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Mister ArtSee


June 12, 2012 

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Caricature artist and long-time Artnet Magazine contributor Elliott Arkin, indefatigable sponsor of the ingenious mobile art platform Mister ArtSee, is at it again with a new project: the first annual Best Caricature / Portrait Street Artist contest in New York.

The three finalists in the contest are Susan Rong, who came to New York from China over 45 years ago and draws across from the Plaza Hotel; Wei Chen, a 20-something “wiz kid” who also hails from China; and Anvar Makhkamov, a Russian-trained artist who specializes in charcoal renderings.

A winner is to be selected by public vote, which can be cast -- by tomorrow, June 13! -- on the Mister ArtSee Facebook page. Also kicking in their two cents is a blue-ribbon panel of judges, which includes art collector and author James Frey, artist Dana Schutz and Walter Robinson, editor of Artnet Magazine (and author of this item).

Arkin promises the winner “a cash prize” as well as a featured role in Mister ArtSee “public events and appearances during his / her reign in 2012.”

On Friday, June 8, 2012, the three finalists met for a special press event, billed as a “high noon showdown,” at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (MMAC) at 248 West 60th Street. The event was hosted by Rose Caiola, who founded the center as a home for her Manhattan Youth Ballet in 1994; now located on the ground floor of the Element luxury high-rise condominium, MMAC offers a range of programs, and is also home to the musical Freckleface Strawberry, based on the children’s book by Julianne Moore (and produced and co-authored by Caiola).

At the Friday press event, the three caricature artists each drew on-the-spot portraits of two celebrity volunteers, Allison Harvard and Lawrence Benenson. Herewith, some scenes from the event and samples of their work.

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