The NTD International Figure Painting Competition is unique among the art competitions of the world. That it only judges representational styles is rare enough, but the competition also places focus on content and meaning, not just technique. The competition has a mission to promote traditional fine arts, and has as its central theme “pure truth, pure kindness, pure beauty.”
The mission served as a beacon for the burgeoning movement of representational artists last fall with an exhibition of the 2019 competition finalists’ works in New York City.
Now, for the first time, the works previously available only through private auction are for sale to the public. Both original paintings and reproductions of works by selected finalists can be found online at InspiredOriginal.org
All of the proceeds from the store will go toward the artists and the competition. The selection of works available is subject to change.
From the Artists
The competition’s mission and vision is one that artists from around the world appreciate as well. From Switzerland to Brazil to China to New York, finalists arrived last fall to marvel at the finalist exhibition in New York, and more than one contest veteran remarked that the quality of the works was a cut above what is typically found in competitions.
Sandra Kuck, an artist for 50 years, has won many awards and participated more than once in the NTD International Figure Painting Competition. The finalists’ work both impressed and inspired her.
“Really, I’ve been to a lot of shows, and this is one of the best,” said Kuck. She said that as an artist, her style and works celebrate beauty, and in recent years there has been a renaissance in this field.
Her piece titled “Yin and Yang,” painted in her characteristic romantic realism style, won the Technique Award at the NTD competition. But some classical-style works caught Kuck’s eye during the exhibition, and she said that perhaps she would start to go in that direction. “Yin and Yang” is currently listed in the new store, with prints available as well.
When Brazilian artist Clodoaldo Martins learned about the competition, it inspired him twofold. He had participated in top competitions locally in São Paulo, but was excited to compare his works side by side with the best of realistic artists internationally.
“I saw that the mission of NTD is to promote traditional art, which I think is very good. It is great that they can, through a competition, be able to promote traditional art,” he said.
Secondly, he was moved by the themes of pure beauty, pure kindness, and pure compassion. Martins said that his works are usually filled with harsh light and a dramatic mood, but these competition themes inspired him to paint in a way he hadn’t before.
In depicting innocence, Martins brought soft light, patience, and a sense of compassion into his work. “I was thinking of repeating this type of theme that I used in this painting,” he said.
A few years ago, French artist Philippe Lhuillier returned home to France from Brazil with a suitcase full of 26 years of memories—and inspiration. He’d worked in the inner cities where social maladies plagued youths, but one little boy showed a fighting spirit that inspired Lhuillier.
Selected finalists’ works can be found online at InspiredOriginal.org