In Review: Work of Art, Episode One: Self-Reflexive

by Paddy Johnson on June 10, 2010 · 83 comments Events

miles mendenhall, art fag city, portrait of nao
Miles Mendenhall, Portrait of Nao, 2009. All images via: Bravotv.com

In the sense that all portraits refer to the subject they represent, I suppose titling the first episode of Bravo’s reality show “Work of Art” Self-Reflexive isn’t totally off the mark, even if it indulges in foofery. The first challenge asks artists to create a portrait in whatever medium they choose of one of their colleagues, and I didn’t see a hell of a lot of profoundly self-referential subject matter. One good work was made in the challenge, Miles Mendenhall’s erotic death portrait of Nao Bustamante, a screenprint wrapped in plastic materials referencing her own performances. Not surprisingly he won that round and has therefore been granted immunity in the next show.

amanda williams, art fag city
Amanda Williams, Portrait of Jamie Lynn Henderson, 2009

Amanda Williams‘ portrait of Jaime Lynn Henderson got her eliminated, mostly because the only similarity it bore to its subject were a couple of leafs painted in the same color as Henderson’s hair. Mentor Simon de Pury rightly expressed concern in the studio, though he wasn’t as rough as the colleagues I watched the show with last night, who rightly dubbed the work wallpaper. When Williams described her 48 hours of art making “a journey” during her exit video, I was relieved to have her gone. Art does not need to be represented by these kinds of self-improvement cliches.

As I’ve mentioned previously, the first episode was expertly edited and completely hilarious. A testament to this, amongst the more promising clips from the show was China Chow’s uttering the words Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, and an immediate cut to the show’s oldest and most experienced artist, Judith Braun laughing hysterically. Critique of the show from the cast itself is a hallmark of truly outstanding reality television. It’s also a far greater demonstration of self-reflexivity than most of the work made for this challenge.

I’ll be offering show recaps each week, but seeing as how I reviewed the premiere episode in April, I’m skipping the first episode. That said, a couple of concerns worth noting going forward:

1. Midway through the show, Amanda Williams evaluates her work as “good for the public” but not overly descriptive of its subject. It’s entirely unclear what “art for the public” should look like, but talk like this isn’t going to ingratiate artists to audiences. The last thing this show needs is to have its very contestants re-enforce high-falutin stereotypes of artists with statements about how the public is only sophisticated enough to get their shitty work. Here’s hoping that idea isn’t pushed forward in upcoming episodes.

art fag city, portrait, nao bustamante, abdi farah
LEFT: Abdi Farah, Portrait of Ryan Shultz, 2009 RIGHT: Nao Bustamante, Portrait of Miles Mendenhall, 2009

2. Jerry Saltz not withstanding, the judges offer some cause for concern. China Chow reveals herself a lazy viewer when she complains that she couldn’t see the tiny photograph Nao Bustamante hung beside her portrait of Miles Mendenhall. Bill Powers backs her up, faking strain to see the picture. This rightfully garnered a snooty reply back from Bustamante, “Typically people walk around a work in a gallery situation”.

Meanwhile, through out the show Jeanne Greenberg Rohtayn, owner of the respected gallery Salon 94, endlessly uses the words “contemporary” and “now” as if they were a qualitative assessment. “He is contemporary, he is nasty, I think you really captured your subject” says Greenberg Rohtayn of Abdi Farah’s ham fisted painting of hipster lifestyle artist Ryan Shultz. Farah literally created a giant yellow sun to back the subject. If this show produces an audience that equates the word “contemporary” with “quality” it’s done everyone a great disservice.

3. “Portraiture has really been taken over by photography and you are right on for today.”Jeanne Greenberg Rohtayn tells Mark Velasquez, the photographer who managed to produce a highly commercial portrait of self-trained artist Erik Johnson. The episode’s message? Portraiture is best defined figuratively and by a camera.

Watch the first episode on Hulu.

  • http://mtaa.net/mtaaRR t.whid

    You’ve padded the number of good pieces by 1.

    :-)

  • http://mtaa.net/mtaaRR t.whid

    You’ve padded the number of good pieces by 1.

    :-)

  • Julia Halperin

    Also, can we talk about how Miles BUILT A FREAKING SCREEN PRINTING STUDIO from random tarp in the corner? I’m pretty sure that’s baller enough for a win any day.

  • Julia Halperin

    Also, can we talk about how Miles BUILT A FREAKING SCREEN PRINTING STUDIO from random tarp in the corner? I’m pretty sure that’s baller enough for a win any day.

  • Julia Halperin

    Also, can we talk about how Miles BUILT A FREAKING SCREEN PRINTING STUDIO from random tarp in the corner? I’m pretty sure that’s baller enough for a win any day.

  • Julia Halperin

    Also, can we talk about how Miles BUILT A FREAKING SCREEN PRINTING STUDIO from random tarp in the corner? I’m pretty sure that’s baller enough for a win any day.

  • Ben C.

    Clown palette guy was way too sane to carry the role of the “untrained” artist. Simon de Pury is perfect.

  • Ben C.

    Clown palette guy was way too sane to carry the role of the “untrained” artist. Simon de Pury is perfect.

  • Ben C.

    Clown palette guy was way too sane to carry the role of the “untrained” artist. Simon de Pury is perfect.

  • Ben C.

    Clown palette guy was way too sane to carry the role of the “untrained” artist. Simon de Pury is perfect.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @Ben C. Meh. Clown palette guy spent the last 48 hours photoshopping my face onto images like “mask”. He’s at least unprofessional enough to carry the role of the “untrained” artist.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @Ben C. Meh. Clown palette guy spent the last 48 hours photoshopping my face onto images like “mask”. He’s at least unprofessional enough to carry the role of the “untrained” artist.

  • http://www.zacharyadamcohen.com/ Zachary Adam Cohen

    I think you should do reviews of the twitter conversation instead of the show

  • http://www.zacharyadamcohen.com/ Zachary Adam Cohen

    I think you should do reviews of the twitter conversation instead of the show

  • Molly

    What is the problem with Abdi’s work? I think he’s a good painter. I like his figurative work better than Jaclyn’s or Ryan’s.

  • Molly

    What is the problem with Abdi’s work? I think he’s a good painter. I like his figurative work better than Jaclyn’s or Ryan’s.

  • Molly

    What is the problem with Abdi’s work? I think he’s a good painter. I like his figurative work better than Jaclyn’s or Ryan’s.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @Zachary That would assume that the twitter conversation is either just as valuable or more than the show. It is not.

    @Molly He indulges in cliche. I’d say Judith’s Pussy painting is better than all of that.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @Zachary That would assume that the twitter conversation is either just as valuable or more than the show. It is not.

    @Molly He indulges in cliche. I’d say Judith’s Pussy painting is better than all of that.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @Zachary That would assume that the twitter conversation is either just as valuable or more than the show. It is not.

    @Molly He indulges in cliche. I’d say Judith’s Pussy painting is better than all of that.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    @Zachary That would assume that the twitter conversation is either just as valuable or more than the show. It is not.

    @Molly He indulges in cliche. I’d say Judith’s Pussy painting is better than all of that.

  • Alexander Avila

    What about Judith Braun’s “Proud Pussy”? I think people had to pause their DVRs to be able to see it (wasn’t discussed).”The episode’s message? Portraiture is best defined figuratively and by a camera.”

  • Alexander Avila

    What about Judith Braun’s “Proud Pussy”? I think people had to pause their DVRs to be able to see it (wasn’t discussed).”The episode’s message? Portraiture is best defined figuratively and by a camera.”

  • Alexander Avila

    What about Judith Braun’s “Proud Pussy”? I think people had to pause their DVRs to be able to see it (wasn’t discussed).”The episode’s message? Portraiture is best defined figuratively and by a camera.”

  • Charles Lutz

    Why did they debut this show at 11PM and have little to no PR/advertising especially in NYC? It doesn’t exactly show that Bravo has high hopes for this show, honestly, neither do I. I will say I was amused when my friend in OCD, Miles constructed a silkscreen lab complete with a pressure washer, but this really seemed like another carbon copy of every other Bravo casting, you could really see how the conflict/drama was being set up in last night’s show. Personally, I felt everything produced was college level or lesser, maybe because the assignment was so reminiscent of one I had in high school. The clown pallet painting and the artist’s excuses for why it was bad just doesn’t cut it. I would say he doesn’t belong, but in a weird way he is actually perfect for this show, and I almost hope he wins. A TV game show about finding the “next great artist” is a shitty idea, it barely works as a format of finding C level pop singers.

  • Charles Lutz

    Why did they debut this show at 11PM and have little to no PR/advertising especially in NYC? It doesn’t exactly show that Bravo has high hopes for this show, honestly, neither do I. I will say I was amused when my friend in OCD, Miles constructed a silkscreen lab complete with a pressure washer, but this really seemed like another carbon copy of every other Bravo casting, you could really see how the conflict/drama was being set up in last night’s show. Personally, I felt everything produced was college level or lesser, maybe because the assignment was so reminiscent of one I had in high school. The clown pallet painting and the artist’s excuses for why it was bad just doesn’t cut it. I would say he doesn’t belong, but in a weird way he is actually perfect for this show, and I almost hope he wins. A TV game show about finding the “next great artist” is a shitty idea, it barely works as a format of finding C level pop singers.

  • Charles Lutz

    Why did they debut this show at 11PM and have little to no PR/advertising especially in NYC? It doesn’t exactly show that Bravo has high hopes for this show, honestly, neither do I. I will say I was amused when my friend in OCD, Miles constructed a silkscreen lab complete with a pressure washer, but this really seemed like another carbon copy of every other Bravo casting, you could really see how the conflict/drama was being set up in last night’s show. Personally, I felt everything produced was college level or lesser, maybe because the assignment was so reminiscent of one I had in high school. The clown pallet painting and the artist’s excuses for why it was bad just doesn’t cut it. I would say he doesn’t belong, but in a weird way he is actually perfect for this show, and I almost hope he wins. A TV game show about finding the “next great artist” is a shitty idea, it barely works as a format of finding C level pop singers.

  • Charles Lutz

    Why did they debut this show at 11PM and have little to no PR/advertising especially in NYC? It doesn’t exactly show that Bravo has high hopes for this show, honestly, neither do I. I will say I was amused when my friend in OCD, Miles constructed a silkscreen lab complete with a pressure washer, but this really seemed like another carbon copy of every other Bravo casting, you could really see how the conflict/drama was being set up in last night’s show. Personally, I felt everything produced was college level or lesser, maybe because the assignment was so reminiscent of one I had in high school. The clown pallet painting and the artist’s excuses for why it was bad just doesn’t cut it. I would say he doesn’t belong, but in a weird way he is actually perfect for this show, and I almost hope he wins. A TV game show about finding the “next great artist” is a shitty idea, it barely works as a format of finding C level pop singers.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Top Chef season finale ran last night, and they followed it with the season premiere of this show. It runs at 10 from here on in. Not sure about the lack of advertising.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Top Chef season finale ran last night, and they followed it with the season premiere of this show. It runs at 10 from here on in. Not sure about the lack of advertising.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Top Chef season finale ran last night, and they followed it with the season premiere of this show. It runs at 10 from here on in. Not sure about the lack of advertising.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Top Chef season finale ran last night, and they followed it with the season premiere of this show. It runs at 10 from here on in. Not sure about the lack of advertising.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    Top Chef season finale ran last night, and they followed it with the season premiere of this show. It runs at 10 from here on in. Not sure about the lack of advertising.

  • Paul Slocum

    It’s not even on Pirate Bay, nobody’s watching this thing!

  • Paul Slocum

    It’s not even on Pirate Bay, nobody’s watching this thing!

  • http://www.rjustin.com R Justin Stewart

    I was shocked to hear professional art critics speak about the work in such an unsophisticated manner. Some of the best portraits don’t depict the person’s likeness and yet these critics didn’t seem to get that – just consider the self portraits of On Kawara.

    I also have to agree with Nao that it is the viewer’s responsibility to engage with the entire piece – she made an installation, not a flat painting, so there is not a “front.”

  • http://www.rjustin.com R Justin Stewart

    I was shocked to hear professional art critics speak about the work in such an unsophisticated manner. Some of the best portraits don’t depict the person’s likeness and yet these critics didn’t seem to get that – just consider the self portraits of On Kawara.

    I also have to agree with Nao that it is the viewer’s responsibility to engage with the entire piece – she made an installation, not a flat painting, so there is not a “front.”

  • http://www.rjustin.com R Justin Stewart

    I was shocked to hear professional art critics speak about the work in such an unsophisticated manner. Some of the best portraits don’t depict the person’s likeness and yet these critics didn’t seem to get that – just consider the self portraits of On Kawara.

    I also have to agree with Nao that it is the viewer’s responsibility to engage with the entire piece – she made an installation, not a flat painting, so there is not a “front.”

  • http://www.rjustin.com R Justin Stewart

    I was shocked to hear professional art critics speak about the work in such an unsophisticated manner. Some of the best portraits don’t depict the person’s likeness and yet these critics didn’t seem to get that – just consider the self portraits of On Kawara.

    I also have to agree with Nao that it is the viewer’s responsibility to engage with the entire piece – she made an installation, not a flat painting, so there is not a “front.”

  • http://www.rjustin.com R Justin Stewart

    I was shocked to hear professional art critics speak about the work in such an unsophisticated manner. Some of the best portraits don’t depict the person’s likeness and yet these critics didn’t seem to get that – just consider the self portraits of On Kawara.

    I also have to agree with Nao that it is the viewer’s responsibility to engage with the entire piece – she made an installation, not a flat painting, so there is not a “front.”

  • http://damiensaatdjian.com Damien Saatdjian

    Upon watching the first episode, I’m really annoyed. I immediately thought of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ candy portraits, and how the judges would have probably thought them insufficient. It’s frustrating to see the judges (especially someone like Jerry Saltz) view portraiture through such a naive and literal lens – “well if I can’t tell exactly who is being depicted then it must have failed as a portrait!”

    I wonder if fashion designers feel the same frustration and pigeon holing when they watch shows like Project Runway and The Fashion Show…

  • http://damiensaatdjian.com Damien Saatdjian

    Upon watching the first episode, I’m really annoyed. I immediately thought of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ candy portraits, and how the judges would have probably thought them insufficient. It’s frustrating to see the judges (especially someone like Jerry Saltz) view portraiture through such a naive and literal lens – “well if I can’t tell exactly who is being depicted then it must have failed as a portrait!”

    I wonder if fashion designers feel the same frustration and pigeon holing when they watch shows like Project Runway and The Fashion Show…

  • http://damiensaatdjian.com Damien Saatdjian

    Upon watching the first episode, I’m really annoyed. I immediately thought of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ candy portraits, and how the judges would have probably thought them insufficient. It’s frustrating to see the judges (especially someone like Jerry Saltz) view portraiture through such a naive and literal lens – “well if I can’t tell exactly who is being depicted then it must have failed as a portrait!”

    I wonder if fashion designers feel the same frustration and pigeon holing when they watch shows like Project Runway and The Fashion Show…

  • http://damiensaatdjian.com Damien Saatdjian

    Upon watching the first episode, I’m really annoyed. I immediately thought of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ candy portraits, and how the judges would have probably thought them insufficient. It’s frustrating to see the judges (especially someone like Jerry Saltz) view portraiture through such a naive and literal lens – “well if I can’t tell exactly who is being depicted then it must have failed as a portrait!”

    I wonder if fashion designers feel the same frustration and pigeon holing when they watch shows like Project Runway and The Fashion Show…

  • Babs

    The judges are extremely conservative. The artists are mostly quite good, although not varied enough – performance and video ought to be included, too. But the show comes to a deadly boring halt with the judging portion. I found the judges to be imperious, vacant, and extremely old-fashioned. A review I read harkened back to the 17th century – yup, they have a lot of catching up to do. Find new judges, and make one of them a first-rate artist, one a witty and insightful art critic, one an articulate art collector, and one a seasoned and excellent art professor. Or simply tune out when the judging begins.

  • Babs

    The judges are extremely conservative. The artists are mostly quite good, although not varied enough – performance and video ought to be included, too. But the show comes to a deadly boring halt with the judging portion. I found the judges to be imperious, vacant, and extremely old-fashioned. A review I read harkened back to the 17th century – yup, they have a lot of catching up to do. Find new judges, and make one of them a first-rate artist, one a witty and insightful art critic, one an articulate art collector, and one a seasoned and excellent art professor. Or simply tune out when the judging begins.

  • http://www.daingore.com/ Dain Q Gore

    Good observations all around. Have to say I’m utterly excited by the prospect of this kind of show. It came out about as well as could be expected!

    I agree that the judges seemed a little lethargic. I even wanted Jerry Saltz to be snarkier, but he still delivered. I think the judging may have been overedited, in my opinion. The entertaining exchange with Erik seemed cut short, for example.

    I can’t help but put myself in their place, since I would love to be in the mix like they are, even if it meant humiliation!

    @Charles: Agree, sort of, about quality…it is their first challenge/episode and they had one night to complete/perform a competition artwork for the show. Can’t quite compare that to the two weeks or more (not counting weekends) that a college student is allowed to have for their project(s)!

    As regards Erik, well he’s perfect for this kind of show because of editing…we have pathos for him because he is already filmed and framed as the underdog, just as Satino and Geoffrey were in Project Runway.

  • http://www.daingore.com/ Dain Q Gore

    Good observations all around. Have to say I’m utterly excited by the prospect of this kind of show. It came out about as well as could be expected!

    I agree that the judges seemed a little lethargic. I even wanted Jerry Saltz to be snarkier, but he still delivered. I think the judging may have been overedited, in my opinion. The entertaining exchange with Erik seemed cut short, for example.

    I can’t help but put myself in their place, since I would love to be in the mix like they are, even if it meant humiliation!

    @Charles: Agree, sort of, about quality…it is their first challenge/episode and they had one night to complete/perform a competition artwork for the show. Can’t quite compare that to the two weeks or more (not counting weekends) that a college student is allowed to have for their project(s)!

    As regards Erik, well he’s perfect for this kind of show because of editing…we have pathos for him because he is already filmed and framed as the underdog, just as Satino and Geoffrey were in Project Runway.

  • http://www.daingore.com/ Dain Q Gore

    Good observations all around. Have to say I’m utterly excited by the prospect of this kind of show. It came out about as well as could be expected!

    I agree that the judges seemed a little lethargic. I even wanted Jerry Saltz to be snarkier, but he still delivered. I think the judging may have been overedited, in my opinion. The entertaining exchange with Erik seemed cut short, for example.

    I can’t help but put myself in their place, since I would love to be in the mix like they are, even if it meant humiliation!

    @Charles: Agree, sort of, about quality…it is their first challenge/episode and they had one night to complete/perform a competition artwork for the show. Can’t quite compare that to the two weeks or more (not counting weekends) that a college student is allowed to have for their project(s)!

    As regards Erik, well he’s perfect for this kind of show because of editing…we have pathos for him because he is already filmed and framed as the underdog, just as Satino and Geoffrey were in Project Runway.

  • http://www.daingore.com/ Dain Q Gore

    Good observations all around. Have to say I’m utterly excited by the prospect of this kind of show. It came out about as well as could be expected!

    I agree that the judges seemed a little lethargic. I even wanted Jerry Saltz to be snarkier, but he still delivered. I think the judging may have been overedited, in my opinion. The entertaining exchange with Erik seemed cut short, for example.

    I can’t help but put myself in their place, since I would love to be in the mix like they are, even if it meant humiliation!

    @Charles: Agree, sort of, about quality…it is their first challenge/episode and they had one night to complete/perform a competition artwork for the show. Can’t quite compare that to the two weeks or more (not counting weekends) that a college student is allowed to have for their project(s)!

    As regards Erik, well he’s perfect for this kind of show because of editing…we have pathos for him because he is already filmed and framed as the underdog, just as Satino and Geoffrey were in Project Runway.

  • http://www.daingore.com/ Dain Q Gore

    Good observations all around. Have to say I’m utterly excited by the prospect of this kind of show. It came out about as well as could be expected!

    I agree that the judges seemed a little lethargic. I even wanted Jerry Saltz to be snarkier, but he still delivered. I think the judging may have been overedited, in my opinion. The entertaining exchange with Erik seemed cut short, for example.

    I can’t help but put myself in their place, since I would love to be in the mix like they are, even if it meant humiliation!

    @Charles: Agree, sort of, about quality…it is their first challenge/episode and they had one night to complete/perform a competition artwork for the show. Can’t quite compare that to the two weeks or more (not counting weekends) that a college student is allowed to have for their project(s)!

    As regards Erik, well he’s perfect for this kind of show because of editing…we have pathos for him because he is already filmed and framed as the underdog, just as Satino and Geoffrey were in Project Runway.

  • http://www.daingore.com/ Dain Q Gore

    Good observations all around. Have to say I’m utterly excited by the prospect of this kind of show. It came out about as well as could be expected!

    I agree that the judges seemed a little lethargic. I even wanted Jerry Saltz to be snarkier, but he still delivered. I think the judging may have been overedited, in my opinion. The entertaining exchange with Erik seemed cut short, for example.

    I can’t help but put myself in their place, since I would love to be in the mix like they are, even if it meant humiliation!

    @Charles: Agree, sort of, about quality…it is their first challenge/episode and they had one night to complete/perform a competition artwork for the show. Can’t quite compare that to the two weeks or more (not counting weekends) that a college student is allowed to have for their project(s)!

    As regards Erik, well he’s perfect for this kind of show because of editing…we have pathos for him because he is already filmed and framed as the underdog, just as Satino and Geoffrey were in Project Runway.

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  • http://www.dearjackiecollins.blogspot.com/ Sarah Baker

    I am so disappointed I cant get this show in the UK- thank heavens for Art Fag City.

    That portrait Miles made of Nao is great. Did they get to choose who to do portraits of? Since Nao uses her image in her own work it seems very Warhol-esque of Miles to create a screenprint of Nao (ala celebrity). But whats up with her portrait of him? From that image its so… _____

  • http://www.dearjackiecollins.blogspot.com/ Sarah Baker

    I am so disappointed I cant get this show in the UK- thank heavens for Art Fag City.

    That portrait Miles made of Nao is great. Did they get to choose who to do portraits of? Since Nao uses her image in her own work it seems very Warhol-esque of Miles to create a screenprint of Nao (ala celebrity). But whats up with her portrait of him? From that image its so… _____

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    @ Alexander and AFC…thanks for the shout outs. And Alexander, I too thought that IN GENERAL…every single piece done should be clearly presented to the viewers..for at least a bit. After all…they do that on Proj Runway and Top Chef. The viewer wants that, since it’s all supposed to be democratic and accessible now…to see for themselves….not be forced immediately into the top and bottom 3. A missed opportunity by the producers, but maybe they’ll learn up.

    And AFC…..Abdi does not find the word “cliche” derogative!

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    @ Alexander and AFC…thanks for the shout outs. And Alexander, I too thought that IN GENERAL…every single piece done should be clearly presented to the viewers..for at least a bit. After all…they do that on Proj Runway and Top Chef. The viewer wants that, since it’s all supposed to be democratic and accessible now…to see for themselves….not be forced immediately into the top and bottom 3. A missed opportunity by the producers, but maybe they’ll learn up.

    And AFC…..Abdi does not find the word “cliche” derogative!

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Oh also @AFC…I could not in my wildest dreams have hoped for a better clip than myself laughing at the title of the show…and you are right…I have to hand it to them for that. I can die now…..

  • http://www.judithannbraun.com Judith Braun

    Oh also @AFC…I could not in my wildest dreams have hoped for a better clip than myself laughing at the title of the show…and you are right…I have to hand it to them for that. I can die now…..

  • http://www.adiscourseontheartsandsciences.net Author

    I admit to not being a huge fan of reality TV, but watched the 1st episode out of curiosity. I wish that the format would be a bit different in that more time was spent on the actual crits – in fact of all the work and not just the handful they did. It would seem as more of a learning experience for the viewing public. Less about the background drama perhaps – and more about the art itself.

  • http://www.adiscourseontheartsandsciences.net Author

    I admit to not being a huge fan of reality TV, but watched the 1st episode out of curiosity. I wish that the format would be a bit different in that more time was spent on the actual crits – in fact of all the work and not just the handful they did. It would seem as more of a learning experience for the viewing public. Less about the background drama perhaps – and more about the art itself.

  • collinlafleche

    I am as disappointed as the next person with this show but I don’t see why anyone expected it to be more than it is. It’s built on Project Runway’s framework and success and is going to basically be the same show, which is a 45-minute long series of one-liners delivered by typecast contestants, snarky judges, and a goofy mentor.

    A few weeks ago I was half-kicking myself for at least not trying out way back when; after seeing this, I am really glad I didn’t waste my time.

  • collinlafleche

    I am as disappointed as the next person with this show but I don’t see why anyone expected it to be more than it is. It’s built on Project Runway’s framework and success and is going to basically be the same show, which is a 45-minute long series of one-liners delivered by typecast contestants, snarky judges, and a goofy mentor.

    A few weeks ago I was half-kicking myself for at least not trying out way back when; after seeing this, I am really glad I didn’t waste my time.

  • collinlafleche

    Also, I forgot to add that China Chow proved herself to be a complete moron (the seed of which was planted when she introduced herself as the rich daughter of rich people who like expensive art) for arguing with Nao that she couldn’t see all of the artwork from a single angle. Was that supposed to be a joke? Good thing there aren’t any sculptors on this show. They’d be screwed.

  • collinlafleche

    Also, I forgot to add that China Chow proved herself to be a complete moron (the seed of which was planted when she introduced herself as the rich daughter of rich people who like expensive art) for arguing with Nao that she couldn’t see all of the artwork from a single angle. Was that supposed to be a joke? Good thing there aren’t any sculptors on this show. They’d be screwed.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    Paul Slocum is right, I’ve been searching for days for a torrent since the web episodes are blocked for non-USA residents (and anonymous proxies don’t work with Flash video). This thread might contain the only audience.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    Paul Slocum is right, I’ve been searching for days for a torrent since the web episodes are blocked for non-USA residents (and anonymous proxies don’t work with Flash video). This thread might contain the only audience.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    To quote my friend SS “You mean the world hasn’t stopped to watch Work of Art?” Fools!”

    I’m not a torrent user so I don’t know too much about these things, but I thought torrents typically appeared after the first season ran and the DVDs came out. I guess if there’s a lot of interest and an international audience they come out sooner?

    Anyone know how well “Rock of Love” did torrent wise when it first came out? Just curious as that show’s episode was totally awful, but became really popular.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    To quote my friend SS “You mean the world hasn’t stopped to watch Work of Art?” Fools!”

    I’m not a torrent user so I don’t know too much about these things, but I thought torrents typically appeared after the first season ran and the DVDs came out. I guess if there’s a lot of interest and an international audience they come out sooner?

    Anyone know how well “Rock of Love” did torrent wise when it first came out? Just curious as that show’s episode was totally awful, but became really popular.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    Most broadcast & cable TV from the US generally appears as a torrent a few days after the pilot. (It requires either a critical mass or just one like-minded nerd.)

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    Most broadcast & cable TV from the US generally appears as a torrent a few days after the pilot. (It requires either a critical mass or just one like-minded nerd.)

  • http://www.juliaschwartzart.com julia

    Lesson learned from watching Bravo’s Work of Art:

    #1: From within your own experience you are not a cliche, but from the point of view of reality TV casting and editing, everyone is a cliche to be exhibited for the hilarity of all. But you signed up for it, so I guess you can’t complain.

    #2: your explanations can sound like or can be made to sound like defensiveness, whines, or excuses, also depending on artful editing. eg ” “I didn’t go to art school” (yikes!- I’ve used this one myself) “I’m not responsible for your experience.”

    #3: Personal work and assigned work are not always equally powerful. Some of the artists whose self-portraits were interesting did not “produce” interesting assignments; and some artists whose self-portraits were not at all compelling to me did the assignment in interesting ways. What do I take from that? That they are technically skilled painters? That they are good students or good competitors, or that they “got” their subjects? Hmm…

  • http://www.juliaschwartzart.com julia

    Lesson learned from watching Bravo’s Work of Art:

    #1: From within your own experience you are not a cliche, but from the point of view of reality TV casting and editing, everyone is a cliche to be exhibited for the hilarity of all. But you signed up for it, so I guess you can’t complain.

    #2: your explanations can sound like or can be made to sound like defensiveness, whines, or excuses, also depending on artful editing. eg ” “I didn’t go to art school” (yikes!- I’ve used this one myself) “I’m not responsible for your experience.”

    #3: Personal work and assigned work are not always equally powerful. Some of the artists whose self-portraits were interesting did not “produce” interesting assignments; and some artists whose self-portraits were not at all compelling to me did the assignment in interesting ways. What do I take from that? That they are technically skilled painters? That they are good students or good competitors, or that they “got” their subjects? Hmm…

  • http://www.juliaschwartzart.com julia

    I had another thought about Amanda’s wallpaper portrait of Jaime Lynn, whose name routinely escapes me. What is wallpaper? It is fancy, often expensive, decorative paper (read clothes, make-up, and jewelry) that covers bland, plain, often blemished and unsightly walls (read flesh).

  • http://www.juliaschwartzart.com julia

    I had another thought about Amanda’s wallpaper portrait of Jaime Lynn, whose name routinely escapes me. What is wallpaper? It is fancy, often expensive, decorative paper (read clothes, make-up, and jewelry) that covers bland, plain, often blemished and unsightly walls (read flesh).

  • Sean

    I find myself wondering if Elizabeth Peyton would have gotten more than a C+: “Nice picture. Really stylish and jazzy. You may move on to the next challenge.”

    The contestants knew the facts: they signed up for a mass-audience competition show. At least for the first couple episodes, you have to think you’re making art for, I don’t know, your elderly Aunt Edith. The public. A conceptual mental map of abstract dipsy doodles would not be understood as a portrait even to the most educated art viewer (nor would Gonzales-Torres, as some commenter above mentioned; in fact that’s the first I’ve heard his candy piles described as a self-portrait. Is that true?).

    Not to say it’s BAD, just not a portrait in the sense of: make some kind of nod towards representation, pretty please? Reinvent the wheel a bit later in the show once you’ve got your chops down.

    Miles’ work most closely resembled Warhol’s portraits, which the general public can groove to. But more importantly than any of the work produced: Miles THOUGHT and acted like an artist, in his concept, process and his victory over disaster. Nao did too! But she didn’t push it to the conclusion of meeting the literal guidelines of the challenge like Miles did..

    If it comes down to a cage match between these two I wouldn’t be surprised. I hope we get to see more of Judith too.

  • Sean

    I find myself wondering if Elizabeth Peyton would have gotten more than a C+: “Nice picture. Really stylish and jazzy. You may move on to the next challenge.”

    The contestants knew the facts: they signed up for a mass-audience competition show. At least for the first couple episodes, you have to think you’re making art for, I don’t know, your elderly Aunt Edith. The public. A conceptual mental map of abstract dipsy doodles would not be understood as a portrait even to the most educated art viewer (nor would Gonzales-Torres, as some commenter above mentioned; in fact that’s the first I’ve heard his candy piles described as a self-portrait. Is that true?).

    Not to say it’s BAD, just not a portrait in the sense of: make some kind of nod towards representation, pretty please? Reinvent the wheel a bit later in the show once you’ve got your chops down.

    Miles’ work most closely resembled Warhol’s portraits, which the general public can groove to. But more importantly than any of the work produced: Miles THOUGHT and acted like an artist, in his concept, process and his victory over disaster. Nao did too! But she didn’t push it to the conclusion of meeting the literal guidelines of the challenge like Miles did..

    If it comes down to a cage match between these two I wouldn’t be surprised. I hope we get to see more of Judith too.

  • http://glasstire.com Rainey Knudson

    I am flabbergasted that there’s not an artist judge. Project Runway always had at least one fashion designer. Equally dismaying is the fact that it would probably never occur to the artists to think that there should be someone with a track record of making good art rather than three people who sit on the sidelines. Judges’ work doesn’t work for me.

  • http://glasstire.com Rainey Knudson

    I am flabbergasted that there’s not an artist judge. Project Runway always had at least one fashion designer. Equally dismaying is the fact that it would probably never occur to the artists to think that there should be someone with a track record of making good art rather than three people who sit on the sidelines. Judges’ work doesn’t work for me.

  • Jim

    To those looking for a torrent of this episode, it’s available on Demonoid.com.

    Link: http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/2280617/5846757/

    Note: you do need to be a member of Demonoid.com to access it, though.

  • Jim

    To those looking for a torrent of this episode, it’s available on Demonoid.com.

    Link: http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/2280617/5846757/

    Note: you do need to be a member of Demonoid.com to access it, though.

  • Kosh

    Nuuuuuuo, can’t seem to find episode 1 on torrents, yet episode 2 is available…? Buffoonery. Pure buffoonery. Someone with Demonoid access should release it to the general internet, please.

  • Kosh

    Nuuuuuuo, can’t seem to find episode 1 on torrents, yet episode 2 is available…? Buffoonery. Pure buffoonery. Someone with Demonoid access should release it to the general internet, please.

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