Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dumb Choice

This blog has a long history of making fun of art prizes. Well, I did it once, anyway.

Now comes word from my friend SD that an artist named Gavin Turk has been given the Charles Wollaston Award ("one of the art world's most prestigious prizes," worth nearly $50,000) for a work called Dumb Candle:
Dumb Candle, a sawn-off broom handle carved into the shape of an extinguished candle, was praised for both its simplicity and subtlety.
Bill Woodrow, who chaired the judging panel, said: "Dumb Candle is an imaginative work with subtle undertones that pick up on several significant art historical moments."
And here I am sweating my career choices. Someone get me a broom handle!


Blogger Carrie said...

Is there a reason that when I Google this, I can't find a picture of Dumb Candle anywhere? Is it a rights thing? Because you'd think when you're talking about a prize-winning work of art, you'd want to display said work.

I'd like to think it's all a hoax, but I know better. Stupid art people.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently read the Stanford Commencement speech by Dana Gioia, who is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and whose name contains so many vowels that it probably constitutes some kind of artistic expression in itself. I'd suggest reading the speech. It says two things that I thought were fascinating.

First, he says to name as many living American NBA stars and American Idol Finalists as you can. Then he says to name as many living American poets, playwrights, painters, sculptors, architects, classical musicians, conductors, composers, scientists, and social thinkers as you can.

Needless to say, I was less than impressed with the breadth of my arts knowledge.

Here's the 2nd thing he said:

"Most American artists, intellectuals, and academics have lost their ability to converse with the rest of society. We have become wonderfully expert in talking to one another, but we have become almost invisible and inaudible in the general culture."

And that, my friends, is modern art in a nutshell. Modern artists make art for each other, and not for the general public. They build on themes -- like the removal of form from art -- that very few people are even aware of, let alone appreciate. They've gotten rid of the aesthetic, and concentrated solely on the academic.

And to my non-artistic sensibilities, that completely misses the point.

-- Comish

8:54 PM  

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