Monday, October 10, 2005

Art Contest Review #1

A fellow I know is a judge in an art contest for kids. He's taking his responsibilities a little too seriously, I think:

This one with the dancing, smiling snowman... now that shows some promise.

The artist is unafraid of leaving the majority of the canvas unfilled with superfluous claptrap such as colorful squiggles or strands of supposed tree lights. Instead, he or she has built the structure of the piece on a field of deep blue, speckled here and there with amorphous blobs of white, representative both of snowfall and the folly of man against the fury of nature.

The subject's misshapen lower snow-sphere, lifted some way above the low black horizon line between the evening blue sky and the nearly-white ground, gives an undeniable impression of raucous, joyous movement. The snowman is leaping in celebration, apparently from some unknown place to the side of the canvas to the center-stage of the foreground, stick-arms spread wide as if to say, "Ta da!"

The purple hat clashes with the sky, which only furthers the impression of life given to the carrot-nosed ice-crystal creature; how could he have known when getting dressed that the sky would swallow his hat's color? Clearly, the snowman made the choice to wear the translucent purple headgear for his own reasons, not to satisfy the aesthetic eye of those viewing this particular work of art.

One thing disturbs me: the three "buttons" on the snowman, ostensibly made of coal in keeping with tradition, are the same shade of blue as the sky behind and above the snowman. Is this another happenstance of wardrobe (a "wardrobe malfunction," if you will) caused simply by the lack of fashion sense in the typical snow-person psyche, or is the artist suggesting holes in the snowman's body through which the darkening sky can be seen? If the latter, are we witnessing the tragic death of a beloved holiday figure, caught on canvas at the instant that this jolly, happy soul tastes the kiss of three high-caliber bullets penetrating his torso and lower snow spheroid? Might it be, even, that the snowman is laying down his life for an unseen child somewhere behind him? His leaping posture indicates that this might, indeed, be the case. He may well have flung his fluffy body in between a small girl or boy and a ruthless killer who was determined to prevent the child from ever seeing another white Christmas.

Indeed, if this is so, we should all hope that there is still some magic in that old (albeit, purple) top hat on the snowman's head. For only in top-hat magic could this tragic hero find hope for the chance to, once more, dance around.


That boy ain't right.


  1. Well now, don't be too hard on the lad. Might have lost the black crayon along the way and had to use the blue to finish the job on those coal buttons.
    As to the "misshapen" snow body. Depends on how much snow you have.
    You get a South Park snow, yea, you have enough to build one of those Hollywood snowmen with a three-food diameter bottom, two-foot middle, one-foot head.
    But you get an Appalachian snow and you are lucky to get enough to make a half-assed one as shown (without the twigs and leaves that usually get caught up in it)
    I say the lad did fine. First place
    (The purple hat is weird. Vikings fan?)

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  3. Is this guy for real? I love the part about the buttons though, lol.

  4. He's very much for real. This is an actual review he (not me) wrote for a kids' art contest. I said if he sent it to me I'd post it. He sent me two. This was the first.


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