A couple of weeks ago I was invited to participate at Art Battle 54. Art Battle? Was that like a visual snub-off where fellow artists paint preposterous pictures of their competitor’s mother? It was billed as a live competitive painting event where painters create the best work they can in 20 minutes. What ever the case, I was eager to find out!
Until I heard of Art Battle, I never came across the idea of competitive painting. Painting up until that point was a very private process that was usually spanned the course of days, if not weeks but to have the opportunity to unveil the illusion of art making was very attractive.
As time was approaching for my round to compete, a crowd had swelled around the easels. The MC counted down and nervousness wiped away. As the DJ began to play some bass-energized music and painting turned into a performance art. It felt like I was standing at the eye of a storm as the crowd was coalescing around the painters circumference.
I never felt so much energy as a painter nor felt so connected to my audience. After the 20 minutes had passed, the crowd had an opportunity to vote and choose a winner. I was completely flattered by the people that came up to talk to me that night and taking part in the process I think enlightened both myself and the audience.