Friday, April 4, 2008

Hunting for Plebs

What's the point of the Hunting Prize?

Impressing very-very wealthy oil executives and their wives.

What impresses oil executives and their wives?

Charming anecdotes related by pleasant folk, self-effacing pandering, shoe shines and tap dances, artists wearing name tags standing next to their artwork like they're selling bushels of corn.

Who decides whose artwork gets into the Salon... er... show?

A trio of curators from the nosebleed seats, Lubbock, El Paso and Corpus Christi.

Who decides who wins this thing?

Three art people representing the three major burgs of Texas. (Since when is a Houston lady-who-lunches on par with the director of the McNay Museum?) They skipped Austin because everyone said they'd be busy.

Anything unusual in the application process?

"Any artwork that includes the use of bodily fluids, degradation of religion or government, and/or depiction of sexual acts or any other medium, presentation or topic objectionable to Hunting PLC will be automatically disqualified from the competition."

How has 2008 winner Michael Tole been doing?

"My wife and I paid off our student loans and put a down payment on a house with the prize money. I also reinvested a lot of it into my business, paying two years studio rent in advance, buying materials, etc. I’d like to say I spent it on hookers and cocaine, but I’m just not that exciting.

"Don’t try to figure out what your work means first and then try to make it. It will be still born. The poison of art school is the idea that you have to know what it all means. Just start making something. The first few things you make will suck, but in the process of making them, you will begin to find what really interests you, rather than what you think SHOULD interest you. ... Theory describes and explains, it isn’t causal.

"Also, although the most important thing to succeeding as an artist is making good work, that’s only 50% of the profession. The other half is meeting people, making the right connections, and getting your work seen. Enter competitions, network, go to art fairs and shamelessly self promote. Finding friends to help you is a must. Likewise, be willing to help others. ... It has worked for me."

via Sprayblog

Where do the 128 "finalists" hail from?

Picked by curators from West and South Texas, the Hunting Prize breaks strong for Houston; trying to win us back, yo?

Houston- 42
H-Town 'burbs- 7

Dallas- 14
Fort Worth- 8
Denton- 4
DFW 'burbs- 4

San Antone- 10

Austin- 3

Corpus- 3

El Paso- 1

Will Hunting offer a chicken tender dinner to the artists before letting guests splurge on shrimp cocktail? Rainey said last year: "Most people in the Texas art world want the Hunting Prize to be something that, for now, it is not. Rather than recognizing excellence, the prize values quantity over quality — as one insider put it, “they’re not looking for the best of the best.” But Hunting could easily create something that actually does help artists other than the winner. For now, the prize is a lottery: artists will apply because of the size of the award — but they won’t take it seriously, and neither will anybody else."

Winners (losers) to be announced May 3rd, 2008.


Tom Toperzer said...

Why only list the locals of 96 of the 128 artists accepted into the 2008 Hunting Art Prize?

Dellview Delly said...

Hi Everyone, I have an interesting turn of events. I was a finalist for the 2008 line up and just was notified that my art work was disqualified!!!! They gave me no explanation after I had a wooden crate built and paid for shipping (as they required!). They only put a blurb on about how they can disqualify anyone they want. So I did some research.
Contacted one of the jurors who were to chose pieces from the actual works and he said that they never seen my piece. I called a representative of Hunting and she told me that they had nothing to do with the disqualification process and that it was the jurors that did the disqualifying because it wasn't a "painting". What gives? I try to get a clear answer and all they say is to pay for the shipping back of my work.
I think it is interesting to note that my painting is non traditional "over the sofa" type of painting but I consider it a painting!!!! If you look closely at the work you will see the word "WAR". Do you think they saw it?
Interesting, but I think other artists should realize that the Hunting Art Prize is not what it wants to appear. I was in the gala last year and there was some really bad paintings and some good ones. The taste of the oil barons really lacks.

Anonymous said...

Hey dude, I'm pretty sure everyone who has even the slightest clue knows the Hunting prize is lame. I'd also bet that none who entered think that it is about prestige, or that who they are pandering to are (equally worthless) tastemakers in the"scene". It is $50,000 though and a lottery well worth playing. Simply put, you are coming off sounding like a whiny baby who didn't get picked.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon-you just sound like babies who didnt get picked and now just have sour grapes to chew on. Why dont you get off your ass actually do something worth looking at rather than lashing out at people you dont know. If you actually went to the event you would know its not just prestigious people who go, but normaltons too- and a hell a lot of money is given to charity- 95% of money raised is matched. But going to this event- you surely know all this right? So actually its a pretty good thing and not many events can match that. So get off your high horse, take your finger out and do some work!