I recently heard about a local art competition called ‘Seeking Picasso’, so I emailed the organisers to ask for information. On reading what the competition was based on and how it was organised, I decided not to enter.
The basics were as follows: out of all entrants, ten artists would be shortlisted for the competition. Every week for ten weeks, one piece of art per artist would be sold on Ebay. The artist who had the lowest selling piece would be disqualified each week until there was a winner. From the art that was sold, the artist would get 25%, the organisers would get 25% and 50% would go to the winner’s prize fund.
To me, it seemed immoral that the value of art would be judged on its sale price. The fact that the organisers would get the same amount of revenue as the artist also seemed unfair to me, since in my experience agents and galleries normally give the artist at least 75% of the sale price. I wanted to warn other artists to err on the side of caution before entering, so I made this clear on the forum. Alan (Al) Busby, organiser, got quite fired up in response, especially when I caught him out for contradicting himself! A sure sign of dodgy dealings if you ask me!