How do you think the Tender Board or its stipulated processes would go about evaluating the following painting, had it been a subject of tender to paint a woman, for instance?
Well, an “evaluator” who most probably would have no clue about art in the first place might give this painting a 1 out of 10 for effort, and would object to the style of painting as it does not and will not represent the person to be painted. Why they didn’t just opt for a photograph in the first place is another subject altogether, they want a painting for goodness’ sake.
So they do their “research” and identify three or four companies to bid for this project. Yes, I know, bidding to execute a work of art. Stay with me please. They don’t tell them any parameters other than “we want to commission a painting of a woman, and it must be ready in three weeks”. Or, they screw up the whole process by actually providing you with an outline, and demand that you use your artistic ability to paint within those lines! They never, ever, offer a clue as to how much their budget would be, but would rather get the companies fortunate enough to be selected through their arduous research slug it out, forgetting – willingly – that such a painting which would satisfy their requirements could go for anything between BD5 to probably several million. Oh, I forgot, they actually invite those hapless bidders to come for a meeting to technically evaluate their bids. As if we’re building a house or car or some other product which can be quantified and qualified without too much effort…
The pressure is always on beyond that as well. They usually want a miracle and delivery yesterday, only for the award of such a tender to surpass the must deliver by date!
So you wait. And wait. And then the Board opens the financial tenders and make the bids known. Then you wait for weeks some more and then be notified that your bid failed on technical merit!
What? Are you serious? I think us as artists would find it very heart-breaking if our competitors win on creative merits, and although it’s sad but we tend to accept it because we know that that particular competitor might have assigned a better and more appropriate director for that project, fine, but for all that’s Holy’s sake, my paints and dyes and brushes are exactly the same as, or as similar as can be with all the other bidders, so what exactly are the metrics used to “evaluate” the bids?
I’m glad that the guy who painted that weird picture above is dead. Regardless, he would probably be turning like a mis-aligned bloody turbine shaft in his grave non-the-less because of a hint that he might have failed a Bahraini Tender Board evaluation due to a fucking technical merit!