I didn't win the photo contest. Big surprise, eh? I'd love to say that I simply don't care, but that wouldn't be the truth.
I have always been against art contests even as simple as coloring contests for children.
I have asked my children, when they have wanted to enter such a contest, "If Michelangelo, DeVinci, Monet, Renoir, and all of the great artists were involved in an art contest, who'd win?
Art is highly subjective and very personal. The emotions art provokes draw on personal experiences and opinions. For example, no matter how great the Southwestern art may be, I will always choose a country scene with lots of trees and flowers over it. It is my personal preference. I love the sight of lush green much more than the sight of desert beauty. (Remind me why I live in Utah again?? ;)
So, knowing all of this on a logical level, why, oh why, oh why do I enter art contests? And why do I get my feelings hurt and get unsure of myself when I don't win??
Even when I am predicting the winner of an art contest I am never right. It always takes me by surprise that the picture that I like best doesn't even get an honorable mention, and that the winner is usually not one of my choices at all. I think that I must march to the beat of my own drummer.
And another thing: does what constitutes "good" photography (and perhaps good art in general) change with the times?
Steve and I were visiting a local art museum on Friday night, and they were featuring a photographer that was a contemporary and friend of Ansel Adams. I don't remember her name, but many of her photographs were featured in TIME magazine. The interesting thing was that most of her pictures' focal points were in direct center of the photograph. Now as a beginning photographer, such as I am, it is pounded into our heads over and over and over to *not* have the person's face or some other focal point be dead center. So what made this woman such a great photographer?? Do the rules change based on what is in vogue at the time? I'm still pondering....
So this is what I think I'm going to do: if I ever have the opportunity to put my photographs in a gallery, online or "real life", I won't hesitate to do so, but I am swearing off photo contest of all kinds forevermore. Nothing makes me question myself and my art more than *not* winning, even if I don't like the judge's choices anyhow.
Anyone know of any galleries to enter though? I haven't heard of any. I may need to search...