First winner named in Art for Freedom project
Madonna announced on Sunday the first winner in the Art for Freedom online competition that she and Vice, the Canadian culture magazine, have established to encourage visual and video artists, photographers and poets to create works that focus on social justice. Madonna has also expanded her partnerships in the project to include the social website Tumblr.
The winner, Lesmack Meza Parente, from Mazatlan, Mexico, produced “El Gran Dictador,” a video mashup using the emotional closing speech from Charlie Chaplin’s film “The Great Dictator” (1940) and contemporary images that provide a modern interpretation of Chaplin’s humanistic plea. Madonna will give a $10,000 grant to a nonprofit organization to be selected by the winning artist, and there will be one prize each month for a year. (Mr. Parente’s choice of organization has not yet been announced.)
Madonna began the project in September, when Vice presented the premiere of Secretprojectrevolution, a stark, black-and-white film about intolerance, violence and apathy that she made with the photographer Steven Klein, as well as a 40-minute interview about the film.
At the time, she invited viewers to submit works through her Art for Freedom website, although she is now moving the submissions for the project to Tumblr.
Madonna plans to present some of the entries on Tumblr on November 12, with her own live commentary. The next winner is to be announced in early December.