollars!!! Do you want to know the amount allocated to winning artists? Just 10 thousands dollars that it is really a misery,to share to four artist! The rest of money goes to critics,judges, gallerists,wiseacres,directors etc. I will not attend anymore  to such petty contests that tend to divide artists by making them compete against each other,creating divisions which those people use cleverly to get rich!

If you hope to stand out in such pathetic contests and even hope that they can change our lives it would be like to hope to become immortal…that is an utopia! Artist must prove to be a real artist throughtout his existence,not just by winning such lottery prizes which mean nothing,since they are just result of personal preference and opinions of limited number of people which appropriates the right to decide who is an artist and who is not and never will be! Who would be such people to decide the destiny of artists? From where do they take such authority? I tell you from where,it works like politicians,we give them power with our votes and so we give power to decide about our career by take part in such useless and expensive contests to such people that cherish only about money and not art! Picasso became famous and rich,other than thanks to his amazing natural talent, not for take part of such contests, but thanks to promote himself and having had the good fortune to find honest art dealers which have opened the doors of success! Those were other times it’s true,surely nowadays is different,but i confide,despite everything, that there are still honest and bright people, true art lovers not just money lovers!  

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