Show (me the money) Artists

September 28th, 2011 | Posted by Alistair in exhibition
The filename of this image is “coolsm”, which I presume refers to the copy… but S&M is also cool. In this narrative I think the artists who submit work are the masochists which must make Show Artists the doms. THEY WANT TO SEE “IT” AND THEY’LL SHOW YOU, OH YES. The safe phrase is “get lost”.

Hello everybody, my name is DJ Artistair and when I’m not DJing at the coolest Chilean clubs (I specialise in Monkstep, but you won’t have heard of it yet because I’m cooler than you), or testing out new mens’ hair products, or having laser eye surgery or posing for generic stock photography, I Exhibit & Sell [sic] my art, which consists of TV test cards and small obsolete racing cars. Because “cards” and “cars” sound almost the same, so my work is interrogating the po(li/e)tics of homonymy.

Not really. Actually I’m much more handsome than this and I haven’t worn a waistcoat since before the Second World War. What really happened is that Show Artists took it upon themselves to spam me with their spamming stick, so I thought I’d give them some of the publicity they crave. I think the appropriate cliché is “be careful what you wish for.” Sorry guys, I may have suffered every indignity as an artist except popularity but I’m not a moron and unfortunately for you I have considerably more sense than money. Not the first one of these I’ve been subjected to, but it’s probably the worst.

The deal is that an artist pays them a $39 “entry fee” to be considered for one of their vanity group shows which take place in various cities that give the impression of being chosen mainly for the convenience of the people behind this scheme. These “sponsors” have two sites (both apparently/allegedly with physical sites in the real world) that seem to be run by exactly the same middle aged couple (and son?) and some other woman who manage the “competitions”, of which there are currently five available. Nice little earner. Both Via Foundation (no documentation of how or in what manner they are a foundation, under which country’s laws they are registered and constituted as a non-profit organisation, etc.) in Santiago and Art Curated Gallery (again, sic, three words that sound great together but as a phrase don’t mean anything) recycle the same hard-sell content, sketchy background information and chronic overuse of vaguely aspirational, glossy stock images- so I think it’s safe to assume that these are merely there as props to provide the impression that Show Art is linked to and from other places,  and they’re not entirely independent entities.

Don’t want to be lumped in with all the other pauper desperadoes? Lucky you, some chances to be considered for a “solo show” are available for only $99. “Solo Exhibitions provide a featured, distinct, solo artist room or special featured wall or area at the exhibition.” Gosh, a special featured wall. In other words, it’s not really a solo show but don’t worry about that because you can bypass all this quasi-meritocratic competition stuff by paying a $299 entry fee for the chance that they’ll allow you to pay “$4800-$6800 USD to have a guaranteed space at the show.” Presumably the initial $299 is just a test to make sure you’re comfortable with spunking perfectly good money up the wall before they hit you for the big payday.

You may ask: is the art excellent? YES. I mean, no, obviously it isn’t. Don’t be silly. Some of it is hilarious, however. I think I can obviate the need for any further commentary on my part by directing you to steel yourself for a brief visit to these sad websites, and to the list of “benefits” dangled as a carrot to the desperate (quoted below). The most depressing thing is that these people are not even the worst or the most blatant predators upon the ambitions of the young and the naïve. Most tragic bulleted list ever. I’m “adding to adding” [sic] a “Win” to my resume [sic].

WHY ENTER?

Live Exhibition Competitions:

Every Artist who enters gets:

  • International exposure online with a 5 image portfolio per entry fee.
  • A chance to win and exhibit and sell art at a prestigious live exhibition.

Finalists:

  • International exposure to the art world online with a 5 image portfolio per entry fee. Our website get a lot of traffic!
  • Add to your artist resume with a “finalist” placement in a prestigious fine art exhibition.
  • Inclusion in an international press release.
  • ShowArtists “Finalist” listing about you and your art.

Winners:

  • Start to live the dream of a real international art career on a world stage!
  • Exhibit your art and be seen by to up to 10,000 art exhibition visitors.*
  • Exposure to up to hundreds of media people will see your art at each live exhibition.
  • A real opportunity to SELL art to international art buyers, patrons and collectors.
  • An opportunity for exposure to international art galleries who attend the exhibitions.
  • Discover new art collectors and patrons.
  • Add to add a “Win” to your resume in a prestigious international fine art exhibition.
  • A chance at cash prizes.
  • Inclusion in an international press release.
  • ShowArt Magazine feature about you and your art.
  • ShowArtists “Finalist” listing about you and your art.
  • International exposure to the art world online with a 5 image portfolio per entry fee.

* Number of visitors depends on the specific art competition and can also vary from year to year. Numbers are based on past numbers of visitors to the art competition venues.”

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