Art Market Blog – The Most Controversial Artist Ever ???

Art Market Blog – The Most Controversial Artist Ever ???

pricasso.jpgEvery year in my home town of Sydney, Australia the highly prestigious Archibald Prize for Portraiture is held by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Archibald prize is awarded to the best portrait, preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics, painted by an artist resident in Australasia during the 12 months preceding the date fixed by the Trustees for sending in the pictures. Having first been awarded in 1921 this prize has a long history that is steeped in tradition which has resulted in the prize generally being awarded to a more traditional and non-controversial work. To win the Archibald Prize is a really big deal that gives the recipient a major boost to their popularity and desirability along with a nice fat cheque for $35,000. In a nutshell, winning the Archibald Prize is the ultimate accolade for an Australian artist.

Just because the winner of this prize tends to be a more traditional work doesn’t mean that all the entries are of a traditional nature, in fact, one of the most publicised entries in this years competition is a guaranteed non-winner. Most of you would not be familiar with the name Tim Patch but you may be more familiar with his pseudonym, Pricasso, which is neither a spelling mistake nor a joke. The sexual innuendo is indeed deliberate because Pricasso does in fact paint with his Penis. To create his work Patch dips his willy in paint and applies it to the canvas which is smoother than the average painting surface to prevent any un-necessary chafing. Pricasso’s controversial methods have gained him extensive press and fame all over the world resulting in a high demand for his “services” at events such as Sexpo where he paints in front of an audience.

It is a real sign of the times when the most highly publicised entry into a highly prestigious and traditional art prize is by a penis wielding portraitist. I can’t help but draw a parallel between the work of artists such as Pollock who championed the concept of the process being more important than the product which is definitely the case with Patch. Pricasso’s entry into the Archibald Prize was picked up by news services around the world including Reuters, The Sun Newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald Newspaper and others proving that controversy sells. Although I wouldn’t recommend that an artist go to the extremes that Pricasso has, one can definitely learn something from his promotional techniques. Patch’s success really boils down to one factor, thinking outside the box.  Struggling artists take note.

Nick**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

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10 Responses

  1. […] Art Market Blog – The Most Controversial Artist Ever ??? Art Market Blog – The Most Controversial Artist Ever ??? Every year in my home town of Sydney, Australia the highly prestigious Archibald Prize for Portraiture is held by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Archibald prize is awarded to the best portrait, preferentially of some man or woman dist… […]

  2. what is your opinion about pric-art-triste?

  3. Art Market Blog – The Most Controversial Artist Ever ??? « Art Market Blog with Nicholas Forrest http://www.artmarketblog.com

    Every year in my home town of Sydney, Australia the highly prestigious Archibald Prize for Portraiture is held by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Archibald prize is awarded to the best portrait, preferentially of some man or woman distinguished…

  4. Where can we see Pricasso’s artwork?

  5. This is an interesting story, but I am surprised that the art establishment is actually taking this person seriously. I checked his work via google, and found this clip:
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/455659/the_world_famous_pricasso_at_work_on_the_beach/

    In my opinion, the work is quite uninspired.
    One has to question the health issues. As a doctor, I can tell you that the pigments contain quite toxic compounds– cadmium in particular is very carcinogenic, and oil and acrylic mediums contain aromatic benzenes that are also toxic and irritating– and unless he is using a condom, that stuff is going up his urethra and coating the mucous membranes of his genitalia.
    Aside from the social commentary, in depicting world leaders, members of the establishment via penile smears, there is very little to say about the work.
    Andy Warhol did it already, 40 years ago, with his Piss, and Cum paintings.
    Who does the judging, and final awarding of the prize? This whole thing smacks of a provincial attempt to gather attention, but comes across as quite unsophisticated.

  6. You make a good point, Nick, although his technique is not one I’d want to emulate (even if I could…lol). If I had to go to such lengths (no pun intended), I think I’d feel like a sell-out.

  7. If you only scratch the surface of the great Canadian Artist Norval Morrisseau you will see that he will be ranking very high on the List for “The Most Controversial Artist Ever “.

    Thank you for your attention.

  8. Spirit Wanker is correct, Morrisseau is certainly a great and controversial being.
    Here in Canada you can find great info at
    http://www.morrisseau.com to see how many scumbags are attempting to cash in on the greatness of this Canadian aboriginal artist.

    regards
    Gavin

  9. Of course all anybody knows is what they were taught & what they figured out for themselves, I myself enjoy doing thought provoving, controversial artwork, some agree, some don’t, but in my mind nobody has the right to hate others no matter how much they disagree, they’re still a person & a work of Art themselves! I’ve learned alot over my years here, fossilized- customs .com gave me much to think about & also great inspiration for the artwork I’m able to do. If some Art offends you, you don’t have to keep looking at it. Shalom.

  10. When you’re looking ar artwork that you find offensive, just remember; that we are each entitled to our own opinion. ( I forgot to add that ) -Shalom

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