Work of Art: Opposites Attract a Litany of Common Art World Myths

by Paddy Johnson on July 29, 2010 · 178 comments WANGA

work of art, peregrine, mark, heaven, hell

Peregrine and Mark discuss their diptych with the judges

I hope Bravo re-calibrates its search for art that makes the viewer “feel” something because it seems to encourage the absurd amount of bad portraiture. This ranges from Abdi’s race car driver to this weeks slew of shirtless and pantless portraits. None were any good. Still, this episode offered the capable Ryan McGinness as the guest judge and was more engaging than most. The drama and the sheer volume of contemporary art myths showcased proved gripping.

Pairing the remaining artists off so they could create two unified pieces about universal opposites, the groups and themes seemed made for the contestants. Miles and Jaclyn received Male/Female, Mark and Peregrine Heaven/Hell and Nicole and Abdi Order/Chaos.

Host China Chow leaves after giving them their assignments, and conflict arises almost immediately. “Mark is really interested in lightness for heaven and darkness for hell. I’m more interested in something that might be more subtle” Peregrine chides continuing, “I have a better sense of conceptual art than Mark does. I believe I can elevate his work and still stick to my work” This patronizing statement is not Peregrine’s finest moment, particularly because her concept was no more sophisticated: The near-death and survival of Mark as represented by a scar on his belly. Mark received emergency surgery when his stomach exploded in his early twenties.

Peregrine buys into the same contemporary art myth Simon de Pury later articulates when he worries that Mark’s work will be too literal. That art should be subtle and complicated is common mis-representation of how the art world evaluates art — it actually privileges unique expression — and it’s this confusion that continually creates vague, inarticulate discussion even amongst professionals. After all, neither of the qualities Peregrine laid out make sense in a challenge calling for strong opposition. In fact it dilutes the potency of Heaven and Hell.

Never to be burdened with this problem, Miles provides the most grossly insidious work the program has showcased: Get the sexy Jaclyn naked and masturbating. UPDATE: This narrative was constructed by Bravo, and does not reflect the intentions of the artist. Read the AFC comment section for more details. Of course, he’d have the audience believe his piece is only what he constructed — a wall he’s punched holes in to represent a loss of control — but that’s not the case. He easily dominates and manipulates Jaclyn, taking on both control and loss of control. Presumably this was done as a means of covering his own ass should the collaboration with Jaclyn fail but it is completely lacking in all human decency. I would have liked to have seen him eliminated just for that.

Meanwhile, Bravo’s typical editing has Nicole Nadeau looking like an inarticulate freak, when in fact she simply buys into the idea that art needs a higher concept. This often results in muddled concepts such as her handcrank ticker tape of social norms. It’s a funny piece with a wooden head as a mouth piece, but the concept was forced and relied too heavily on poorly conceived text. She could have ditched the text. She also should have let Abdi figure out him painting on his own. It’s unclear if Nicole seeded her partner the idea of Socrates Cave[sic], but it seems like a concept she would gravitate towards; A group of people chained together watching a blank wall as an allegory for the concept that ideas more than materials are the highest form of reality.

Whatever the case, Abdi’s interpretation of the cave is an amateurish abstract painting that Jaclyn Santos criticizes for being “stuck between figuration and abstraction”. Abdi’s piece had problems, but Santos hardly identifies them. There’s nothing wrong with ambiguous painting, so it’s unclear why Jaclyn doesn’t like it past it not being beautiful enough. “My work has a beautiful simplicity.” she chirps contrasting her own work to Abdi’s.

The crits themselves were a little better in this episode even if I didn’t agree with the results. Ryan McGinnis wasn’t bad as a guest judge but I’d like to see a female artist take that role. The fact that there’s been none is literally offensive. A run down of the results below.

THE ELIMINATED

LEFT: Mark Velasquez, Heaven, RIGHT: Peregrine Honig, Hell. Common Bravo, get your act together and photograph this work professionally. This is an embarrassment.

Mark Velasquez gets the cut this week, a decision I don’t wholly agree with even if his concepts have continually been unoriginal. Sure his photograph could have been a little more challenging, but he was eliminated for making a picture too literal, at the same time as Jaclyn Santos was rewarded for producing a nude painting of herself masturbating as a representation of female. Peregrine’s work wasn’t that great either, and Bravo’s editing of Miles’ defense of it in the crit makes it seem like he’s the only one willing to give Mark a beat down. That seems unlikely. Also his criticism that Mark didn’t stretch his materials, is off point, (though it reveals Mendenhall’s own strategies for art making.) Mark’s issues are not materially based, but lie his lack of creative approaches. This can change over time of course, but that takes years.

Incidentally, Mark posted a photograph of his original idea, which clearly would have been much better as it’s a deeply creepy vision of heaven. I can’t say I blame Peregrine for refusing to model for that though.

THE PASSABLE

LEFT: Abdi Farah, Chaoes RIGHT: Nicole Nadeau: Order

Ryan McGinness noted Nicole’s work comes off as a little rinky dink, an issue in the last episode as well. Abdi suffered some poor treatment in this critique to the extent that I actually felt bad for him. After being told his painting was wholly unsuccessful the artist asks what he should work on. McGinness responds, “the fact that you’re even asking for advice is the wrong approach. You should be asking yourself.”

While there’s some truth this sentiment, the feedback isn’t particularly generous. Somehow Abdi managed to avoid picking up almost any knowledge about contemporary art while in school, and since he’s not an untrained artist, his work consistently looks off. If Abdi is serious about being a professional artist, his answer is this: Look at more shows. Farah doesn’t look at enough contemporary art and it’s obvious.

THE GROTESQUE

LEFT: Miles Mendenhall, Masculine, RIGHT: Jaclyn Santos, Feminine

I wish Miles were penalized for this piece. There’s been a lot of bad art on this show, but this is the only work narrative I think that actually debases the art world. UPDATE: Read the AFC comment section, for more information on how Bravo created this false narrative.

BEST QUOTES

“I like that they had to deal with big ideas so accidentally, their own idea of themselves would start to come through” Jerry Saltz

“I just want to think of what I could represent to gain control that’s still feminine, you know – Jaclyn Santos, the staunch feminist.

  • garboesque

    I’m in complete agreement that just for human decency’s sake alone, Miles should have been booted off the program last night. It made me chuckle when McGinnis asked Jacklyn if she ever masturbated standing up and she said yes. She SO does NOT deserve to win and I’ve reached the conclusion that the only reason they’ve kept her is to titillate the audience in hopes of revving up the ratings.

    “Work of Art” has really become a charade of major proportions.

  • garboesque

    I’m in complete agreement that just for human decency’s sake alone, Miles should have been booted off the program last night. It made me chuckle when McGinnis asked Jacklyn if she ever masturbated standing up and she said yes. She SO does NOT deserve to win and I’ve reached the conclusion that the only reason they’ve kept her is to titillate the audience in hopes of revving up the ratings.

    “Work of Art” has really become a charade of major proportions.

  • Pat

    Yvonne Force?

  • Pat

    Yvonne Force?

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

    Yvonne is not an artist.

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

    Yvonne is not an artist.

  • Pat

    Ah, fair enough. I saw “guest judge” and then missed female “artist.” My bad!

  • Pat

    Ah, fair enough. I saw “guest judge” and then missed female “artist.” My bad!

  • S.M.

    I felt bad for Jacklyn when McGinnis asked her if she masturbated standing up. The look on her face seemed to show complete disbelief at being asked that. Yes, she did paint it, but I feel like it wasn’t quite right to ask. What I got from the painting was that it was a woman taking control of her sexuality. What position the artist masturbates in [even if she was the subject] didn’t seem entirely important.

  • S.M.

    I felt bad for Jacklyn when McGinnis asked her if she masturbated standing up. The look on her face seemed to show complete disbelief at being asked that. Yes, she did paint it, but I feel like it wasn’t quite right to ask. What I got from the painting was that it was a woman taking control of her sexuality. What position the artist masturbates in [even if she was the subject] didn’t seem entirely important.

  • http://www.jdhastings.com J.D.Hastings

    This is the third week in a row that editors have portrayed Miles as having seeded the idea for some of the girls’ work. First with the Jaclyn, Peregrine, Erik group piece, then for Nicole’s piece (which she defended here in the comments), and now Jaclyn again.

    I’m inclined to believe Jaclyn and Nicole that this was exagerated (since both ideas fit in well with what they tend to come up with regularly), which leaves me wondering why. Obviously there’s the dramatic point, but are they building Miles up to be manipulative or a genius, or both.

    The subtitle to the series is “The Next Great Artist,” which is already a lost cause, since even the best of the remaining artist feel like they have yet to find a mature voice for their craft (probably exaggerated by the constraints they’re working under). So are they trying to impose this role onto Miles? Or did the producers just hastily repeat their common themes as much as several of the artists?

    Regardless, I only continue to watch this show because of the common dialogue it generates among other artists and because it can lead to some of the better analyses we see, such as what we read here.

    I can’t help thinking we would all have been better off with a show populated by established artists who respect each other, don’t NEED to win and participate for the sake of dialogue with other artists (think Top Chef: Masters). The drama would drop off, but we might actually see some work wirth viewing each week and here some valuable discussions. This show just makes me despair.

  • http://www.jdhastings.com J.D.Hastings

    This is the third week in a row that editors have portrayed Miles as having seeded the idea for some of the girls’ work. First with the Jaclyn, Peregrine, Erik group piece, then for Nicole’s piece (which she defended here in the comments), and now Jaclyn again.

    I’m inclined to believe Jaclyn and Nicole that this was exagerated (since both ideas fit in well with what they tend to come up with regularly), which leaves me wondering why. Obviously there’s the dramatic point, but are they building Miles up to be manipulative or a genius, or both.

    The subtitle to the series is “The Next Great Artist,” which is already a lost cause, since even the best of the remaining artist feel like they have yet to find a mature voice for their craft (probably exaggerated by the constraints they’re working under). So are they trying to impose this role onto Miles? Or did the producers just hastily repeat their common themes as much as several of the artists?

    Regardless, I only continue to watch this show because of the common dialogue it generates among other artists and because it can lead to some of the better analyses we see, such as what we read here.

    I can’t help thinking we would all have been better off with a show populated by established artists who respect each other, don’t NEED to win and participate for the sake of dialogue with other artists (think Top Chef: Masters). The drama would drop off, but we might actually see some work wirth viewing each week and here some valuable discussions. This show just makes me despair.

  • Wil M

    One of my best friends was Abdi’s TA at Penn–whose undergraduate art program is a bit insulated from the contemporary art world (although its grad program is immersed in it, a strange dichotomy that I never quite figured out while I was there), so I think you identified a real problem with his practice. He has a little bit of talent, a boatload of enthusiasm, and almost no context.

    I do want to nitpick one thing you mentioned about Jaclyn–that she was “sexy.” She’s not, which adds a whole new dimension to her pining for male attention (which she has somehow confused with feminism). She simply has very large breasts for her frame. This is actually an important difference, because the attention she gets is fetishized and local and can’t be terribly empowering. When someone is very attractive–of either gender, but particularly women– there is an element of empowerment present alongside any feelings of objectification or marginalization.
    It’s like Venus vs. the Hottentot Venus. I’m sure it sucks, but she does not seem to be dealing with it well–and her attempts to build a practice out of it are failing miserably.

  • Wil M

    One of my best friends was Abdi’s TA at Penn–whose undergraduate art program is a bit insulated from the contemporary art world (although its grad program is immersed in it, a strange dichotomy that I never quite figured out while I was there), so I think you identified a real problem with his practice. He has a little bit of talent, a boatload of enthusiasm, and almost no context.

    I do want to nitpick one thing you mentioned about Jaclyn–that she was “sexy.” She’s not, which adds a whole new dimension to her pining for male attention (which she has somehow confused with feminism). She simply has very large breasts for her frame. This is actually an important difference, because the attention she gets is fetishized and local and can’t be terribly empowering. When someone is very attractive–of either gender, but particularly women– there is an element of empowerment present alongside any feelings of objectification or marginalization.
    It’s like Venus vs. the Hottentot Venus. I’m sure it sucks, but she does not seem to be dealing with it well–and her attempts to build a practice out of it are failing miserably.

  • Ursula

    I thought that Miles and Jaclyn were given “Male/Female” not “Masculine/Feminine”. Not only is their construction of gender cliched and offensive, but totally off-base since the challenge referred to biological sex and not gender. I was disturbed by the fact that their conflation of gender=sex as a statement itself was never raised by the judges.

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

      I just checked the video to be sure and you’re right. I’ll correct the error. You make a good point.

  • Ursula

    I thought that Miles and Jaclyn were given “Male/Female” not “Masculine/Feminine”. Not only is their construction of gender cliched and offensive, but totally off-base since the challenge referred to biological sex and not gender. I was disturbed by the fact that their conflation of gender=sex as a statement itself was never raised by the judges.

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

      I just checked the video to be sure and you’re right. I’ll correct the error. You make a good point.

  • Swift

    My problem(s) with this show stem from the fact that it had an opportunity to bring some laypeople into a world that quite frankly they are scared of. (and for good reason)

    I come from a very humble (very poor) beginning. Art pays my bills and feeds my wife and child. I’m not rich, but I do what I love and make a nice living doing it.

    Because of my beginning, I have many fiends and family that are “blue colar” or middle class. I have spent a lot of my life preaching the value of owning original art and that owning it is not just for the rich New York in crowd. Only to have them walk into a gallery and be talked down to by a gallery owner who assumed they were not intelligent because their glasses were Wal-Mart instead or Dior. That, or they get completely ignored because they dont look like they can afford anything (it’s the only reason I can think of anyway)

    The inconsistency in judges comments/judgments has only reinforced the “it’s all bull #$%&” mentality that the layperson has in regards to the art world. The way they are editing the “characters” hasn’t helped either.

    The only conversation I’ve seen stimulated by this show is mostly among others in the art world in some way or another. I havent seen many laypeople discussing the show at all. I don’t see how this show has accomplished much of anything positive for the art world.

    The longer I live and work, I realize that there are 2 art worlds. Unfortunately for the enrichment of people lives, the wrong one gets all the press.

    • layperson

      If you want to see discussion by laypeople, you should look somewhere frequented by laypeople instead of only artists:
      http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/index.php?showtopic=3196092

      • Swift

        I meant in the “real world” not internet chat boards. I have a large social circle and none of my “non-art” friends have ever brought the show up in conversation.

        The majority of discussion i’ve seen laypeople involved in online, is mostly to do with perceived inconsistencies in judging, confusion about the “art” in the challenges, or that it’s reinforced the negative stereotypes and misconceptions so many people have toward fine art.

        I’ve seen very few make comments that it has made them want to go out and visit a local gallery, or museum because it’s peaked their interest to learn more about art.

  • Swift

    My problem(s) with this show stem from the fact that it had an opportunity to bring some laypeople into a world that quite frankly they are scared of. (and for good reason)

    I come from a very humble (very poor) beginning. Art pays my bills and feeds my wife and child. I’m not rich, but I do what I love and make a nice living doing it.

    Because of my beginning, I have many fiends and family that are “blue colar” or middle class. I have spent a lot of my life preaching the value of owning original art and that owning it is not just for the rich New York in crowd. Only to have them walk into a gallery and be talked down to by a gallery owner who assumed they were not intelligent because their glasses were Wal-Mart instead or Dior. That, or they get completely ignored because they dont look like they can afford anything (it’s the only reason I can think of anyway)

    The inconsistency in judges comments/judgments has only reinforced the “it’s all bull #$%&” mentality that the layperson has in regards to the art world. The way they are editing the “characters” hasn’t helped either.

    The only conversation I’ve seen stimulated by this show is mostly among others in the art world in some way or another. I havent seen many laypeople discussing the show at all. I don’t see how this show has accomplished much of anything positive for the art world.

    The longer I live and work, I realize that there are 2 art worlds. Unfortunately for the enrichment of people lives, the wrong one gets all the press.

    • layperson

      If you want to see discussion by laypeople, you should look somewhere frequented by laypeople instead of only artists:
      http://forums.televisionwithoutpity.com/index.php?showtopic=3196092

      • Swift

        I meant in the “real world” not internet chat boards. I have a large social circle and none of my “non-art” friends have ever brought the show up in conversation.

        The majority of discussion i’ve seen laypeople involved in online, is mostly to do with perceived inconsistencies in judging, confusion about the “art” in the challenges, or that it’s reinforced the negative stereotypes and misconceptions so many people have toward fine art.

        I’ve seen very few make comments that it has made them want to go out and visit a local gallery, or museum because it’s peaked their interest to learn more about art.

  • Aim

    I couldn’t agree more with Paddy’s comment:
    …That art should be subtle and complicated is common mis-representation of how the art world evaluates art — it actually privileges unique expression — and it’s this confusion that continually creates vague, inarticulate discussion even amongst professionals.

    Drivel.

    Swift, I enjoyed reading your comments.

    • http://www.thomashellstrom.net ernstwhere

      I noticed this also in Paddy’s commentary and it seems like a nugget well worth expanding upon. When obfuscate is the ten minutes ago go to verb for in art criticism there is a problem.

  • Aim

    I couldn’t agree more with Paddy’s comment:
    …That art should be subtle and complicated is common mis-representation of how the art world evaluates art — it actually privileges unique expression — and it’s this confusion that continually creates vague, inarticulate discussion even amongst professionals.

    Drivel.

    Swift, I enjoyed reading your comments.

    • http://www.thomashellstrom.net ernstwhere

      I noticed this also in Paddy’s commentary and it seems like a nugget well worth expanding upon. When obfuscate is the ten minutes ago go to verb for in art criticism there is a problem.

  • FGW

    Did you guys notice how Mark and Peregrine’s work was criticized for being too literal in its depiction of heaven and hell and, in comparison, how Abdi’s rendition of “chaos” was not literal enough?

    What is all that about? Why is one concept unacceptable in its literalness and the other must be literal in order to be understood? I’m a bit confused by this critique and the judges were way off their game in this episode. That a portrait of a naked woman could create such an awkward moment feels pretty third grade-ish to me and I can’t believe that the word “masturbation” could not be spoken by the artist who depicted it.

    It’s the first time China Chow actually came through as a host too and made me like her even more. Go figure, given that, for once, she actually said what apparently was too risque by the other judges and what summarizes this episode: MASTURBATE!

  • FGW

    Did you guys notice how Mark and Peregrine’s work was criticized for being too literal in its depiction of heaven and hell and, in comparison, how Abdi’s rendition of “chaos” was not literal enough?

    What is all that about? Why is one concept unacceptable in its literalness and the other must be literal in order to be understood? I’m a bit confused by this critique and the judges were way off their game in this episode. That a portrait of a naked woman could create such an awkward moment feels pretty third grade-ish to me and I can’t believe that the word “masturbation” could not be spoken by the artist who depicted it.

    It’s the first time China Chow actually came through as a host too and made me like her even more. Go figure, given that, for once, she actually said what apparently was too risque by the other judges and what summarizes this episode: MASTURBATE!

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Abdi’s painting, I’d like to introduce you to Alexander Ross: http://bit.ly/b4SLzN

    • greysonlulu

      fascinating. i knew abdi’s work looked familiar.

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

      Honestly I don’t think that is a valid comparison…you could take ANY painting by anyone and find some other artist’s work that it reminds you of…color, shapes. There are definitely times when it is worth noting a very derivative piece…I just don’t think this was one of them.

      • http://www.angelawatters.com Angela

        I agree with Judith’s assessment. I wouldn’t call Abdi’s painting derivative of Ross’s work.

      • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

        I was formally introducing Abdi’s painting to Ross’ because they absolutely share striking, very specific formal, stylistic, and even “generative” similarities. Ross has been producing large paintings of green biomorphs against flattened, non-specific backgrounds for some time – his process is to paint these forms from models he’s built (and digitally modified) before cropping them and rendering them with painterly realism. Abdi’s relatively quickly-made painting is far from as elegant and resolved as Ross’, but the similarities are clear.

        I agree with you that “you could take ANY painting” and make general comparisons — and one should — but there are times when these comparisons reveal uncanny similarities. Even though Abdi was struggling and working out of his comfort zone (a good thing for him, I think), it’s notable that he ended up making a work that so closely resembled that of another contemporary artist. We’re all “guilty” of doing this (including Ross), and I think that it’s worthwhile for artists to explore why we so often — and usually unintentionally — end up rehashing well-worn tropes.

        Mira Schor wrote an excellent essay that discusses this (“Trite Tropes, Clichés, or the Persistence of Styles”). All artists should read it, WANGA contestant or otherwise. Here’s a piece of the introductory paragraph:

        “Old styles never die, they just continue to permeate the substrata of American art, lurking under the radar of the mainstream art world. Mutating and merging, they form new subspecies of styles with recognizable characteristics and a persistent life of their own. Yet, made of clichés from styles whose original radicality, purpose, and lineage are lost, they are unconscious of their own existence as specific and historically based style types.”

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

          The idea that things get rehashed can be interesting to think about, but I thought you were making a case that Abdi had knowingly appropriated Ross’s imagery. Which I really doubt he did. But maybe that wasn’t your point.

          • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

            @Judith: I’m sure that Abdi had no idea that what he was making was so similar to Ross’s work (nor did most of the viewing audience — though Saltz should’ve known: http://bit.ly/cKklCz). I’m not accusing Abdi of copying; he clearly made his painting earnestly, and seemed to genuinely struggle with the unfamiliar territory. I’m just bringing attention to the phenomenon of how rapidly these tropes “get rehashed” (often unwittingly), and also to how WANGA never seems to bring the works of *any* artists to bear upon the discussions of the contestants’ work. Like most of the contemporary “art world,” WANGA seems like a nearsighted, self-satisfied vacuum. History? Style? Context? Influences? Who cares.

            As Paddy mentions at the end of this post, McGinnis reacts to Abdi’s sincere question with the whole “look within” bullshit (which is precisely what Abdi did for this challenge) — even though that approach just seems to lead to artists making work that looks like everything else.

          • http://Shymob.com Steve

            I think the reason they stay away from referencing contemporary artists is that you would want to see an example of it and there are copyright issues preventing the show from using images of the works.

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

            I keep reading that other contemporary artists are mentioned as part of the crits but that stuff is edited out. That stuff’s probably not particularly relevant to audiences outside the field of art unless the reference is so obvious they’d be nailed for not discussing it.

          • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

            Well, that’s lame and stupid. God forbid Bravo forks over some $$$ to contemporary artists for showing contemporary artwork on a reality-show about contemporary art. And wouldn’t the “scared laypeople” that Swift mentions above be thrilled for some artist’s names that they could Google so they can learn themselves better? All kinds of crazy fashion-industry people are mentioned on “America’s Next Top Model” and that show’s in its, what, four-hundredth season? WANGA is dumb as shit and any excuses for its dumb-as-shitness are tired (or, in “ANTM”-speak, Tyra-ed).

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

            Agreed.

        • http://www.angelawatters.com Angela

          Just made a photo based on Abdi’s bad painting. Did it need to be taken? Probably not, but my awesome lamp is so similar to his form. http://twitgoo.com/1fe1qg

          • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

            @Angela: That’s incredible — nice job with the background match! And that lamp is *intense*.

  • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

    Abdi’s painting, I’d like to introduce you to Alexander Ross: http://bit.ly/b4SLzN

    • greysonlulu

      fascinating. i knew abdi’s work looked familiar.

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

      Honestly I don’t think that is a valid comparison…you could take ANY painting by anyone and find some other artist’s work that it reminds you of…color, shapes. There are definitely times when it is worth noting a very derivative piece…I just don’t think this was one of them.

      • http://www.angelawatters.com Angela

        I agree with Judith’s assessment. I wouldn’t call Abdi’s painting derivative of Ross’s work.

      • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

        I was formally introducing Abdi’s painting to Ross’ because they absolutely share striking, very specific formal, stylistic, and even “generative” similarities. Ross has been producing large paintings of green biomorphs against flattened, non-specific backgrounds for some time – his process is to paint these forms from models he’s built (and digitally modified) before cropping them and rendering them with painterly realism. Abdi’s relatively quickly-made painting is far from as elegant and resolved as Ross’, but the similarities are clear.

        I agree with you that “you could take ANY painting” and make general comparisons — and one should — but there are times when these comparisons reveal uncanny similarities. Even though Abdi was struggling and working out of his comfort zone (a good thing for him, I think), it’s notable that he ended up making a work that so closely resembled that of another contemporary artist. We’re all “guilty” of doing this (including Ross), and I think that it’s worthwhile for artists to explore why we so often — and usually unintentionally — end up rehashing well-worn tropes.

        Mira Schor wrote an excellent essay that discusses this (“Trite Tropes, Clichés, or the Persistence of Styles”). All artists should read it, WANGA contestant or otherwise. Here’s a piece of the introductory paragraph:

        “Old styles never die, they just continue to permeate the substrata of American art, lurking under the radar of the mainstream art world. Mutating and merging, they form new subspecies of styles with recognizable characteristics and a persistent life of their own. Yet, made of clichés from styles whose original radicality, purpose, and lineage are lost, they are unconscious of their own existence as specific and historically based style types.”

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

          The idea that things get rehashed can be interesting to think about, but I thought you were making a case that Abdi had knowingly appropriated Ross’s imagery. Which I really doubt he did. But maybe that wasn’t your point.

          • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

            @Judith: I’m sure that Abdi had no idea that what he was making was so similar to Ross’s work (nor did most of the viewing audience — though Saltz should’ve known: http://bit.ly/cKklCz). I’m not accusing Abdi of copying; he clearly made his painting earnestly, and seemed to genuinely struggle with the unfamiliar territory. I’m just bringing attention to the phenomenon of how rapidly these tropes “get rehashed” (often unwittingly), and also to how WANGA never seems to bring the works of *any* artists to bear upon the discussions of the contestants’ work. Like most of the contemporary “art world,” WANGA seems like a nearsighted, self-satisfied vacuum. History? Style? Context? Influences? Who cares.

            As Paddy mentions at the end of this post, McGinnis reacts to Abdi’s sincere question with the whole “look within” bullshit (which is precisely what Abdi did for this challenge) — even though that approach just seems to lead to artists making work that looks like everything else.

          • http://Shymob.com Steve

            I think the reason they stay away from referencing contemporary artists is that you would want to see an example of it and there are copyright issues preventing the show from using images of the works.

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

            I keep reading that other contemporary artists are mentioned as part of the crits but that stuff is edited out. That stuff’s probably not particularly relevant to audiences outside the field of art unless the reference is so obvious they’d be nailed for not discussing it.

          • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

            Well, that’s lame and stupid. God forbid Bravo forks over some $$$ to contemporary artists for showing contemporary artwork on a reality-show about contemporary art. And wouldn’t the “scared laypeople” that Swift mentions above be thrilled for some artist’s names that they could Google so they can learn themselves better? All kinds of crazy fashion-industry people are mentioned on “America’s Next Top Model” and that show’s in its, what, four-hundredth season? WANGA is dumb as shit and any excuses for its dumb-as-shitness are tired (or, in “ANTM”-speak, Tyra-ed).

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

            Agreed.

        • http://www.angelawatters.com Angela

          Just made a photo based on Abdi’s bad painting. Did it need to be taken? Probably not, but my awesome lamp is so similar to his form. http://twitgoo.com/1fe1qg

          • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

            @Angela: That’s incredible — nice job with the background match! And that lamp is *intense*.

  • Miss Bumptious

    Here’s a statement I have to question: “If Abdi is serious about being a professional artist, his answer is this: Look at more shows. Farah doesn’t look at enough contemporary art and it’s obvious.” So if Abdi starts going to the hot shows in New York and copying those artists, only then will he be accepted by the New York art establishment? Fashionably derivative is the goal for young artists, apparently. Sigh.

    On a mostly unrelated note, all the comments I’ve seen from Jaclyn and about her on various message boards generally discuss female masturbation as an act of seizing control. Um…really? Humans are basically animals who are unable to successfully manage much of anything in terms of their desires, particularly the sexual ones. Not sure where control comes into that equation. Abandon is a much more interesting construct.

    • PATPATPATPAT

      He(every artist too) should look at contemporary art. Where is it stated that he should copy those artists? Why would it be bad to take a general interest into what others are doing in your field?

    • Gina B

      The opposite is true for Abdi. Maybe if he had a passing knowledge of contemporary art, he wouldn’t have copied someone’s work so unknowingly (As Jesse P. Martin pointed out above, Alexander Ross) Knowing what other artists are making isn’t supposed to be about copying. Although maybe it becomes that for hacks. It’s supposed to be about being part of a conversation, reacting, rejecting, finding a space for your voice. Abdi seems to have everything else; skills, intelligence. He just doesn’t have that awareness of the conversation, which is just as important.

      I agree about Jaclyn, I would have loved to see her follow Miles’ kind of simplistic, stereotyping language (man loses control, punches wall) to an inevitable conclusion: Woman loses control, destroys man’s stuff (or at the very least, packs his stuff for the curb, like Beyonce in Irreplaceable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EwViQxSJJQ)

      How sweet it would have been to see her destroy his sculpture (I was thinking power tools or fire:) and put it out by the curb. No I’m serious, preferably without his consent, that would have been amazing!

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

        @ Gina….YES! That would have been perfect.

  • Miss Bumptious

    Here’s a statement I have to question: “If Abdi is serious about being a professional artist, his answer is this: Look at more shows. Farah doesn’t look at enough contemporary art and it’s obvious.” So if Abdi starts going to the hot shows in New York and copying those artists, only then will he be accepted by the New York art establishment? Fashionably derivative is the goal for young artists, apparently. Sigh.

    On a mostly unrelated note, all the comments I’ve seen from Jaclyn and about her on various message boards generally discuss female masturbation as an act of seizing control. Um…really? Humans are basically animals who are unable to successfully manage much of anything in terms of their desires, particularly the sexual ones. Not sure where control comes into that equation. Abandon is a much more interesting construct.

    • PATPATPATPAT

      He(every artist too) should look at contemporary art. Where is it stated that he should copy those artists? Why would it be bad to take a general interest into what others are doing in your field?

    • Gina B

      The opposite is true for Abdi. Maybe if he had a passing knowledge of contemporary art, he wouldn’t have copied someone’s work so unknowingly (As Jesse P. Martin pointed out above, Alexander Ross) Knowing what other artists are making isn’t supposed to be about copying. Although maybe it becomes that for hacks. It’s supposed to be about being part of a conversation, reacting, rejecting, finding a space for your voice. Abdi seems to have everything else; skills, intelligence. He just doesn’t have that awareness of the conversation, which is just as important.

      I agree about Jaclyn, I would have loved to see her follow Miles’ kind of simplistic, stereotyping language (man loses control, punches wall) to an inevitable conclusion: Woman loses control, destroys man’s stuff (or at the very least, packs his stuff for the curb, like Beyonce in Irreplaceable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EwViQxSJJQ)

      How sweet it would have been to see her destroy his sculpture (I was thinking power tools or fire:) and put it out by the curb. No I’m serious, preferably without his consent, that would have been amazing!

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

        @ Gina….YES! That would have been perfect.

  • JK

    I have to say, I’m SO over Miles I can’t take it anymore…

  • JK

    I have to say, I’m SO over Miles I can’t take it anymore…

  • Woody Tanaka

    Aim and Paddy (and anyone else interested…),

    Please tell me more; what do you mean by “privileging unique expression”. I have an idea of what I think that means, as it relates to work that I admire, but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts…

  • Michelle P.

    I found it interesting to see China crying when she told Mark it was time to go. It made me wonder more about him as a person, since Bravo typically only presented clips of him stating mundane observations like, “Someone’s going home today”.

    I also agree that presenting Miles as being the idea guy behind Nicole’s and Jaclyn’s works over different episodes is offensive. When will the show address his use of toxic materials in the studio? Kate Gilmore punches drywall in heels. Why was this not brought up? Why are the crits not including comments about other contemporary or historical artists? Everyone will benefit. And, why not correct the confusion over Socrates Cave when it is Plato’s Cave?

    I would also love to see a female artist be a guest judge.

    @ Ursula – really great comments.

    @ Wil M – a bit mean. I think Jaclyn is sexy. She’s just not your type.

    • Wil M

      Really? You would be the first person I heard that from. My friends and I seem to be in agreement that she falls in to the “average-looking girl with on over-sized chest” category (which I know doesn’t reflect well on us, but whoever said the mechanics of male desire were pretty). This also fits in with her desperate grasping for male attention, as well as her palpable disdain for Nicole, who–again, not simply my opinion, but the wisdom of my admittedly small-ish crowd–is far more attractive than she is, and clearly receives the kind of attention Jaclyn would like to (witness the reprehensible MIles, who wants to date Nicole, but simply wants to expose Jaclyn).

      I didn’t intend to be mean, but these are real distinctions that us hetero guys make, and that we act on (not always consciously), and that, thusly, generate different reactions. And considering Jaclyn’s work, they are relevant to the show.

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

        Just to clear things up, I labeled Jaclyn as “sexy” for readers who might be coming into this new, though I probably should have been a little more consistent and applied easy descriptors like that for all the cast. To be more specific about her look though, I think she’s sexy in a reproductive way. In other words, she accentuates or “enhances” any part of her body that would suggest she would conceive easily, survive giving birth and nurse her child well.

        • Maxon

          Michelle, I think your point about “not including comments about other contemporary or historical artists” is a huge deal. The judges seem to be intentionally dumbing it down. In fact, Jerry had a small conniption fit when Trong referenced Tom Friedman, which was admittedly a strange move, but it ultimately got him booted from the show. Could the judges be so worried that the viewing public is further ostracized from the art world that they make said art world seem even dumber? I think that may indeed be the case. Jerry’s whole “art that tells me something about the artist” limits the scope of what art can potentially be at the same time it encourages self-indulgence and possibly even hubris (I’m thinking Miles here).

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

          Oh shit, you had me rolling on the floor laughing at that one.

      • Woody Tanaka

        Nicole is cute, even pretty. She’s not very sexy. Jaclyn is sexy.

  • Woody Tanaka

    Aim and Paddy (and anyone else interested…),

    Please tell me more; what do you mean by “privileging unique expression”. I have an idea of what I think that means, as it relates to work that I admire, but I would be interested in hearing your thoughts…

  • Michelle P.

    I found it interesting to see China crying when she told Mark it was time to go. It made me wonder more about him as a person, since Bravo typically only presented clips of him stating mundane observations like, “Someone’s going home today”.

    I also agree that presenting Miles as being the idea guy behind Nicole’s and Jaclyn’s works over different episodes is offensive. When will the show address his use of toxic materials in the studio? Kate Gilmore punches drywall in heels. Why was this not brought up? Why are the crits not including comments about other contemporary or historical artists? Everyone will benefit. And, why not correct the confusion over Socrates Cave when it is Plato’s Cave?

    I would also love to see a female artist be a guest judge.

    @ Ursula – really great comments.

    @ Wil M – a bit mean. I think Jaclyn is sexy. She’s just not your type.

    • Wil M

      Really? You would be the first person I heard that from. My friends and I seem to be in agreement that she falls in to the “average-looking girl with on over-sized chest” category (which I know doesn’t reflect well on us, but whoever said the mechanics of male desire were pretty). This also fits in with her desperate grasping for male attention, as well as her palpable disdain for Nicole, who–again, not simply my opinion, but the wisdom of my admittedly small-ish crowd–is far more attractive than she is, and clearly receives the kind of attention Jaclyn would like to (witness the reprehensible MIles, who wants to date Nicole, but simply wants to expose Jaclyn).

      I didn’t intend to be mean, but these are real distinctions that us hetero guys make, and that we act on (not always consciously), and that, thusly, generate different reactions. And considering Jaclyn’s work, they are relevant to the show.

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

        Just to clear things up, I labeled Jaclyn as “sexy” for readers who might be coming into this new, though I probably should have been a little more consistent and applied easy descriptors like that for all the cast. To be more specific about her look though, I think she’s sexy in a reproductive way. In other words, she accentuates or “enhances” any part of her body that would suggest she would conceive easily, survive giving birth and nurse her child well.

        • Maxon

          Michelle, I think your point about “not including comments about other contemporary or historical artists” is a huge deal. The judges seem to be intentionally dumbing it down. In fact, Jerry had a small conniption fit when Trong referenced Tom Friedman, which was admittedly a strange move, but it ultimately got him booted from the show. Could the judges be so worried that the viewing public is further ostracized from the art world that they make said art world seem even dumber? I think that may indeed be the case. Jerry’s whole “art that tells me something about the artist” limits the scope of what art can potentially be at the same time it encourages self-indulgence and possibly even hubris (I’m thinking Miles here).

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

          Oh shit, you had me rolling on the floor laughing at that one.

      • Woody Tanaka

        Nicole is cute, even pretty. She’s not very sexy. Jaclyn is sexy.

  • Ursula

    Swift, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m from a similar background and hoped this show would be a bridge, only to watch it burn every week. This version of the art world looks like the upper middle class mimicking the poor for the amusement of rich. I know it’s more than that, but it’s still depressing.

  • Ursula

    Swift, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m from a similar background and hoped this show would be a bridge, only to watch it burn every week. This version of the art world looks like the upper middle class mimicking the poor for the amusement of rich. I know it’s more than that, but it’s still depressing.

  • PATPATPATPAT

    Another episode with wacky presentation. Screw it to the pedistal. Hang the giant banners from the ceiling. Hang walls onto slightly larger rolling walls? What? Why? That was very nice of miles to build a beautiful stand and frame for that masterbation sign. Once again. What?

    Paddy, thanks for mentioning the terribly cropped photos. It needs to be said.

    Crits were a little better. Abdi was the only one that really got hammered. Everyone deserved it.

  • PATPATPATPAT

    Another episode with wacky presentation. Screw it to the pedistal. Hang the giant banners from the ceiling. Hang walls onto slightly larger rolling walls? What? Why? That was very nice of miles to build a beautiful stand and frame for that masterbation sign. Once again. What?

    Paddy, thanks for mentioning the terribly cropped photos. It needs to be said.

    Crits were a little better. Abdi was the only one that really got hammered. Everyone deserved it.

  • Matt

    I think it’s time to face the fact that if Miles shit on a plate, Saltz would compliment it’s subtile nutty content and he’d win. His piece was complete crap, again, yet he wins, again.

    Jaclyn is just pathetic. Week after week it’s the same thing, herself. “Don’t look at my huge silicone jugs sticking out of my shirt, you dirty perverts!” If Mark had 36F plastic tits and a small waist he’d still be on the show.

    If Abdi and Nicole go, I’m done with the show. They’re the only human beings left.

  • Matt

    I think it’s time to face the fact that if Miles shit on a plate, Saltz would compliment it’s subtile nutty content and he’d win. His piece was complete crap, again, yet he wins, again.

    Jaclyn is just pathetic. Week after week it’s the same thing, herself. “Don’t look at my huge silicone jugs sticking out of my shirt, you dirty perverts!” If Mark had 36F plastic tits and a small waist he’d still be on the show.

    If Abdi and Nicole go, I’m done with the show. They’re the only human beings left.

  • S.M.

    Also after looking at Mark’s portfolio, I’m kind of shocked at his comment about Jacklyn always resorting to nudity.

    • kelly

      I agree. He completely relies on nude women for almost every poorly constructed concept the photographs. I’m surprised at how superficially his work is and makes me question the effectiveness of his private art school education.

      Adbi also works in a surprisingly superficial level in his art with having an art degree. He also went to a art high school. How is it that he seems to be completely lacking in his fine arts education?

      • S.M.

        Even if she relies on nudity a lot, I find her work more interesting, crafted, and has led to more conversation than anything by Mark. Through I do like how on this last episode it seemed like the first time he has tried to push himself out of his comfort zone, I still completely agree with him being let go.

        How old is Abdi and how much schooling has he had? I’m still pretty young [20] and haven’t even finished my undergrad degree and I imagine if I was in the same position, I would should a lot of the same issues Abdi is running into.

        I do like the work Abdi has done outside of WoA.

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

          We briefly discussed Mark’s portfolio before the show began. It’s more than a little creepy. Still, in this challenge he took a picture of himself, and his work was not the worst of the lot. In fact, I think it was probably the second best work produced in the challenge.

          Miles is just one year older than Abdi and he doesn’t have the same problems. At 20, he wouldn’t be on the show. He’s 22 and those years make a difference. He’s got a lot of catching up to do.

  • S.M.

    Also after looking at Mark’s portfolio, I’m kind of shocked at his comment about Jacklyn always resorting to nudity.

    • kelly

      I agree. He completely relies on nude women for almost every poorly constructed concept the photographs. I’m surprised at how superficially his work is and makes me question the effectiveness of his private art school education.

      Adbi also works in a surprisingly superficial level in his art with having an art degree. He also went to a art high school. How is it that he seems to be completely lacking in his fine arts education?

      • S.M.

        Even if she relies on nudity a lot, I find her work more interesting, crafted, and has led to more conversation than anything by Mark. Through I do like how on this last episode it seemed like the first time he has tried to push himself out of his comfort zone, I still completely agree with him being let go.

        How old is Abdi and how much schooling has he had? I’m still pretty young [20] and haven’t even finished my undergrad degree and I imagine if I was in the same position, I would should a lot of the same issues Abdi is running into.

        I do like the work Abdi has done outside of WoA.

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

          We briefly discussed Mark’s portfolio before the show began. It’s more than a little creepy. Still, in this challenge he took a picture of himself, and his work was not the worst of the lot. In fact, I think it was probably the second best work produced in the challenge.

          Miles is just one year older than Abdi and he doesn’t have the same problems. At 20, he wouldn’t be on the show. He’s 22 and those years make a difference. He’s got a lot of catching up to do.

  • http://newcleanblog.blogspot.com/ Lawrence Swan

    I don’t see why Abdi is being criticized for saying “Socrates’ Cave.” The allegory is told by Socrates in Plato’s Republic. Its like saying “Hamlet’s soliloquy,” maybe. For all we know, the allegory might have originated with the real Socrates, and Plato gives us no reason to think that it didn’t. If Abdi read the allegory, following Nicole’s suggestion, he would have found Plato’s account of a story purportedly told by Socrates. Probably not a good metaphor for chaos, though, and trying to figure it all out he produced that knot of calcified mucus.

  • http://newcleanblog.blogspot.com/ Lawrence Swan

    I don’t see why Abdi is being criticized for saying “Socrates’ Cave.” The allegory is told by Socrates in Plato’s Republic. Its like saying “Hamlet’s soliloquy,” maybe. For all we know, the allegory might have originated with the real Socrates, and Plato gives us no reason to think that it didn’t. If Abdi read the allegory, following Nicole’s suggestion, he would have found Plato’s account of a story purportedly told by Socrates. Probably not a good metaphor for chaos, though, and trying to figure it all out he produced that knot of calcified mucus.

  • sarcasatire

    After watching this episode and seeing Miles/Jaclyn’s win, I’m starting to feel like I’m in one of those art satires where we are in on the joke yet the judges aren’t. Like the Emporers New Clothes..except instead of the Emporer being naked, Jaclyn is. And the judges are members of her court, gathering around to tell her great she looks. But the joke isn’t on her because Jaclyn knows she’s naked…the joke is on the court because they don’t know she knows how far this will take her. Very far. Miles, is also in the joke. Which is why the first thing he did was talk her into getting naked to guarantee them a win. Jerry Saltz called it creepy on his blog. I call it genius, because the judges don’t seem to know they’re being played. Could it be because the panel is made up mostly of middle-aged men, that exposed ta-tas and a partially concealed vag just seems to scream ‘talent!’? Now, THAT is creepy.

    Jaclyn’s art did say ‘female’ in a purely literal sense (the female parts were jumping off of the page!), but how did it come off as empowering? Even Jaclyn asked Miles that question because a certain part of her feels that once she’s naked, she loses her power. I disagree, Jaclyn, because it’s quite powerful to watch the judges and Simon salivate over you. I mean, over your art.

  • sarcasatire

    After watching this episode and seeing Miles/Jaclyn’s win, I’m starting to feel like I’m in one of those art satires where we are in on the joke yet the judges aren’t. Like the Emporers New Clothes..except instead of the Emporer being naked, Jaclyn is. And the judges are members of her court, gathering around to tell her great she looks. But the joke isn’t on her because Jaclyn knows she’s naked…the joke is on the court because they don’t know she knows how far this will take her. Very far. Miles, is also in the joke. Which is why the first thing he did was talk her into getting naked to guarantee them a win. Jerry Saltz called it creepy on his blog. I call it genius, because the judges don’t seem to know they’re being played. Could it be because the panel is made up mostly of middle-aged men, that exposed ta-tas and a partially concealed vag just seems to scream ‘talent!’? Now, THAT is creepy.

    Jaclyn’s art did say ‘female’ in a purely literal sense (the female parts were jumping off of the page!), but how did it come off as empowering? Even Jaclyn asked Miles that question because a certain part of her feels that once she’s naked, she loses her power. I disagree, Jaclyn, because it’s quite powerful to watch the judges and Simon salivate over you. I mean, over your art.

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

    @ Miss BUMPTIOUS: You write: ” So if Abdi starts going to the hot shows in New York and copying those artists, only then will he be accepted by the New York art establishment? Fashionably derivative is the goal for young artists, apparently. Sigh.”

    AFC suggesting that Abdi look at more contemporary art is not the same as saying just “hot shows…in New York…or copying them…or being derivative”. That is twisting the suggestion to make it sound elitist…and kind of stupid. The point…made by AFC, and I agree…is that people developing in a given field benefit from being exposed to the broadest scope of current work in that field. In all areas practitioners are building off each other, over time, adding unexpected twists, or recombining old elements in new ways. It’s true for science, math, medicine, music….for all endeavors!!…and in the arts it helps to make the whole thing a gigantic and endlessly interesting conversation. I’m sure Abdi WANTS to be part of that conversation and looking at a lot of contemporary art gradually helps any artist find a voice of their own that chimes into a niche in the conversation that they are interested in.

    I know that sounds idealistic, but being totally cynical about the art world can become too desolate a place to stay inspired.

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

    @ Miss BUMPTIOUS: You write: ” So if Abdi starts going to the hot shows in New York and copying those artists, only then will he be accepted by the New York art establishment? Fashionably derivative is the goal for young artists, apparently. Sigh.”

    AFC suggesting that Abdi look at more contemporary art is not the same as saying just “hot shows…in New York…or copying them…or being derivative”. That is twisting the suggestion to make it sound elitist…and kind of stupid. The point…made by AFC, and I agree…is that people developing in a given field benefit from being exposed to the broadest scope of current work in that field. In all areas practitioners are building off each other, over time, adding unexpected twists, or recombining old elements in new ways. It’s true for science, math, medicine, music….for all endeavors!!…and in the arts it helps to make the whole thing a gigantic and endlessly interesting conversation. I’m sure Abdi WANTS to be part of that conversation and looking at a lot of contemporary art gradually helps any artist find a voice of their own that chimes into a niche in the conversation that they are interested in.

    I know that sounds idealistic, but being totally cynical about the art world can become too desolate a place to stay inspired.

  • Templeton K. Rat

    One kid chimes on about OCD or something as if truly affect the life of an artist. If you are going to Self Other pick a real problem. Walking around agitated is no Tourette’s Syndrome or manic depression. I weep for his unfocused and handsome soul! Addiction would be better. Morph the show Intervention with this clunker and call it done. A Southern Baptist from Oklahoma who has never seen a penis other than that of her brother is about as interesting as Oklahoma itself. Can’t we have a cutter whose daddy issues have pushed her to the brink or maybe a sound artist? Both would be equally painful. I hope the next iteration has something going on that reflects my demands. Listen up America! This show is not worth watching.

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

      I can do you one better: a churchy gay male genius with Asperger’s syndrome who was excommunicated from the LDS for giving blow jobs to married Mormons – and will over-share on any subject. (but you are so right, a few casting changes could really make this show pure comedy gold)

  • Templeton K. Rat

    One kid chimes on about OCD or something as if truly affect the life of an artist. If you are going to Self Other pick a real problem. Walking around agitated is no Tourette’s Syndrome or manic depression. I weep for his unfocused and handsome soul! Addiction would be better. Morph the show Intervention with this clunker and call it done. A Southern Baptist from Oklahoma who has never seen a penis other than that of her brother is about as interesting as Oklahoma itself. Can’t we have a cutter whose daddy issues have pushed her to the brink or maybe a sound artist? Both would be equally painful. I hope the next iteration has something going on that reflects my demands. Listen up America! This show is not worth watching.

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

      I can do you one better: a churchy gay male genius with Asperger’s syndrome who was excommunicated from the LDS for giving blow jobs to married Mormons – and will over-share on any subject. (but you are so right, a few casting changes could really make this show pure comedy gold)

  • atonaladam

    My guess is that Abdi needs to reflect on life more deeply, or to live life a bit and get some experience to reflect upon. This alongside reading, looking at art and experimenting would perhaps make him a more sophisticated and unique artist. This is something I think of many ‘artists’ coming out of art schools.

  • atonaladam

    My guess is that Abdi needs to reflect on life more deeply, or to live life a bit and get some experience to reflect upon. This alongside reading, looking at art and experimenting would perhaps make him a more sophisticated and unique artist. This is something I think of many ‘artists’ coming out of art schools.

  • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

    Its really disheartening to see Miles taking over the competition, taking over the whole narrative arc, really. I hope Bravo has a plot twist in store featuring Miles’s dramatic fall from favor.

    Punching a wall is an instance of a man using violence to assert physical dominance, commandeering control. It was literally an act of penetration. In effect, taking the reigns from his female collaborator, Jaclyn, pictured nude and self-pleasuring for some reason, her image propped up right there as if standing in awe of his penetration drama. The sexy painting erected on an armature that Miles built for her, so that her painting could stand witness like a female fan lost in rapt oblivion. Losing control? Please. Miles got a lot of quality dick time in on this episode.

    And why oh why didn’t Jaclyn fire back at McGinnis’s pervy inquiry? Girl, stand up!

    Peregrine seems to be the only contestant left with some measure of sensitivity, decency and talent. Hopefully with something nice to offer at least, if given the cash and solo show.

    • http://jeffevans.carbonmade.com JeffEvans

      For being the only contestant with some measure of decency, Peregrine was quick to throw Mark under the bus. She told the judges that Mark hadn’t given her more, which from Mark’s puzzled look, she had never mentioned to him.

      Nicole and Abdi have more sensitivity, decency and talent (although not as much talent, in Abdi’s case) as Peregrine. Unfortunately, decency isn’t a condition for winning the show and manipulative Miles will probably win.

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

        Yeah, and although all the work sucked in this competition, Peregrine’s piece was the worst. I still would have sent Jaclyn home since she’s a lesser “talent”. At this point discussing who should be eliminated is a little ridiculous though since almost everyone remaining has made more than one object they should have been sent home for. Abdi and Jaclyn should have been amongst the first to go. Peregrine and Nicole would have lasted longer, but stronger artists than both were eliminated earlier in the show.

        • http://jeffevans.carbonmade.com JeffEvans

          The problem was that the dualities lent themselves to cliche’s, especially in the limited time the artists were given. Sartre said “Hell is other people.” An artwork based upon what is hell for Peregrine personally, would’ve been more interesting than what she did.

          Interesting sidenote: Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller did an art project for the London subway system, having subway train drivers quoting things like Gandhi’s “There is more to life than increasing its speed” and Sartre’s “Hell is other people.”
          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8117567.stm

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

      One other note to Sam’s lament that Jaclyn didn’t fire back at McGinnis’s inquiry: I didn’t see his question as inappropriate at all. His point is that her painting would have been better if it wasn’t so staged. Jaclyn claims she masturbates standing up and it’s a bald face lie. Of course she doesn’t, which is why that painting mimics a lot of soft core porn: she’s put herself on display. If she were producing a painting that were about controlling her own body, she would have come up with a pose that reflected that. Instead, she’s created yet another picture in which she’s a helpless object of desire.

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

        @ AFC: How do you know how she masturbates!? Standing is pretty common, as I’m sure lots of women do it in the shower! And that’s just one easy example.

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

          Ha! Touche. I guess I didn’t think it was as common as it is.

      • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

        Right. I did not think McGinnis’s question was out of line, it was fair. Jaclyn’s pause and timid response was what I thought was frustrating. Although I readily admit the comparison is ridiculous, I thought of Lynda Benglis’s ArtForum ad with the dildo and thought, now that’s how a feminist artist does the Male/Female duality, incorporates masturbation imagery, and wins in a man’s world at a man’s game.

        To the indecency of Peregrine: whatever. true. I wanted Judith to win. I think top three is Peregrine, Jaclyn and Miles. Out of those three, I want Peregrine to win.

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

          @ Sam: Thanks for the long lost shout out!

      • patpatpatpat

        agreed. that was totally appropriate. You can’t make that image thinking questions similar to that one won’t be asked. Not everyone is going to be fully aware of female masturbation habits. His question was off-putting but still in the realm of appropriateness.

        This is a similar situation to when Jerry Saltz asked Trong “Who is Tom Friedman?” and then a bunch of people got pissy about him supposedly not knowing who Tom Friedman is. Ryan, like Jerry, just asked a poorly worded question.

  • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

    Its really disheartening to see Miles taking over the competition, taking over the whole narrative arc, really. I hope Bravo has a plot twist in store featuring Miles’s dramatic fall from favor.

    Punching a wall is an instance of a man using violence to assert physical dominance, commandeering control. It was literally an act of penetration. In effect, taking the reigns from his female collaborator, Jaclyn, pictured nude and self-pleasuring for some reason, her image propped up right there as if standing in awe of his penetration drama. The sexy painting erected on an armature that Miles built for her, so that her painting could stand witness like a female fan lost in rapt oblivion. Losing control? Please. Miles got a lot of quality dick time in on this episode.

    And why oh why didn’t Jaclyn fire back at McGinnis’s pervy inquiry? Girl, stand up!

    Peregrine seems to be the only contestant left with some measure of sensitivity, decency and talent. Hopefully with something nice to offer at least, if given the cash and solo show.

    • http://jeffevans.carbonmade.com JeffEvans

      For being the only contestant with some measure of decency, Peregrine was quick to throw Mark under the bus. She told the judges that Mark hadn’t given her more, which from Mark’s puzzled look, she had never mentioned to him.

      Nicole and Abdi have more sensitivity, decency and talent (although not as much talent, in Abdi’s case) as Peregrine. Unfortunately, decency isn’t a condition for winning the show and manipulative Miles will probably win.

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

        Yeah, and although all the work sucked in this competition, Peregrine’s piece was the worst. I still would have sent Jaclyn home since she’s a lesser “talent”. At this point discussing who should be eliminated is a little ridiculous though since almost everyone remaining has made more than one object they should have been sent home for. Abdi and Jaclyn should have been amongst the first to go. Peregrine and Nicole would have lasted longer, but stronger artists than both were eliminated earlier in the show.

        • http://jeffevans.carbonmade.com JeffEvans

          The problem was that the dualities lent themselves to cliche’s, especially in the limited time the artists were given. Sartre said “Hell is other people.” An artwork based upon what is hell for Peregrine personally, would’ve been more interesting than what she did.

          Interesting sidenote: Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller did an art project for the London subway system, having subway train drivers quoting things like Gandhi’s “There is more to life than increasing its speed” and Sartre’s “Hell is other people.”
          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8117567.stm

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

      One other note to Sam’s lament that Jaclyn didn’t fire back at McGinnis’s inquiry: I didn’t see his question as inappropriate at all. His point is that her painting would have been better if it wasn’t so staged. Jaclyn claims she masturbates standing up and it’s a bald face lie. Of course she doesn’t, which is why that painting mimics a lot of soft core porn: she’s put herself on display. If she were producing a painting that were about controlling her own body, she would have come up with a pose that reflected that. Instead, she’s created yet another picture in which she’s a helpless object of desire.

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

        @ AFC: How do you know how she masturbates!? Standing is pretty common, as I’m sure lots of women do it in the shower! And that’s just one easy example.

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

          Ha! Touche. I guess I didn’t think it was as common as it is.

      • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

        Right. I did not think McGinnis’s question was out of line, it was fair. Jaclyn’s pause and timid response was what I thought was frustrating. Although I readily admit the comparison is ridiculous, I thought of Lynda Benglis’s ArtForum ad with the dildo and thought, now that’s how a feminist artist does the Male/Female duality, incorporates masturbation imagery, and wins in a man’s world at a man’s game.

        To the indecency of Peregrine: whatever. true. I wanted Judith to win. I think top three is Peregrine, Jaclyn and Miles. Out of those three, I want Peregrine to win.

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

          @ Sam: Thanks for the long lost shout out!

      • patpatpatpat

        agreed. that was totally appropriate. You can’t make that image thinking questions similar to that one won’t be asked. Not everyone is going to be fully aware of female masturbation habits. His question was off-putting but still in the realm of appropriateness.

        This is a similar situation to when Jerry Saltz asked Trong “Who is Tom Friedman?” and then a bunch of people got pissy about him supposedly not knowing who Tom Friedman is. Ryan, like Jerry, just asked a poorly worded question.

  • Not Ben

    James Franco should show up as a judge and judge the judge’s judging.

    • http://www.jebaker.com jebaker

      The absolute best episode idea yet.

      • Not Ben

        Thank you jebaker.

        I believe that art is just as important to humanity as religion and science. But a show like this needs to realize that you can’t capture an artist’s significance in hour long segments once a week where the contestants have a day to work on a given assignment. These days an artist’s body of work is what counts—not individual pieces whose goal is to win a tailor-made contest.

        I like to imagine this show with established art stars competing before they were art stars. So for arguments sake lets say it was Picasso, Da Vinci, O’Keefe, Lange, Bacon, Warhol, Van Gogh, Martin, Pollock, Krasner and Kahlo on the show….

        Actually now that I think about it, it would make for some damn good tv. nevermind

  • Not Ben

    James Franco should show up as a judge and judge the judge’s judging.

    • http://www.jebaker.com jebaker

      The absolute best episode idea yet.

      • Not Ben

        Thank you jebaker.

        I believe that art is just as important to humanity as religion and science. But a show like this needs to realize that you can’t capture an artist’s significance in hour long segments once a week where the contestants have a day to work on a given assignment. These days an artist’s body of work is what counts—not individual pieces whose goal is to win a tailor-made contest.

        I like to imagine this show with established art stars competing before they were art stars. So for arguments sake lets say it was Picasso, Da Vinci, O’Keefe, Lange, Bacon, Warhol, Van Gogh, Martin, Pollock, Krasner and Kahlo on the show….

        Actually now that I think about it, it would make for some damn good tv. nevermind

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    Jaclyn should’ve equipped herself with a mighty WANGA strap-on and mercilessly punish-fucked Miles (and videotaped it for the judges, of course). I think this would’ve covered all of their “male/female universal opposite” conundrums — as well as Jaclyn’s concerns that Miles was dictating the piece, and AFC’s feeling that Miles should be “penalized” — and won them the challenge. It would also have won them the heart & minds of their viewing audience and pervacious judging panel.

  • http://jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com/ Jesse P. Martin

    Jaclyn should’ve equipped herself with a mighty WANGA strap-on and mercilessly punish-fucked Miles (and videotaped it for the judges, of course). I think this would’ve covered all of their “male/female universal opposite” conundrums — as well as Jaclyn’s concerns that Miles was dictating the piece, and AFC’s feeling that Miles should be “penalized” — and won them the challenge. It would also have won them the heart & minds of their viewing audience and pervacious judging panel.

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

    Been thinking about the challenge and the fact that none of the pairs really tried to bring their opposites into a whole, which of course they really are because opposites depend on each other for their meaning, as two sides of a coin. And so I think they all failed for that reason. They could have aimed to have the whole become more than the sum of its parts. There was a tiny bit of that intended in Miles and Jackie, but they didn’t seem to actually come to a similar perception of what that broader concept would be.

    • http://jeffevans.carbonmade.com JeffEvans

      Yeah, it didn’t seem as if the works of art for each duality were having a conversation with each other, but were separate and stand-alone. Jackie’s art would’ve been more cohesive with Miles’ if it involved how women deal with male loss of control or how women lose control.

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

        In the end I do have to remember to allow for the fact that WHEN YOU ARE THERE it’s pretty hard to think. I found it the strangest part…to actually just silently think in front of cameras. Between the time you get a challenge, and the time you leave for supplies is like 30 min…filled with activity, people talking, and cameras hovering around you. So now, in the comfort of my studio, I can think of what seem like brilliant responses…but who knows what I would have come up with if I was there. Which I’m glad I wasn’t! Mostly because I got what I wanted out of it…and then got out while the getting was good. (open to interpretation)

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

    Been thinking about the challenge and the fact that none of the pairs really tried to bring their opposites into a whole, which of course they really are because opposites depend on each other for their meaning, as two sides of a coin. And so I think they all failed for that reason. They could have aimed to have the whole become more than the sum of its parts. There was a tiny bit of that intended in Miles and Jackie, but they didn’t seem to actually come to a similar perception of what that broader concept would be.

    • http://jeffevans.carbonmade.com JeffEvans

      Yeah, it didn’t seem as if the works of art for each duality were having a conversation with each other, but were separate and stand-alone. Jackie’s art would’ve been more cohesive with Miles’ if it involved how women deal with male loss of control or how women lose control.

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

        In the end I do have to remember to allow for the fact that WHEN YOU ARE THERE it’s pretty hard to think. I found it the strangest part…to actually just silently think in front of cameras. Between the time you get a challenge, and the time you leave for supplies is like 30 min…filled with activity, people talking, and cameras hovering around you. So now, in the comfort of my studio, I can think of what seem like brilliant responses…but who knows what I would have come up with if I was there. Which I’m glad I wasn’t! Mostly because I got what I wanted out of it…and then got out while the getting was good. (open to interpretation)

  • http://www.patrickcollier.com Patrick

    At the risk of sounding like a malcontent, the art world is a freak show inhabited by over-educated, self-important, and under-employed (if at all) social outcasts who create largely non-readily-consumed, and therefore irrelevant products. People will plop down $250 for a meal, which is gone to shit the next day; the same amount of money is disposed of on a garment that is “to die for” but one wouldn’t be caught dead in a second time; yet a drawing or photo is deemed too expensive at the same price point. This is partly why shows like Top Chef and Project Runway (What a train wreck last night! Am I right?) continue season after season. There is populist appeal.

    Not so with WANGA. Yes, it has similar elements, but this is only because it has a similar, tried-and-true structure. But even the producers seem to know that in the end, the show is nothing more than a mockery, and the only thing that will save it is to make it more base, to find a way to appeal to a more general artist, who, while perhaps not knowing much about art, certainly have some idea about these layabouts who rationalize and otherwise attempt to justify their lazy existence.

    I support this observation with the little segment inserted this week into a commercial break. Mark begins by calling artists out on their verbosity (their bullshit), which is then followed by clips of the contestants using big words and abstract concepts, all taken out of context. Nicole’s “planned obsolescence” shows just how desperate they were to make this point. (After all, it is an anti-capitalist sentiment.) They should have inserted Judith’s eye roll as the capper. And the suspicions/opinions of ‘regular folk’ are reinforced.

    I wonder what structure this show might have had back when Bravo didn’t have commercials.

    • Gina B

      Wait! Hold the phone!! Are you saying Bravo is dumbing down the process of making art in the editing room, to appeal to a mass audience and make money?!!

      Sheesh, no shit, Sherlock! Even I, as an ‘over-educated, self-important, and under-employed (if at all) social outcast who creates largely non-readily-consumed, and therefore irrelevant products’ got that! Like, no duh!

      What do you do, may I ask? Something that requires you to be an under-educated, insecure, over-employed social butterfly who creates easily consumed products? How nice!

      • Sarae

        LOL, Gina.

        • http://www.patrickcollier.com Patrick

          I guess I need to work on my sarcastic tone in writing.

  • http://www.patrickcollier.com Patrick

    At the risk of sounding like a malcontent, the art world is a freak show inhabited by over-educated, self-important, and under-employed (if at all) social outcasts who create largely non-readily-consumed, and therefore irrelevant products. People will plop down $250 for a meal, which is gone to shit the next day; the same amount of money is disposed of on a garment that is “to die for” but one wouldn’t be caught dead in a second time; yet a drawing or photo is deemed too expensive at the same price point. This is partly why shows like Top Chef and Project Runway (What a train wreck last night! Am I right?) continue season after season. There is populist appeal.

    Not so with WANGA. Yes, it has similar elements, but this is only because it has a similar, tried-and-true structure. But even the producers seem to know that in the end, the show is nothing more than a mockery, and the only thing that will save it is to make it more base, to find a way to appeal to a more general artist, who, while perhaps not knowing much about art, certainly have some idea about these layabouts who rationalize and otherwise attempt to justify their lazy existence.

    I support this observation with the little segment inserted this week into a commercial break. Mark begins by calling artists out on their verbosity (their bullshit), which is then followed by clips of the contestants using big words and abstract concepts, all taken out of context. Nicole’s “planned obsolescence” shows just how desperate they were to make this point. (After all, it is an anti-capitalist sentiment.) They should have inserted Judith’s eye roll as the capper. And the suspicions/opinions of ‘regular folk’ are reinforced.

    I wonder what structure this show might have had back when Bravo didn’t have commercials.

    • Gina B

      Wait! Hold the phone!! Are you saying Bravo is dumbing down the process of making art in the editing room, to appeal to a mass audience and make money?!!

      Sheesh, no shit, Sherlock! Even I, as an ‘over-educated, self-important, and under-employed (if at all) social outcast who creates largely non-readily-consumed, and therefore irrelevant products’ got that! Like, no duh!

      What do you do, may I ask? Something that requires you to be an under-educated, insecure, over-employed social butterfly who creates easily consumed products? How nice!

      • Sarae

        LOL, Gina.

        • http://www.patrickcollier.com Patrick

          I guess I need to work on my sarcastic tone in writing.

  • Lou

    Yep… It’s incredibly frustrating that Jaclyn has made it as far as she has. Her work is highly offensive, and not in a constructive way. The manner in which she is treated on the show (and the piece she created on the last episode) completely undermines what true feminists have fought for, and continue to fight for. I too agree, and wish, that both Miles and Jaclyn were booted off the show. Hopefully Peregrine steps it up a notch and gets the Brooklyn Museum show.

  • Lou

    Yep… It’s incredibly frustrating that Jaclyn has made it as far as she has. Her work is highly offensive, and not in a constructive way. The manner in which she is treated on the show (and the piece she created on the last episode) completely undermines what true feminists have fought for, and continue to fight for. I too agree, and wish, that both Miles and Jaclyn were booted off the show. Hopefully Peregrine steps it up a notch and gets the Brooklyn Museum show.

  • Steve

    As someone who makes reality TV I just want to mention that nearly all of Miles’ comments about manipulating Jaclyn are what we call frankenbites – which is to say pieced together from several different interviews to form a completely different thought – if you notice he is not on camera saying those things and the inflection of his voice is different between the parts. So I would take that storyline with a very large grain of salt. If anything Miles knew that Jaclyn would/did do something without her clothes on (not a huge leap — it’s is her mode of working) and crafted his interviews to appear to to be “controlling” her. Ask not whom Mile’s manipulates for he manipulates you, is, if I’m remembering correctly, how Hemingway put it.

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

      I rewatched the clip you’re talking about and I can see and hear everything you’ve pointed out. During the interview in which Miles says he’s trying to figure out how to get Jaclyn naked, there’s a cut to footage of them in the store as he describes the plan and the inflections are all wrong.

  • Steve

    As someone who makes reality TV I just want to mention that nearly all of Miles’ comments about manipulating Jaclyn are what we call frankenbites – which is to say pieced together from several different interviews to form a completely different thought – if you notice he is not on camera saying those things and the inflection of his voice is different between the parts. So I would take that storyline with a very large grain of salt. If anything Miles knew that Jaclyn would/did do something without her clothes on (not a huge leap — it’s is her mode of working) and crafted his interviews to appear to to be “controlling” her. Ask not whom Mile’s manipulates for he manipulates you, is, if I’m remembering correctly, how Hemingway put it.

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

      I rewatched the clip you’re talking about and I can see and hear everything you’ve pointed out. During the interview in which Miles says he’s trying to figure out how to get Jaclyn naked, there’s a cut to footage of them in the store as he describes the plan and the inflections are all wrong.

  • http://Www.WhiteVinylSpace.com Art Pussy

    First and foremost I want to say that I loved the tar painting Miles did. But only the tar painting. The rest of the piece was what could be expected from a collaboration “assignment.” The scent in the gallery must have been overwhelming as the tar was less than 24 hours old and yet no one mentioned this.
    Also, it is interesting to me that Bravo felt it ok to show js masturbating but blurred out the self-fellation from a previous episode.

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

      That’s because Jaclyn’s painting depicted an arty coffee table book version of masturbation.

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

        No, they blurred her fingers out too. It’s just less visible because they weren’t putting something over top of it.

        • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

          Did they blur out Miles’ cumshot (or “faux pas,” as Abdi called it) on his dick-tastic Micky Mouse drawing? There’s an inordinate amount of masturbation art on the WANGA (appropriately, I think); Vito Acconci would be proud.

          • patpatpatpat

            If Vito Acconci is a guest judge, I’m going to lose it. That would be so awesome.

  • http://Www.WhiteVinylSpace.com Art Pussy

    First and foremost I want to say that I loved the tar painting Miles did. But only the tar painting. The rest of the piece was what could be expected from a collaboration “assignment.” The scent in the gallery must have been overwhelming as the tar was less than 24 hours old and yet no one mentioned this.
    Also, it is interesting to me that Bravo felt it ok to show js masturbating but blurred out the self-fellation from a previous episode.

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

      That’s because Jaclyn’s painting depicted an arty coffee table book version of masturbation.

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

        No, they blurred her fingers out too. It’s just less visible because they weren’t putting something over top of it.

        • http://www.jessepatrickmartin.blogspot.com Jesse P. Martin

          Did they blur out Miles’ cumshot (or “faux pas,” as Abdi called it) on his dick-tastic Micky Mouse drawing? There’s an inordinate amount of masturbation art on the WANGA (appropriately, I think); Vito Acconci would be proud.

          • patpatpatpat

            If Vito Acconci is a guest judge, I’m going to lose it. That would be so awesome.

  • tricia

    During the critique, when Peregine glanced askew and sneered that “Mark could have given her more” I saw that not only did she not want to take responsibility for her weak piece but she wanted to let Mark take the blame, at that moment I lost interest in her winning. Conniving, manipulation and deceit ala “Survivor” and Miles Mendenhall, put a bad name to good art, were there any. While the judges apparently don’t see the goings on behind the scenes the public does and its hard to separate the art work from the artist behavior and attitude and one hopes that decency prevails. I mean, really, its a matter of luck and one good piece, even Abdi stands a chance. And since Abdi and Nicole are the only two who havn’t tried to be underhanded my hope is that they will strike it lucky with that outrageously good idea and maybe even a strong work of art.

    Jaclyn’s piece was suppose to be about masturbating standing up but her posture read something else to me. The limp hand shrouding her pubic area and the standing posture with head thrown back looks like an act of complete surrender and maybe shame (as in a fig leaf would do, covering nudity) rather than control. This is after all what happens with an orgasm, a complete surrender of bodily function. I would be interested to know what scholarly feminists in the know would say about that. It seems that the meekness of it in contrast to say a powerful stance and confrontational stare, in the nude or not might have been more effective if trying to show feminine “control”

    • Stead

      I think Abdi seems like I really nice guy, but I don’t think he should win. His skill sets, obliviousness to the art word, and apparent inability to generate a complex concept make him more suited for America’s Next Pixar Employee or Top Illustrator. I’m not trying to be a dick here and I know a lot of talk has been flying around these comments about the elitism of the art world, but there is a difference. I dunno. I know it makes me sound like a terd, but Abdi makes art not Art. He was trying this episode, but it was still weak. If he’s serious he should get into the discourse. Otherwise he should shop himself to dreamworks or marvel comics.

      The best part of this show is the AFC reviews and comments.

      • German S.

        Out of curiosity, what would be the difference between Abdi’s art & Ryan’s art? I ask because they both like to focus on figurative subject matter. From what I’ve seen from his personal site, Abdi is capable of some strong, sensitive stuff (though there was a lack of focus in the collection of work).

        Also, Phil Hale, a former Marvel Comics cover artist, was commissioned to paint the portrait of Tony Blair back in ’08. It was highly regarded and a little controversial. Is he or his work to be considered any less because of his work in the past?

  • http://www.patriciaanders/com tricia

    During the critique, when Peregine glanced askew and sneered that “Mark could have given her more” I saw that not only did she not want to take responsibility for her weak piece but she wanted to let Mark take the blame, at that moment I lost interest in her winning. Conniving, manipulation and deceit ala “Survivor” and Miles Mendenhall, put a bad name to good art, were there any. While the judges apparently don’t see the goings on behind the scenes the public does and its hard to separate the art work from the artist behavior and attitude and one hopes that decency prevails. I mean, really, its a matter of luck and one good piece, even Abdi stands a chance. And since Abdi and Nicole are the only two who havn’t tried to be underhanded my hope is that they will strike it lucky with that outrageously good idea and maybe even a strong work of art.

    Jaclyn’s piece was suppose to be about masturbating standing up but her posture read something else to me. The limp hand shrouding her pubic area and the standing posture with head thrown back looks like an act of complete surrender and maybe shame (as in a fig leaf would do, covering nudity) rather than control. This is after all what happens with an orgasm, a complete surrender of bodily function. I would be interested to know what scholarly feminists in the know would say about that. It seems that the meekness of it in contrast to say a powerful stance and confrontational stare, in the nude or not might have been more effective if trying to show feminine “control”

    • Stead

      I think Abdi seems like I really nice guy, but I don’t think he should win. His skill sets, obliviousness to the art word, and apparent inability to generate a complex concept make him more suited for America’s Next Pixar Employee or Top Illustrator. I’m not trying to be a dick here and I know a lot of talk has been flying around these comments about the elitism of the art world, but there is a difference. I dunno. I know it makes me sound like a terd, but Abdi makes art not Art. He was trying this episode, but it was still weak. If he’s serious he should get into the discourse. Otherwise he should shop himself to dreamworks or marvel comics.

      The best part of this show is the AFC reviews and comments.

      • German S.

        Out of curiosity, what would be the difference between Abdi’s art & Ryan’s art? I ask because they both like to focus on figurative subject matter. From what I’ve seen from his personal site, Abdi is capable of some strong, sensitive stuff (though there was a lack of focus in the collection of work).

        Also, Phil Hale, a former Marvel Comics cover artist, was commissioned to paint the portrait of Tony Blair back in ’08. It was highly regarded and a little controversial. Is he or his work to be considered any less because of his work in the past?

  • Pingback: More Work of Art « Angela Watters

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  • trailer

    Joe Miller writes an interesting piece pointing out Peregrine got Mark to awkwardly pose shirtless on a reality show after she rejected his offer to pose nude. Referencing Mark’s creepy portfolio of work…this was a significant moment that transcended the completed works.

    http://www.kcconfidential.com/?p=18370

  • trailer

    Joe Miller writes an interesting piece pointing out Peregrine got Mark to awkwardly pose shirtless on a reality show after she rejected his offer to pose nude. Referencing Mark’s creepy portfolio of work…this was a significant moment that transcended the completed works.

    http://www.kcconfidential.com/?p=18370

  • trailer

    Joe Miller writes an interesting piece pointing out Peregrine got Mark to awkwardly pose shirtless on a reality show after she rejected his offer to pose nude. Referencing Mark’s creepy portfolio of work…this was a significant moment that transcended the completed works.

    http://www.kcconfidential.com/?p=18370

  • Virginia from NY

    I was gonna give Miles the win, not for his wood construction but for his performance piece on the subject: “Male.”
    Now, from the AFC blog I learn that the real winner in this case is the Bravo producer/editor who created Miles’ narrative for the episode. A man manipulating a woman! Convincing her to take off her panties! That’s one way to go.

    But I want to know why everyone accepted Miles’ explanation of the punched out wall representing the male loss of control, when in fact the breaking of furniture, walls and windows is an age-old method of controlling women. It sends a clear message: “See the damage my fist does to this wall? Just imagine the damage I can do to you. Don’t piss me off.”

  • Virginia from NY

    I was gonna give Miles the win, not for his wood construction but for his performance piece on the subject: “Male.”
    Now, from the AFC blog I learn that the real winner in this case is the Bravo producer/editor who created Miles’ narrative for the episode. A man manipulating a woman! Convincing her to take off her panties! That’s one way to go.

    But I want to know why everyone accepted Miles’ explanation of the punched out wall representing the male loss of control, when in fact the breaking of furniture, walls and windows is an age-old method of controlling women. It sends a clear message: “See the damage my fist does to this wall? Just imagine the damage I can do to you. Don’t piss me off.”

  • Virginia from NY

    I was gonna give Miles the win, not for his wood construction but for his performance piece on the subject: “Male.”
    Now, from the AFC blog I learn that the real winner in this case is the Bravo producer/editor who created Miles’ narrative for the episode. A man manipulating a woman! Convincing her to take off her panties! That’s one way to go.

    But I want to know why everyone accepted Miles’ explanation of the punched out wall representing the male loss of control, when in fact the breaking of furniture, walls and windows is an age-old method of controlling women. It sends a clear message: “See the damage my fist does to this wall? Just imagine the damage I can do to you. Don’t piss me off.”

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