For those of you unaware, Art Battle is a thing. Beyond that, it is a really unique, engaging and entertaining thing. We were fortunate enough to attend the Art Battle National Championships on Saturday at the old Maple Leaf Gardens. Since 2011, regional winners have advanced to the National Championship held every year in Toronto. When many of us hear or read the term “battle” we immediately envision two emcee’s on a stage or in a circle verbally assaulting one another with an onslaught of rhymes until one is deemed the winner. Art battle is nothing like this and everything like this at the same time.
Taking many cues from battle rap, Art Battle is still a distinctive entity unto itself. Many of the artists involved in the competition are fine artists who are technically trained, which shows in their compositions. Each artist has only 20 minutes to complete their piece. With time being every artist’s stodgiest nemesis, the cream of the crop will rise to the top. Wander from easel to easel observing each painter for half a minute at a time (there are 10 artists painting in each round) and upon returning to the easel from which you started the same composition you witnessed moments ago will have transformed into something entirely different. This is what makes Art Battle a worthwhile viewing experience. It offers immediate satisfaction in art, art being a realm wherein we are accustomed to compositions requiring inordinate amounts of time to materialize. In a culture where people want to see instant results, Art Battle offers just that.
Congratulations go out to this years National Champ, Yared Nigussu. Yared has won the last 3 National Championships so as you can imagine he is pretty good with a brush. We are looking forward to watching him defend his crown in 2015! Learn more about Yared Nigussu HERE.
Photos by @marshallcole
Posted by Jesse Ingalls
Previously: Sneak Peek: Art Battle Canada