Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Subjectivity and The Beholder's Eye
This painting, entitled All Cracked Up III, is one of the first in this series and was completed nearly four years ago. I'm posting it because it's relevant to a statement that one of you made on your blog. The statement was about an artist's discouragement over a rejection from a juried competition. Those of us who annually engage in the world of juried exhibitions know how fickle they can be simply because of the subjective nature of individual judgement when it comes to art. This painting has been juried into and rejected by many jurors over the years. A few years ago it was juried into a major international exhibition where it won second prize. I remember walking around the exhibition, examining all the paintings, and then standing in the middle of the room to evaluate how my painting looked in comparison to the rest (I felt humbled!). Two women approached my painting (which already had the award affixed) and became irate. I remember hearing one of them say: "The judge got it wrong! How could he have made such a big mistake? This is an awful painting!" The other agreed, and stated that her painting, which wasn't juried in, was much better. You get the drift. I could have felt offended, but I didn't. The fact is, every eye that beholds an artist's work views through the lens of personal taste. So, I smiled when I heard the comments because - at least there was a reaction to what I had done! That's better than no reaction at all. Discouragement is a waste of time. Use it to work harder and produce better work.