Ran Ortner used to race motorcycles professionally. Now he climbs up and down ladders and paints huge canvases. And he just won $250,000 in the world’s largest art prize.
Ran’s six-by-19 foot oil on canvas “Open Water Number 24” was the big winner out of Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize. The gigantic, 3-D outdoor spectacles must have split the vote, and this striking 2-D painting of water took first place. Nice going, Ran.
Yes, yes. But in another, less-accurate way, the 1200-plus artists who put there hearts out there in GR were all winners. Personally, I had an excellent time and will do it again. I got to see family and friends from all over Michigan, and even Chicago. I enjoyed spending time in Grand Rapids and Muskegon, my hometown. And I “drove a car”, which to New Yorkers is rather novel. Big thanks to those of you who stopped by to say hi at the receptions, and congrats to Grand Rapids for putting on a dynamite show. See you next year!
Click here for a nice recap by Micki Maynard of the New York Times, quoting my former Michigan Radio co-worker , Dustin Dwyer.