Thursday, March 22, 2007

Is Nothing Sacred

The second round of the Saatchi Gallery online art competition “Showdown” is in full swing. The winner of the first of the 12 rounds that make up the competition has been chosen and can be seen at .

In essence Showdown is a popularity contest. The artist who can rally the most troops is sure to be in a more favoured position regardless of the quality of their work. Whether this is a fairer judging criterion than appealing to the prejudices of one judge or showing a horse that looks like a camel to a committee is, for me, an open question. Lets face it, all competitions to a certain regard are a lottery.

I entered the first round of Showdown and received 171 votes, mostly friends and rellies I suspect and perhaps the odd reader from here (see “vote for me” post below). But it was another 171 pairs of eyes on one of my works, which isn’t a bad thing. I will enter again, part of being an artist is being the eternal optimist.

Though there does seem to be something amiss with the voting system. Not being an entrant in the second round I popped in to have a look and express my unbiased (Ü) opinion. Whilst looking at the works I was told that I had voted for several of them, which was news to me. I have a pretty damn good visual memory and although being my second visit for this round they were all works I had never seen before, let alone voted for. It is something the organizers should look at, like yesterday, because someone is voting on my behalf.

If some technowizard has cracked the code and is able to vote multiple times under the guise of being someone else or a lot of someone elses Showdown will fast become a farce. This would be doing Charles Saatchi a great injustice, a man who through his patronage has done so much for art in general and British art in particular.

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