One question our curators are asked the most by artists is "what criteria Art Competitions use to select artworks?" And following that, "how to improve my chances of being selected?"
From the perspective of galleries (physical or online ones) that have as end goal a publication or exhibition, the main expectation is to create a very interesting presentation for the "viewers", or/and "collectors". Most of the time, the curators will be asked to show the best of as many different styles and varied media as possible (so they can appeal to a larger audience), keeping up with the theme proposed and integrating the artwork whenever reasonable. The exhibition (or publication) is to display a broad representation of artistic form, not focusing on technicality or conceptually only - and the final piece, the collection of all artworks selected, needs to be somehow able to be seen as a art piece as well.
In "The Artist Lounge" case, in a first instance the artworks that enter competitions go through a broad elimination based on if the image of the artwork is good enough to be judged (and image can be used by our team for promo material / online exhibition without having to be edited by our design team). In general, about 20% of the artworks submitted failed - and were eliminated before reaching the judges for the Online Exhibition Selection.
What can disqualify an artwork straight away?
1. Poor Photo Quality: The photograph you submit is all we have to judge your artwork. They need to be on focus, sharp and clear (we need to be able to zoom in without seeing blur), no glare or lighting, cropped to just the artwork (no frame / mount /background / table), with no watermark/copyright text on the image, so the photo can be used as it is when announcing the winner.
Poor photographs were the first to be eliminated, even if the art is exceptional. If the photo cannot be used as it is to announce a winner that the judges will be proud of and the sponsor will be happy showing large at the top of their page, then the photo isn’t good enough.