Mentions in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are nice, but the way you can really tell that Artprize has arrived is that there’s now a site devoted to lampooning the “worst” entries in the “open” art competition.
The blog “Artprize Worst” (and accompanying Twitter account @artprizeworst) appear to have gone up a week ago, and have begun publishing critiques of some of the entries in the 2010 Artprize competition ala Regretsy (parodying the craft ecommerce site Etsy).
I personally think that tributes like this are more important in the era of social media than mass media endorsements. Here’s why: if someone is taking the time to catalog your foibles, it means you’re doing something well enough to not only be noticed. More importantly though, it means your effort reaches a level of quality worth having an opinion on.
That’s the intangible quality that communication professionals thirst for. It’s the reason so many actors long to be parodied on the Simpsons.
Hopefully the site won’t get shut down by legal action; giving a forum to this sort of opinion (which exists whether or not anyone files a cease and desist order) is valuable and can ultimately make the whole experience of an event like Artprize richer. It also gives exposure to works that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
If I had an entry listed by Artprize Worst – I’d proudly wear that as a badge of honor signifying I was worthy of comment.
We should all be so lucky to have critics.