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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Do It Yourself

posted by on November 29 at 18:50 PM

If you’ve ever wanted to display your artwork but didn’t have the gallery space,
If you’ve ever been passed over by curators or snubbed by the art world,
If you’re tired of the elite telling you what art is important,
If you don’t really ‘get art’ but still want influence,
If you’d like to win free money,
If you’re an artist looking for feedback,
If you’re a rebel looking for a cause,
If you’re a curator on the side of ‘the people’,
If you’ve ever secretly felt that art should be…democratic,
If you’ve nodded or choked back tears to any of the above,

Then you would fit right in on, which advertises itself as “A grassroots project bringing democracy to the world of art.” Its goal is to discover the next masterpiece, by democratic means, accomplished through “the people,” of course. Everyone is encouraged to join: art lovers, artists, curators, critics, even the casual web surfer.
Here’s how it works: ArtFaceOff provides every artist who joins with free tools and webspace to create an online portfolio of work. Every artist who builds a portfolio is automatically entered into the first stage of the art competition, the Ratings stage. During this time, anyone, even unregistered voters, can look through the portfolios and rate work based on a scale of 1 to 10.

Then, artists with sufficiently high scores are entered into the next stage of the competition, the Face Off stage. This is hand-to-hand art combat: a series of one-on-one competitions in which two of an artist’s highest-rated works appear side by side and viewers vote for their favorite of the two. The artist with the most votes moves on to the next round. Eventually, winners go up against winners until the pool is narrowed and there is only one artist left standing in each of eight media categories.

The artists who survive the competition win a cash prize and enjoy the prestige of being crowned “Humanity’s Greatest Living Artist” by ArtFaceOff’s underground co-op of art rebels.
Portland-based creator Steven W. Ochs’s, who launched the site in early September, explains why he started ArtFaceOff: “Radio created rock starsmovies and TV created movie starsthe internet will create Art Icons.”

Someone needs to shake poor Steve and tell him that striving to identify the world’s next great artist on ArtFaceOff is like expecting to find the world’s next supermodel on
“Yea!” for a concept that invites all people to get involved in art.
“Nay!” for a structure in which the art equivalent of Britney Spears could be named “Humanity’s Greatest”.
- Alli Urban

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