2012 ART JUROR
William A. Herring
My Objectives and Philosophy on Judging Art
My objective is clean and clear: I seek to find artistic excellence and reward it.
Every judge has bias, so I will tell you mine:
1. I believe ugly is easy and beauty is hard. Those who touch upon it are to be congratulated as aesthetic heroes.
2. Beauty is not now, nor has it ever been, in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is like truth - it takes a good eye to see it. A bad eye never makes ugly into beautiful, for beauty is its own force and needs no cheerleaders to prop it up.
3. Aesthetics is a science. Those who ignore the science have a very hard time making it into an art. There is no science as critical as what goes into the use of clashing forces in asymmetrical design. In music, it is called the art of the fugue. The point is to create harmony by the use of diagonal forces. Many aspire to it but few master the goods.
4. Aside, then, from composing. . .I look for elements of the beautiful, such as paint quality, symphonic color arrangements, believable proportionality and taste in the choice of subject matter.
5. I prefer the unfinished work that is complete.
6. I welcome all experiments in the name of an attractive surface, from hyper-realism to non-objective expression.
In the end I come down where Turner came down on color: "it was never meant to describe, but to arouse and excite."