It’s a great feeling when you have your work chosen for a selective exhibition, or you make the final of a major art prize. Winning an award or gaining a commendation, no matter how small, can give you a real boost. People who make such decisions are (usually) respected in the art world and what they say carries “weight” in the eyes of not only the general public, but also artists.
Art critics have a very important role to play; they can make or break an artist with what they say. A bad review though can work in one’s favour as it should result in just as much interest as a glowing report.
The general viewing public don’t count as they are influenced by other factors such as price and their attitudes to art – “I know what I like”. Popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to being a “good” artist.
Fellow artists making such judgements can provide constructive feedback and give the artists concerned a “picture” on how their work is perceived (by them). Artists aren’t that concerned with buying each other’s work, although I know it does happen. They are more interested in the artistic merits of the work they pass judgement on.
I have been to exhibitions where “very average “ artwork gains praise, usually from fellow artists. This is wrong as it gives artists a false sense of achievement. Honesty is the best policy!
If you are passing judgement on someone’s work and can’t be positive, be encouraging!
Tomorrow: The value of sponsorship.