VIP MFA, the “first-ever online juried event” that gives arts professionals, collectors and consumers the first stab at new talent emerging fresh from art schools around the world while also giving young artists a chance to test themselves on the art market, has announced the three artists who have been awarded with special commendation and monetary prizes. The announcement also marks the start of the fair, which offers the work of 100 artists from 25 countries and runs through June 8. So, get cracking.
Susana Perrottet, a Peruvian video artist studying at Schule für Gestaltung in Zurich won the top honor and a prize of $15,000. In second place is Chris Hood of the San Francisco Art Institute, who will receive $10,000. Third place went to Emanuel Straessle, also studying at the Schule für Gestaltung, Zurich; he will receive $5,000. Each of the prizes is to be shared evenly with the students’ schools.
Ms. Perrottet’s short, minimally animated videos, of which there are several samples on the VIP MFA site, employ simple ink-on-paper drawings to illustrate documentary stories. In Percepción, 2010, among the 61 short tales about superstition, religion and scientific beliefs told in Spanish (with subtitles), one learns about a woman who healed people with bread and why you should use a lamp, a plant or a feather to decorate the void left by a dead person. Mr. Hood creates Pop-inspired oil paintings sourced from found images offered at reasonable prices while Mr. Straessle creates large, witty expensive sculptures, like a replica of an atomic bomb from rubber, steel and plywood or an inflatable orange ball that expands to the height of your ceiling, paired with wall-mounted writing that says, “ceci n’est pas une citrouille” (“this is not a pumpkin”).
“The work was wildly inconsistent,” said Matthew Higgs, one of the six judges, to Gallerist. “And I thought that was quite interesting. It didn’t seem to subscribe to any kind of hierarchical structure that exists within certain high-profile MFA programs.”
Update, Friday, June 1, 11:20 a.m.: Here’s a short video of the top 10 artists: