Friday, July 30, 2010

Garage Sale Find

According to several news outlets, a California man (Rick Norsigian ) claims to have unearthed a number of original Ansel Adams film negatives. The story from the BBC News can be read here.

Verification on the authenticity of these negatives is in dispute. People from both viewpoints have commented on this issue. From the article, it seems that the central theme of these arguments is whether or not Mr. Norsigian should profit from his find.

Establishing the dollar amount of any one work of art is often an inconsistent process. Many factors go into this decision, including the “brand name” of the artist. Artists’ names fluctuate in popularity just as companies on the stock market. I would add however, that this is unimportant.

I have often made the comparison between the visual arts and literature. Both are forms of communication, and they are both frequently used to tell a story. With regards to the visual arts, I think how that story is told and how the viewer responds to the story has far more value than a monetary sum. The same could be said for literature as well. While original manuscripts from authors have a high dollar amount, people don’t really purchase and trade these items. They are reprinted and people acquire their favorites because of the content.

To own a work of art, regardless of the media, only for its dollar amount is not a wise decision. If one enjoys the work, let that be the reason to own it. Do you agree?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Juried Art Shows

My work was recently accepted for an upcoming juried art exhibition. I am very excited about this, but feel I must also address the nature of juried art shows. Usually these shows are juried by a panel of experts or one individual art professional. Although firmly established, this process seems somewhat arbitrary. For this show 230 works were submitted, and only 33 were accepted. I understand the idea of promoting only the best work, but should this determination be made by only one individual or group?

Art, especially my art, is used as a means of communication, and I strongly feel that the best messages are conveyed to a broad audience. If work that is meant for a large spectrum is only viewed by a select few, is the message really being sent? These are open ended questions. I don’t really believe this process is going to change, nor am I certain that it should. These are just thoughts to consider as an artist. What is your opinion?