Author: Billy

The Library of Congress Prize for American Art

The Library of Congress Prize for American Art

‘Philly on Fire,’ ‘Bella!’ tie for Library of Congress prize

PHILADELPHIA — “What a great idea!” That’s how Mayor Michael Nutter described the idea to promote the Philadelphia Art Museum’s new building, he said, at a community event in early March, a month after the museum opened to the public. “Our goal is to make this building a great place for the community,” he added.

The building has since become a symbol of Philadelphia’s aspirations and the city’s ability to build quality buildings in a high-need urban setting.

On Monday, the museum will announce the winners of this year’s Library of Congress Prize for American Art, presented annually to an American artist under 40 whose work, from a body of work, has provoked significant and sustained discussion or changed the way we look at American art.

At issue is the $2 million prize, which is granted by the Library of Congress, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and awarded to a U.S. artist under 40 years old who creates work related to American art. The prize is one of a handful of awards that the Library of Congress has made, each one considered more significant than the last.

Among last year’s winners is Matthew Marks, 31, a self-taught artist and art consultant with a self-described “obsessive” and “lunatic” personality.

A self-described “crazy person,” Marks says he often feels compelled to act out his ideas, and he “loves conflict.”

“I always like to say that to myself, because that’s what I love most,” Marks said. “There’s people who feel like they have no thoughts, and that they’re just reacting to things. But I think there’s something to be said about how a mind works, and I think a lot of people would like to see that, to see you look at things differently.”

Marks also likes to tell people about his experiences in therapy.

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