Anguished artist. Or tortured genius?
I'll go with either one, though if I went full-bore with my inner Tortured Genius there's a risk I'd end up doing a Van Gogh and cutting off my ear.
I did just get a haircut, though, so let's look on that gesture as a sort of performance art -- pointing to the pain my sensitive artistic soul has been suffering every morning this week when I get the newspaper, turn to a certain page, and feel like tearing my hair out.
That page shows the results of the Salem Statesman Journal State Fair photo contest. I've been dutifully entering one of my photos each day since I visited the fair last Monday.
So far I'm batting .000 in the winning department.
Not that I care about winning, not at all, not that this blog post has anything to do with me wanting to win one of the daily contests, because the root of my artistry isn't grounded in such crass considerations as winning and losing.
No, I merely seek recognition of my art for art's sake.
I've been entering the State Fair photo contest, submitting a new image each day, only so my unique vision will be more widely known to a humanity hungry to be fed the sort of point-and-shoot camera'ific genius that me and my Sony DSC-HX1 produce.
Thus when I scream "No, no, no! Unfair!" as I unfold the Local section and discover that one more time, one goddamn more time, a photo of a cute kid has gotten more votes than my photo, my Anguished Artist is protesting in the name of art, not my ego -- no matter how it may appear to those less attuned to how we Tortured Genius'es feel (such as my wife).
The past winners, and I bear them no ill will (aside from wanting to cast them into the depths of hell), are distinguished by one obvious characteristic: four of the six winning photos have featured a cute kid.
My photographic vision of the State Fair did not include a cute kid in the foreground. Mainly, I have to admit, because I didn't come to the fair with one, and I was worried that if I latched onto a child so I could get him or her into a photo, I'd be charged with kidnapping.
Anyway, like I said my Art (I capitalize that word to show how serious I am about it) is far beyond everyday notions of gain or loss.
My photos were taken for Art's sake, and my entering the State Fair Photo Contest daily is for Art's sake, as is the anguished suffering I feel when, once again, someone's cute kid photo beats me out.
Given all this, I am utterly uninterested in anyone clicking THIS LINK and voting for the photo I entered in today's contest. It is not something that I want anyone to do -- though as an Artist, I realize that when inspiration strikes, such as a desire to follow a web link, that intuition must be honored.
I also am not going to be so crass as to make it easy for someone to recognize my photo on today's State Fair Photo Contest page, which would have been easy to do using words such as "horse/ rider silhouette" and "a true patriot would vote for a photo of the American flag."
Or, "top row on right."
I won't do that. Because we anguished artists are committed to art for art's sake. Not winning a silly newspaper photo contest.
Pretty funny, Brien. Uh, I hope you were being funny . . .
Posted by: Steve Anchell | September 04, 2009 at 05:07 PM
Steve, I hope so too.
The funny thing about humor is that it is based on a vision of truth -- but angled oddly and positioned in front of a distorting fun house mirror .
Posted by: Blogger Brian | September 04, 2009 at 07:56 PM
Very funny but of course you are right. The price an anguished artist must pay is to lose. I couldn't possibly stand in the way by voting for your photo and ruining your chances for great soul development... well maybe
Posted by: Rain | September 04, 2009 at 10:05 PM
The nightmare continues.... another day of opening up the newspaper and screaming "No, no, no!" Cute kind posing with Foster Farm chickens won today. Not me!
My current entry is "up, up, and away...with bare feet." I'm up against more cute kids, so further anguish almost certainly is in store for me tomorrow.
I just uploaded my last best shot -- lacking a cute kid, I did take a photo of a cute sea lion. Maybe this will get me a much deserved win...finally.
I doubt it though. Cute kids rule over cute animals, especially if they're of a non-cuddly/furry variety.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | September 05, 2009 at 10:30 AM
It was a nice photo and I actually did try to vote for it but ran up against a requirement that I had to join something which I had no time to do. That might be hurting your numbers :)
Posted by: Rain | September 06, 2009 at 08:24 AM
Rain, thanks for trying. Probably the Statesman Journal requires registration in order to vote.
Anyway, I've come to enjoy (almost) my feeling of a State Fair photo artist who isn't being recognized in his own time. Or, likely, in any time.
I shall drown my sorrow in an extra-large dose of caffeine at a Salem coffee shop this morning. And toast Anguished Artists, past, present, and future.
Posted by: Blogger Brian | September 06, 2009 at 10:08 AM