Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Modern Technology

Here's an amusing story: There's a french website that I upload my work onto called "L'Atellier des Artistes" . They are linked to Canson - a company that makes paper, but also they are linked to various competitions and expos. One in particular is "Art Nîmes" which is an art fair that takes place in the City of Nîmes - about an hour and a half from here. Mainly it's galleries exhibiting, but "L'Atellier des Artistes" hire a space and a person to act as adjudicator and choose pictures from entries on their website. So getting your stuff on the wall there is pretty good - it costs nothing, gets your artwork seen by galleries and visitors to the fair, and there are prizes awarded. Last year I tried to enter but failed. I asked be email why my work was rejected, but I never got a reply.

This year the theme is "Animalia", and so I thought I'd enter some of my animal drawings. However, they got rejected (pretty quickly). The rejection email said they didn't meet the requirements of the competition. I was a bit confused by this (they seemed to be asking for animal drawings, and that's exactly what they were) so I emailed a question saying that I didn't understand - and that perhaps this was because of the language barrier - I'm obviously a stupid Brit. I got a nice reply (in English) that explained to me that what they were looking for was work a bit more "modern" , and that straightforward drawings of animals would be rejected. In fact she emailed me to a link I'd missed (and it seems i wasn't the only rejected person confused) with a detailed explanation of how they didn't want traditional animal drawings, nor did they want cliché'd drawings of people showing their "animal" nature, but something altogether more modern and interpretive of the theme. Anyway, she gave me another chance to enter (not normally given), which was very kind of her.  Given this kindness I thought I ought to enter something, so I reflected and looked at my work, and decided the work I had done that most closely fitted their requirements were my iPad drawings of weird creatures, and so I submitted three.

And here's where it gets amusing. (Phew that was a long wait). They accepted all three of my works....BUT... they STILL didn't meet the requirements of the competition, because they were "digital". Er.. too modern? But they were likely to be accepted properly if I could reproduce them as original artworks on paper (not iPad drawings printed, which i offered - not within the rules) and resubmit them. Which I've done: and here they are:

Wedding Goat - after Chagall

Red Bull

Doing this translation of digital work to work on paper was an interesting exercise, so I didn't really mind - and I now assume (silly boy) that these will now meet all requirements and go off to be viewed at the expo. Which is good news. This also is a good example of how bureaucracy invades all parts of life in France. For example, today I received my official attestation for 2012 from the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs that I am an artist. Yay!
I love it.

Post script: here are the rejected digital drawings (since I've been asked). The rejected animal drawings are visible on my website amongst all the other animal drawings http://www.davidabse.com/portfolio/animals/ :

iPad Chagall - Wedding Goat

iPad Tiger

iPhone Red Bull


  1. I want to see the rejected animal drawings.

    1. I presume you mean the digital ones - one of them is already up, but I'll put them up anyway: just for you!