Oct 7, 2009

And my final choice to win ArtPrize is...

I didn't think it was going to be difficult to make my final decision on who deserves my vote to win ArtPrize. I was tossed between Jason Hackenwerth's balloon piece or Eric Daigh's push pin portraits.  Eric Daigh used 23,625 push pins for each portrait which truly amazes me. Jason Hackenworth created a beautiful sculpture out of balloons! As much as I can appreciate the creativity and meticulous efforts in creating their works, neither work TRULY moved me.

Since I didn't have the opportunity to dedicate a few moments to study Ran Ortner's Open Water no. 24 last time I was at the Old Federal Building, I made it a point to take in the phenomenal oil painting of water - and how it comes alive in this painting. Every stroke was a dance in harmony with nature's wonders. Through my viewfinder, the painting seemed to change orientation at every angle. It looked so real, so alive.

With my luck, Ran was actually standing in front of his piece when I started taking photographs. I took one look at this former motorcycle racer in his grey t-shirt, black sweatshirt and jeans and was convinced that this guy in front of me is a true artist in every sense of the word. He is a dead ringer for Mickey Rourke (when the actor still looked like a human being). I can just see him going 150 miles on his bike; blonde hair blowing in the wind with no care in the world. Beneath the facade is an artist who compared his painting style to a chef adding spices to a dish; how each stroke of the brush adds another dimension to the canvas.

I pressed my eyes a few inches from his painting and wondered in amazement how anyone can paint with so much depth and vision. I took a few steps back to take in the piece one more time. And this time,  I am convinced that Open Water no. 24 gets my final vote.

In the end, it's not the fun and clever work that received my vote, but the one that truly moved me.

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