WHiMSeY in ArtPrize
Art Prize is a becoming very popular in West Michigan. The official website proclaims: “For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, become an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown, and it’s all free and open to the public.”
Of the 1,536 entries for 2014 some of the more popular pieces were full of whimsey. Below you see the artist, Dan Chudzinski, fixing a piece that was broken off of his work, The Mud Puppy, by a fascinated young fan. He was pretty cool about the broken piece.
This year there seemed to be more works that were assembled from found objects. Below, L – R Looking for Alice by Anthony Jackson, (I give up as they really need to come up with a better system for cross referencing/finding the names of pieces and artists), and New American Gothic by Ritch Brandstrom.
Sometimes a work can be an unintended self-portrait. I asked Donald Raul Jr. if the ‘ant’ in the foreground of his work, Assembly Line, was a self portrait he admitted it did look like him:
Sometimes a self portrait can be very intentional. I was surprised Alex Podestra’s Self Portrait as Bunnies didn’t make the Top 20 Favorites as voted by the public. Every time I saw it crowds were flocked by the river bank to see it. Perhaps it needed to be Jeff Koonz sized.
Art Prize is a ‘public’ prize. The people vote for their favorites. I’m going to close by saying I know a lot about art but I still know what I like. What I don’t know is what the general public likes. They can be fickle.