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"my search for a classical form in the emerging medium of digital art" - harvey rayner

Saatchi Online Showdown – New Call Of Duty For Old Painting

self portrait 1994
Click image for full color version

The Saatchi Online Gallery Showdown is an exciting monthly competition run on the massively popular Visitors to the site can vote on artworks from an open submission with numerous rounds of voting determining a winner that gets to have his/her picture hung in the new Saatchi Gallery. A quick scan of the submissions that received the most votes last month reveals a marked preference for figurative painting. No digital art as yet, which is not really a surprise.

Wanting to enter this great Showdown I’ve decided to draw on my archive of paintings from my pre root2art days fancying my chances more with this medium. I’m very fond of this painting and have it hanging in my studio. It has a history of some personal significance. It was the painting I made directly after being rejected from art school for the second time. It was my attempt to confirm my artistic ambition and self-belief when it was being called into question by my contact with the academic world. I brought together everything I thought I had learnt at the tender age of 19 and produced something that maybe is a little naive, but still has a spirit I think I will always be proud of.

It would be marvelously ironic if this painting was to do well in this showdown and be the first of my works to catch the attention of someone as influential as Charles Saatchi. I’ve read he has a liking for painting so this could be my best chance at wetting his appetite. Of course there is a vast amount of good competition so its all a bit hypothetical to talk about doing well. Early indications however are showing it is getting a thumbs up from the voters.

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