Wednesday, December 9, 2009

DAMage Report - One hand lifts you up and the other smacks you down

It's ARTS smorgesborg day with a cross section of the hot topics that hit the feeds this week.

The big news was a new grant that is specifically directed at young artists, to assist them in developing their creative gifts. The Future Generation Art Prize is a competition that will recognize and award artists age 35 and under. The Victor Pinchuk Foundation will provide the winner with $100,000 and help from mentors like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. Victor Pinchuk is a Ukrainian billionaire and art collector.

One of the goals is to "provide sustainable support for the future generation, by bringing the most promising of these young artists into a network that includes curators, critics, educators, scholars and some of the world's most celebrated artists."

Weren't we JUST talking about this?  Apparently Victor Pinchuk decided to invest his money in artists and the future rather than spend it on a Warhol for his safe to enjoy. I applaud him and I applaud the distinguished artists that have agreed to mentor the emerging artists. Y'all think Mr. Pinchuk was listening to the DAMage Report the other day?

For those interested in participating in this new opportunity the online entries will be accepted from Jan. 18 through April 18. The winner and up to five finalists will be announced in December 2010. An additional $20,000 will fund artist-in-residency programs for up to five other special prize winners. Incidently the prize is higher than the prestigious $36,400 Turner Prize given by the Tate or the $50,000 Hugo Boss Prize sponsored by the clothing company and given by the Guggenheim. For more details go to:

Other Grant news was the doling out of the NEA arts funds to various organizations across the country including over $4 million to the LA area. Nationwide, the NEA will distribute $26,968,500 to support 1,207 projects. This will be a life-saver for many organizations across the country and help keep their programs  going. Nearly $27 million in grants was distributed by the National Endowment for the Arts to 1,207 projects.

A large part of the Arts chatter this past week has revolved around the Art Basel Party in Miami. This was apparently "the party" of the year with art from 267 galleries and 33 countries. The big poo-poo seemed to be directed at Sylvester Stallone who has been painting for many years. Snide comments demeaning "celebrity artists" and recommendations for him to keep his day job reinforced for me exactly how damn snobby the art world can be. Is there a rule somewhere that dictates who can and cannot create art? There was a time in our history that artists who explored many areas of the arts were held in the highest regard. Now if a "celebrity" dares to step out of their success box and try their hand at something else, they are bitchslapped for their audacity. I actually thought his paintings were intriguing. Apparently so did three buyers since he made $90,000 in sales. Go Rocky.,0,5225032.story

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