Amazing is a word built for things that inspire awe, wonder, possibly even astonishment, though it has, like so many fortifying adjectives such as “so” and “very” been misused by attention-starved reporters of the unremarkable. “Dude, I saw the most amazing Springer episode yesterday…” Just more evidence of the global dumbing that grips our youth and middle aged alike in recent years. but such adjectival overzealousness is harmless in the given context. However when a person assigned the job of writing about a major art competition starts brandishing words like astounding, amazing, incredible (presumably in lieu of more specific terms) One would hope he’d do so only where appropriate lest he run out of superlatives emphatic enough should something come along to put everything previous to shame.
Apparently Artists Wanted has juried another competition, “Art Takes London,” and according to themselves the results could only be described using all the top superlatives.
Not only that “[Their] jury panel was thoroughly impresseed with the level of talent, vision and voice in the work received. Unfortunately, we can only select one artist to present at SCOPE London 2011. It’s been an excruciating process, but after much deliberation our judges Alexis Hubshman, Founder of SCOPE Art Show; Jason Goodman, Founder of 3rd Ward; and Daria Brit Shapiro, Head Curator at Artists Wanted have reached a decision.”
Now those are some pretty big adjectives and once again I was primed to have my Napolean blown apart. So without further ad…do?
I have seen amazing, incredible, astounding art. I can name five artists off the top of my head whose work can be described this way. This artists work is interesting, cute, it has fun use of color, I like it. But amazing? No. There’s nothing amazing about this and there were plenty of other artists in the top 100 of this competition that were fairly amazing.
I want to ask these judges to explain themselves in real words why they chose this artist over thousands of others. I think one of the prerequisites to being a judge in an art competition should be the ability to divulge the secret formula you use to make these all important decisions. No, no, no, it’s not some magical power that only a certain select few people who have been born with. You need to tell us why this artist is most deserving of this honor because thousands may base their careers on your decisions and that will in turn effect the future of art as we know it. So please disclose what it is about these crudely rendered faces with their awkward childlike brushstrokes and gawdy straight-out-of-the-tube neon colors that makes you decide they are more intrinsically valuable or genuinely original than all the other artists work placed before you. Because it looks suspiciously to me like you were so deluged with art that it all began to look the same to you. Your eyes, as will happen with anyone’s eyes when bombarded with an overload of visual stimuli, ceased to relay accurate information to your visual cortex, and you had the embarrassing realization that you were unable to make even an educated guess as to which to choose. so instead you had to resort to eeny-meeny-miney-moe and after several hundred rounds of that insipid rhyme your finger landed on one body of work and you were relieved, comforted in knowing that your choice would never be questioned and that like so many sheep every single person to see this artists work would assume without a doubt that despite what they feel about it, their opinion being inconsequential compared to yours, this was the best, And pretty near as good as art gets. The proof? You said so.
Do you ever stop to question how you reached this station in life where your opinion is so greatly valued and relied upon? Did you ever worry that maybe you didn’t have that omnipotent power of discernment?