Francis Bacon, data visualisations and the Turner Prize (?!)

It’s been long overdue but finally I managed to get back to the Tate Britain today, and as luck would have it there was both an exhibition of Sir Francis Bacon and the Turner Prize.

One thing that struck me during the tour was how painters reaction to photography was similar to a number of recent presentations about data visualization. E.g. you can take a photo of someone but it doesn’t (normally) convey the inner person whereas a painter can show those inner attributes via their particular skill or style but in a way that is often quite foreign to our normal experiences. In a similar way many people are striving to show data in peculiar but compelling way. Oh well, not sure why I shared that but there you go 😉

Ah the Turner Prize. It’s all too easy to knock the artists that are nominated for the Turner Prize so it’s only fair that before making comment you visit it, so I thought. Hmm, I have to say that I didn’t see anything that was particularly challenging or innovative. That’s not to say it was, "all rubbish, a five year old could have done it" as I did like some individual items but prize winning? The bit I enjoyed the most was the comment wall at the end of the exhibition. Some were funny, some just venting their anger others asking for the prize themselves based upon the drawing on the comment card. I think the most telling comments were, ‘I’ll never get that back’ and a drawing of the recycling symbol with the word prize in it. Of course I can only hope to earn a tiny percentage of the money those artists will make, so who am I to throw stones? Good luck to them, I’d go for the work about zooming into pictures or the glass sculpture.



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