Daily Archives: May 22, 2011

‘Show Me the Monet’: A Sequel

So, the series has ended.

The artists came with clear agenda: to have their work exhibited at the Royal College of Art and exposure before a knowlegeable viewing audience; to receive constructive criticism, recognition and advice from a panel of respected experts; possibly to succeed in selling their work at the exhibition; and, as a bonus, to make a brief but potentially valuable appearance on TV.

To get their work exhibited artists had to gain  ‘Yes’ votes from two of the three judges.  Of the hundreds who applied, only  thirty-five were successful.  It is a measure of the subjective nature of judging that only on eleven occasions was the decision unanimous.

Selling work was equally difficult.  There were only eleven successful sales at the exhibition, although several of the artists believed they had made important contacts.

The highest price paid, £3100, was for Katy Sullivan’s ‘In Another World’  –  a portrait of her daughter.  The judges heaped praise on this exquisite work, especially since this was only the fifth painting by the artist who had given up a medical career to pursue her passion for art.  Had there have been such an award they would undoubtedly have made it ‘Best in Show’.  As they so irritatingly repeated, it ‘ticked all the boxes’.

In Another World

The aim of the series was to provide a platform, a launch pad, for the further development of artists’ careers regardless of their prior experience.  This competition is the beginning of the journey not the end, and the logical next step on our behalf, the viewers, is a sequel  –  a ‘what happened next’.

We want to know whether the judges were right.  We would like to see how careers have  blossomed or changed direction, possibly as a result of advice received or contacts made.  It would be interesting to hear from any who were totally discouraged by the experience.  Without follow-up the job is only half done.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable series, marred only by the excessively formulaic structure of the programme, made all the more apparent by the fact that the programmes followed each other in such quick succession.  Too often the cameras concentrated on people rather than the artwork under discussion and the judges rose from their seats like synchronised swimmers.  Come on BBC, you can do better!


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