Art Battle is a global live painting competition that pits a group of artists against each other to see who can produce the best painting within the allotted time. In 2009, Art Battle arrived in Toronto and held its first competition in The Great Hall (1087 Queen St. W). Today, The Great Hall hosts a monthly Art Battle with world-class artists. I checked out a recent Art Battle to show you what these exciting events are all about.
The event begins with all spectators receiving a ballot slip. This is because the audience decides the winner of an Art Battle. Whoever gets the most votes after a round is declared the winner.
The setup involves an ensemble of canvases side-by-side in the middle of the floor. This allows the audience to rotate around and look over the shoulders of artists as they’re painting.
Art Battles are usually 20-minute rounds with one painter per canvas. However, sometimes there’s a spin. These rounds allow teams of two painters to combine visions for a total of 30 minutes.
All the artists are given access to the same brushes and acrylic paint. No extra tools are allowed, and colours have to be mixed on-the-go. The variety of artistic styles at Art Battle range from hyperrealism to highly abstract, so you’re bound to like something no matter your taste.
And it has begun!
With the painting part of the round now over, audience members are free to peruse and decide which painting they think deserves to win. All paintings are then put into a silent auction for bids from the audience. Here are the final pieces:
Artists grab a beer and show off their other talents, such as breakdancing, to kill time while the crowd casts their votes.
The winner is announced. Congratulations to Leanna TenEycke and Sanjay B. Patel!