The Hunting Prize has attracted a lot of controversy, but I think the winners have been pretty good. This year, Lane Hagood was the surprising winner--the youngest winner they have ever had. When it was announced he won, he was having an opening at Gallery 1724. I got there before Hagood did, and the discussion was about the prize. Weirdly enough, a former Hunting judge was present at the party. He thought that they went about the prize all wrong. He thought that there should be more than one winner (right now it is a winner-take-all thing) and that some thought should be given towards how much the artist needs the money. He had some other complaints as well, but he was pleased that Hagood won.
When Hagood walked in, he had a glow of triumph tempered with a slightly sheepish look--as if he were questioning whether this was really happening! He said he was surprised and that he thought others deserved the prize more.
Anyway, I liked the art in the 1724 show a lot. There were two pieces I really liked, and I kept weighing them. Should I get this one or that one. Instead I went for broke and bought them both. I picked them up last weekend.
Lane Hagood, The Collector, watercolor, pen and pencil on paper
I like the fact that the collector displays his paintings salon-style, and that among his treasures is a Philip Guston.
Lane Hagood, Diseased Writer, Acrylic, watercolor, googly eyes, and a pencil
Despite the way they are displayed on this blog, Diseased Writer is much larger than The Collector. So, I guess it has to be asked: what does it say about me that I picked these two works... That my next purchase should be a real-life "Portrait of Dorian Gray"?