Dec 13, 2011: Cultural Service of the French Embassy, USA , as a thanks to the art competition participants of “Rock the Statue Green”rock the statue green – poster

When I was 14 years, once a week, my classmates and I had one hour of drawing class. The teacher,  a short man who looked like coming straight from a comic cartoon was not ready to joke. Walking around to check our work at time I will stop in front of one of us saying ” what king of pig are you to do such a work? You are disgusting , let me get my red pen and I will write down on your copy minus two points “. There was no way trying to object or to screen ” this not fair!!! ” His response was always the same ” my little guy, fairness does not belong to this world, here is your minus two points” – this could be the reason why today there is so much red in the picture of my poster.

For those of you who have asked ‘ how will the art work will be judge? ‘ – the reply could be ‘ according to your response to our proposed assignments’ – How did you tackle the problem? How sensitive are you to the environmental issues? How did you demonstrate you creativity? What is the level of your artistic skills? How did you present your work on the site? And most importantly, because it is a school project, what do we [ the viewers] are going to learn from it?

This being said,  can truly an art work be “judged”? Deep down, I don’t think so!  But it can definitely be “critiqued,” this is the inevitable nature of the  ‘art works’ : it is endlessly going under the punishment! And it is hard for some of us because, through our work we open up our thoughts and sometimes our deep emotions making ourselves very vulnerable to others and we take the risk of being hurts.

In the ‘arts’ there is not such a thing as being better that your classmate, you only express and feel differently and as a result the response you trigger to others ‘attention’ can neither be measure nor predicted [ I speak for case of sincere player only] therefore the ‘competing’ remain within yourself : ” How can I become better ?”.  The number of clicks on your page remain worthless!  Le Corbusier, the most praised modern architect, never got officially recognized as such.  But he represents only an example from the endless list – believe me, far superior to all your entries combine.

On a competing project of this nature there is always a momentum that is created by the participants – in our case some of you [ individually or as group] have set up the ‘pace’ quite high with two dominant extreme opposite tendencies :A/craftsmanship or B/creativity.  Rarely both combine. So we are ending with very elaborated project concentrating mainly in craftsmanship versa good ideas very poorly crafted. There is one A case where I not sure I can do as well in terms of skill but the idea could be better addressed in terms of message, versa  a B case containing an idea strong enough to push anyone in the guts but where one cannot see clearly the image on the site,  light setting need to be change in order to make it readable!

In terms of using recycled material, many of you have grasp it very well, and the jury consider it as of a high importance, however in too many cases it has been used without trying to go further while considering the craftsmanship and the idea as well – it not enough to pile up cans or stitch newspaper, it needs to be bring at a higher level. Again, it is not that your proposal is bad, it just needs to be elaborate and his why we need to get together again next year.

This being consider ” to critique is easy, doing the work much harder ,” this were the words of Boileau in this ” Art Poétique” essay.

New York City Park 1

A drawing attached to a park fence, did not enter the competition ! But with a clear environmental message.

New York City Park 2

For those who feel they should be ‘recognized’, look up a those less fortunate than yourself.

New York City park 3

People offering prepared sandwiches in a freezing Sunday afternoon, did not enter our competition either, did not look for recognition or prices… but smile.

New York City Park 4
What ever we agree with the message or not is not for us the point, if we consider in terms of graphics, this imagery with is concept is a sort of replica of the Statue of Liberty idea.

New York City Park 5

Nature bravely casting is light on a tree making it be like a flame to remind us that competitions are only eye opener for us to move on with our task… Again thank you and happy holiday to all.

drawings, linoleum cuts, photographs and texts copyright Raymond Verdaguer, 2011.

%d bloggers like this: