Words: Ellen Kenny
He’s like Banksy’s rich benevolent twin.
An anonymous art curator known only as the “Art Riddler” hosted an art exhibition in Studio 10 over the weekend, giving 10,000 euro to Irish artist Ciana Fitzgerald.
The Art Riddler held a “Support The Arts Competition”, in which artists based in Ireland or Irish artists abroad could submit their work. Selected works were displayed in Studio 10 on Wicklow Street from 7 to 9 October. According to the Riddler’s website, all artworks submitted were reviewed by an independent expert, with the final decision going to the anonymous curator himself.
34 artists were chosen to exhibit their work in Studio 10, including Shane Berkery, David Fox and Bonnie Kavanagh. The Art Riddler covered the full cost of the exhibition, while artists kept 100 per cent of money earned from sales.
One artist, Ciana Fitzgerald, was also chosen for the 10,000 euro prize. Ciana is known for her representational painting and experimental video art.
“The whole idea is to support artists and to get the work sold,” Studio 10 member Jeaneie Wenham explained.
Little is known about this Art Riddler, other than he is a man and (presumably) rich, with a love for the arts. “I’ve rattled around the creative industry in Ireland for twenty-odd years at this point, and I’ve never heard of this happening before,” Jeannie said.
According to the Riddler’s website, he has not been involved in the art scene in any formal but has been collecting art over the years: “As I explore the art scene more closely, I notice how difficult it must be to establish yourself and indeed build a career around your obvious talent and passion.”
“The aim of my project is to assist artists in some small way.”
Jeannie acknowledged the valid scepticism of artists and art-lovers, but confirmed that the Art Riddler is “a very lovely man, and his heart is definitely in the right place.”
This is definitely a fun trend to appear in Dublin’s cultural scene. Maybe next we’ll get the “Club Puzzler” who mysteriously builds nightclubs overnight.
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