Who Dares to Question The Importance of Art?

by Paddy Johnson on August 23, 2010 · 209 comments WANGA

art fag city, dave hickey

Via: )'(stefanie.

Work of Art isn’t done yet. A week and a half after the final episode airs, and there’s still all kinds of discussion occurring about the show. Some is more productive than others. Artist/art world critic William Powhida wrote a rant last week on the show (he didn’t like it, thought Saltz demeaned himself on the show, and stopped reading AFC because of my coverage). Powhida and critic Jerry Saltz discussed the post on facebook, in one of the more substantial exchanges I’ve seen on Saltz’ page. Long story short, Powhida lightened his assessment of Saltz “demeaned” to “you didn’t embarrass yourself”, and complained that the show poorly represented what the top of the art world should look like, by portraying it as only celebrity driven, and fortune hungry, with only a validating source of museum shows. Both seemed to agree that Powhida’s exhibition #class was a more significant way to discuss art, (though Saltz never explicitly weighs in).

Less significantly, Hyperallergic’s Hrag Vartanian declared Powhida’s post, “the take we’ve all been waiting for“, and used the article as opportunity to discuss the higher minded “soul searching” it took to found his own blog. This was almost as sanctimonious as Powhida’s rant, but unlike many, Vartanian at least avoided engaging in pettiness. For that we can look to the ruffling of pre-ruffled feathers, namely those of L.A. Times critic Christopher Knight and his most frequent link source, ArtInfo blogger Tyler Green. Green, who has barely said a positive word about Saltz since the New Museum conflict of interest debates turned ugly last fall, went to the trouble of pointing out all the petty slights in Christopher Knight’s response to Saltz’s final wrap up and assertion that the show changed criticism. This is tedious but to sum up: Green thinks Saltz mischaracterized Knight’s review in this final vulture post, presumably by contextualizing Knight’s assessment of the show being “vacant television piddle” with criticisms from others for Saltz’ poor decision to “interact with the laypeople”. I don’t see the issue here, but I’m sure Green will clarify. The blogger also notes that Saltz didn’t name Knight in his final post on Vulture, so, when Knight counters that real criticism only occurs when you see art in person, he doesn’t name Saltz.

Get over yourselves people. Of course, criticism doesn't work as well when you're looking at art through the lens of reality television, but that doesn't invalidate Saltz's claim that criticism is changing, nor does it mean we shouldn't discuss the show. Is Work of Art an accurate reflection of the art world? No. Does it perpetuate myths? Yes. Is the engagement Work of Art produced significant? Yes. I've never experienced a time when people within the art world talked so much about one show. Still, I'd argue that if Work of Art hadn't sparked this activity, it would have been something else. The general public may still harbor the belief that the art world is a sham, but they're at least ready to talk about it in a public form. We can thank Internet comment boards for that change, even if the quality of discussion isn't that advanced.

Following the Knight kerfuffle, Saltz offered another take on the various critical reactions to Work of Art over facebook, attributing “art is sacred” to old critics, and “nothing is sacred” to new critics. I agree these two camps exist, though, I'd argue “old” critic Dave Hickey most successfully articulated that position in 1998 with his essay Frivolity and Unction in Air Guitar. In it, he discusses the debate that erupted after Morley Safer revealed the contemporary art world a “fraud” for its art speak and hype on CBS's 60 Minutes.

In the following weeks, people who should have known better filled the air with self-righteous bleats of indignation and defense — no easy task since one could hardly attack Safer without seeming to defend the perspicacity of West Side collectors, the altruism of Sotheby's auctions, and the gravitas of Christopher Wool. Even so, the art world just capitulated. Far from exhibitioning magisterial disdain, the director of a major American museum even appeared with Safer on The Charlie Rose Show. Challenged by Safer with the undeniable fact that contemporary art lacks emotive content, this director of a mjor museum insisted, in effect, that “it does too have emotive content!” confessing that he, personally, had burst into tears upon entering Jenny Holzer's installation at the Venice Biennale. Well, didn't we all, I thought (there being tears and tears), and at that moment, had there been an available window or website at which I could have resigned from the art world, I should certainly have done so”.

Coincidentally, Work of Art's stance on art needing to have an emotive quality is not that different from Safer's. This is a problem, but there's at least visible push back on Work of Art itself on that point from less scripted guest judges. Hickey goes on elsewhere in the essay  to describe a pie in the sky type scenario whereby art would be afforded the new found freedom to be wholly frivolous and would grow and change in doing so. I have a hard time imagining a genre of art making and art makers who wouldn't be dismissed by the community for taking on such an attitude, but I for one, would feel a little more relaxed if I didn't constantly feel the art's import weighing upon my shoulders. From Hickey,

”¦the presumption of art's essential goodness is a conventional trope. It describes nothing. Art education is not redeeming for the vast majority of students, nor is art practice redeeming for the vast majority of artists. The “good” works of art that reside in our museums reside there not because they are “good,” but because we love them. The political fiction of art's virtue means only this: The practice and exhibition of art has had beneficial public consequence in the past. It might in the future. So funding them is worth the bet. That's the argument: art is good, sort of, in a vague general way. Seducing oneself into believing in art's intrinsic goodness however is simply bad religion no matter what the rewards, it is bad cult religion when profession one's belief in art's goodness becomes a condition of membership in the art community.

This is one condition Work of Art hasn't challenged a bit, but often I wish it would.

  • Tyler Green

    I have said a number of positive things about Jerry Saltz’s writing in recent months. On July 28 I referred to a Saltz review of a Mark Grotjahn exhibition as a “must-read.” I tipped my hat to a smart phrase he coined in a write-up on April 14. On January 22 I referred to Saltz’s first book with praise, referring to it as one of my “most-valued” books, an assertion I’ve made plenty of times.

  • Tyler Green

    I have said a number of positive things about Jerry Saltz’s writing in recent months. On July 28 I referred to a Saltz review of a Mark Grotjahn exhibition as a “must-read.” I tipped my hat to a smart phrase he coined in a write-up on April 14. On January 22 I referred to Saltz’s first book with praise, referring to it as one of my “most-valued” books, an assertion I’ve made plenty of times.

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

    Thanks for the clarification Tyler, but the observation still stands. I went from seeing the critic linked nearly every week on MAN to being given three instances over the past nine months where something positive about Saltz appeared on the blog.

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

    Thanks for the clarification Tyler, but the observation still stands. I went from seeing the critic linked nearly every week on MAN to being given three instances over the past nine months where something positive about Saltz appeared on the blog.

  • greg.org

    I continue to deeply not care about this show, but I would also think that there are plenty of artists whose hardcore frivolousness has brought them nothing but success and acclaim. Hirst, Murakami, Peyton, Koons, Gursky, Fischer are all having a blast in the shallowest end of the pool; what does the community think of them?

  • greg.org

    I continue to deeply not care about this show, but I would also think that there are plenty of artists whose hardcore frivolousness has brought them nothing but success and acclaim. Hirst, Murakami, Peyton, Koons, Gursky, Fischer are all having a blast in the shallowest end of the pool; what does the community think of them?

  • http://mtaa.net t.whid

    The question remains… who dared? It surely wasn’t the producers of Work of Art. It’s biggest problem was that it was boring. Plus the formula didn’t work for art-making.

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

      I didn’t find it boring, but the formula really didn’t work for art-making

      • Hasan

        Maybe you didn’t find it boring because you were formulating your blog posting decisions as you were watching it? For me, the discussions in the comments of your blog have been infinitely more entertaining and thought provoking.

      • Hasan

        Maybe you didn’t find it boring because you were formulating your blog posting decisions as you were watching it? For me, the discussions in the comments of your blog have been infinitely more entertaining and thought provoking.

  • http://mtaa.net t.whid

    The question remains… who dared? It surely wasn’t the producers of Work of Art. It’s biggest problem was that it was boring. Plus the formula didn’t work for art-making.

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

      I didn’t find it boring, but the formula really didn’t work for art-making

      • Hasan

        Maybe you didn’t find it boring because you were formulating your blog posting decisions as you were watching it? For me, the discussions in the comments of your blog have been infinitely more entertaining and thought provoking.

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

    @greg.org – With the exception of Murakami, I have the sense all of those artists believe their work or at least art in general isn’t frivolous and has higher meaning. Whether or not they achieve it — and in those cases they most surely do not — is besides the point for the art community. To be a member you simply have to believe.

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

    @greg.org – With the exception of Murakami, I have the sense all of those artists believe their work or at least art in general isn’t frivolous and has higher meaning. Whether or not they achieve it — and in those cases they most surely do not — is besides the point for the art community. To be a member you simply have to believe.

  • Howard Halle

    I think it’s hilarious that Powhida actually says that Jerry’s previous praise of his work suddenly felt like “an anchor,” once he saw Jerry whore himself out on Bravo. C’mon give me a break! No doubt Jerry’s inclusion of Powhida’s on a top-ten list help grease the way for stuff like the NYT searching him out a resident hundred-pound-head on what to do about the plight of the Brooklyn Museum. Now it’s a problem? As for Green, his repeated links to Jerry were stabs at strategic logrolling, plain and simple, until, that is, Jerry turned on him over Skin Fruit. What else could he do after that except retreat and lick his wounds.

  • Howard Halle

    I think it’s hilarious that Powhida actually says that Jerry’s previous praise of his work suddenly felt like “an anchor,” once he saw Jerry whore himself out on Bravo. C’mon give me a break! No doubt Jerry’s inclusion of Powhida’s on a top-ten list help grease the way for stuff like the NYT searching him out a resident hundred-pound-head on what to do about the plight of the Brooklyn Museum. Now it’s a problem? As for Green, his repeated links to Jerry were stabs at strategic logrolling, plain and simple, until, that is, Jerry turned on him over Skin Fruit. What else could he do after that except retreat and lick his wounds.

  • http://mtaa.net t.whid

    “To be a member you simply have to believe.”

    Well… of course. There’s plenty of ways to be creative otherwise. Artists — almost by definition — feel they have something beyond entertainment to offer the world. One would think (hope?) that critics of art play a part in the process by helping to focus the public’s attention on work that isn’t simply as much bullshit as the rest of the cultural churn.

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

      I have mixed feelings about Hickey’s essay because while his positive feelings about how nihilism might offer the change the art world needs, this idea that one could let go of their belief in the field and said profession would benefit for that lack of investment seems ludicrous to me. So sure I believe in the intrinsic worth of the community — but sometimes I’d like the option not to as that’s a real limit within the art world. People don’t test their actual limitations enough imo.

  • http://mtaa.net t.whid

    “To be a member you simply have to believe.”

    Well… of course. There’s plenty of ways to be creative otherwise. Artists — almost by definition — feel they have something beyond entertainment to offer the world. One would think (hope?) that critics of art play a part in the process by helping to focus the public’s attention on work that isn’t simply as much bullshit as the rest of the cultural churn.

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

      I have mixed feelings about Hickey’s essay because while his positive feelings about how nihilism might offer the change the art world needs, this idea that one could let go of their belief in the field and said profession would benefit for that lack of investment seems ludicrous to me. So sure I believe in the intrinsic worth of the community — but sometimes I’d like the option not to as that’s a real limit within the art world. People don’t test their actual limitations enough imo.

  • http://milgo-bufkin.com/sculputurefabrication.html @kurokowa

    Thanks Paddy for an adult post about Work of Art. I’ve got mixed feelings but no more than when I consider Koons sculpture and certainly not enough to engender the hate speech (especially if you happen to have a vagina) Powhida posted. It’s a refreshing change after his hysterical (not the funny kind), mysogynistic, puerile, self indulgent nonsense. The NY twitter-verse may have been falling all over themselves about it being “the rant they were all waiting for” but I had to brush my teeth three times after reading his post.

    Keep up the good fight.

    • Jerry Saltz

      It is SO funny to me that after this excellent thoughtful post that Greg.org writes, “… but what does the community think?”
      This is EXACTLY the kind of myopic self-important closed-minded mean-spiritedness that I was referring to in my article about newer art critics ESCAPING THIS KIND OF one-track art-world.
      “THE COMMUNITY???!!!!!?!?!”
      “the” !!!
      As if there is “the” community!!
      Greg.org WHICH “community?”
      The whole point of my piece is that a new generation of writers is writing in ways that accepts that there are MANY COMMUNITIES!!!!
      Thank you,
      Jerry Saltz

      • http://anaba.blogspot.com/ Martin

        some role model….you wrote TEN pieces for NYMag on your own tv show… talk about singular devotion.

        what is up with the constant facebook lament about how time-consuming it is to be a weekly art critic… you’ve only reviewed one show (ps1) since may.

        i doubt greg or any other arts writer is sweating getting lectured by you.

      • greg.org

        I guess I should have put scare quotes around “the community,” since I was referring directly to–and disputing–Paddy’s dream of moral sanction of aggressive frivolity on the part of the art market/world.

        Or to put it another way:
        you may be right, Jerry.

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

          Just to be clear, I hadn’t meant to put a wholesale sanction on aggressive frivolity. I was describing Hickey’s stance on the matter, which I find problematic, even though I think it might be good to embrace every once and a while. I think there’s some release to be found in not taking oneself too seriously.

      • greg.org

        I guess I should have put scare quotes around “the community,” since I was referring directly to–and disputing–Paddy’s dream of moral sanction of aggressive frivolity on the part of the art market/world.

        Or to put it another way:
        you may be right, Jerry.

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

        Hi Jerry, I don’t know about the “many communities” idea you suggest…really it sounds like a kind of pluralism that never really works for maintaining the intensity of drive and development in a field of activity. Though it sounds more democratic, and therefore supposedly good, it ends up draining the center of energy. If everyone is kind of right, then who cares? I’m not advocating absolutes or elitism, but I don’t want everyone to think they’re an artist or a critic either.

        With regard to how the realm of criticism “seems to have expanded” (lately) …I would suggest that it is still based on hierarchies on the internet. Your FB page and your NYMag recap blogs are not sustainable without you …or any of the other good blogs…which gain credibility and energy though the intelligent and opinionated writer at the center. You may view those blogs as representing smaller/other communities… but I think it’s the center blogger that ultimately matters, and that usually that blogger seeks to also be part of the broader (central) conversation.

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

          Saltz’s FB page is not a blog, nor is the comment-thread of NYMag.

          • http://samsanford.com Sam Sanford

            you are not a blog

          • http://samsanford.com Sam Sanford

            you are not a blog

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

        Hi Jerry, I don’t know about the “many communities” idea you suggest…really it sounds like a kind of pluralism that never really works for maintaining the intensity of drive and development in a field of activity. Though it sounds more democratic, and therefore supposedly good, it ends up draining the center of energy. If everyone is kind of right, then who cares? I’m not advocating absolutes or elitism, but I don’t want everyone to think they’re an artist or a critic either.

        With regard to how the realm of criticism “seems to have expanded” (lately) …I would suggest that it is still based on hierarchies on the internet. Your FB page and your NYMag recap blogs are not sustainable without you …or any of the other good blogs…which gain credibility and energy though the intelligent and opinionated writer at the center. You may view those blogs as representing smaller/other communities… but I think it’s the center blogger that ultimately matters, and that usually that blogger seeks to also be part of the broader (central) conversation.

  • http://milgo-bufkin.com/sculputurefabrication.html @kurokowa

    Thanks Paddy for an adult post about Work of Art. I’ve got mixed feelings but no more than when I consider Koons sculpture and certainly not enough to engender the hate speech (especially if you happen to have a vagina) Powhida posted. It’s a refreshing change after his hysterical (not the funny kind), mysogynistic, puerile, self indulgent nonsense. The NY twitter-verse may have been falling all over themselves about it being “the rant they were all waiting for” but I had to brush my teeth three times after reading his post.

    Keep up the good fight.

    • Jerry Saltz

      It is SO funny to me that after this excellent thoughtful post that Greg.org writes, “… but what does the community think?”
      This is EXACTLY the kind of myopic self-important closed-minded mean-spiritedness that I was referring to in my article about newer art critics ESCAPING THIS KIND OF one-track art-world.
      “THE COMMUNITY???!!!!!?!?!”
      “the” !!!
      As if there is “the” community!!
      Greg.org WHICH “community?”
      The whole point of my piece is that a new generation of writers is writing in ways that accepts that there are MANY COMMUNITIES!!!!
      Thank you,
      Jerry Saltz

      • http://anaba.blogspot.com/ Martin

        some role model….you wrote TEN pieces for NYMag on your own tv show… talk about singular devotion.

        what is up with the constant facebook lament about how time-consuming it is to be a weekly art critic… you’ve only reviewed one show (ps1) since may.

        i doubt greg or any other arts writer is sweating getting lectured by you.

      • greg.org

        I guess I should have put scare quotes around “the community,” since I was referring directly to–and disputing–Paddy’s dream of moral sanction of aggressive frivolity on the part of the art market/world.

        Or to put it another way:
        you may be right, Jerry.

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

          Just to be clear, I hadn’t meant to put a wholesale sanction on aggressive frivolity. I was describing Hickey’s stance on the matter, which I find problematic, even though I think it might be good to embrace every once and a while. I think there’s some release to be found in not taking oneself too seriously.

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

        Hi Jerry, I don’t know about the “many communities” idea you suggest…really it sounds like a kind of pluralism that never really works for maintaining the intensity of drive and development in a field of activity. Though it sounds more democratic, and therefore supposedly good, it ends up draining the center of energy. If everyone is kind of right, then who cares? I’m not advocating absolutes or elitism, but I don’t want everyone to think they’re an artist or a critic either.

        With regard to how the realm of criticism “seems to have expanded” (lately) …I would suggest that it is still based on hierarchies on the internet. Your FB page and your NYMag recap blogs are not sustainable without you …or any of the other good blogs…which gain credibility and energy though the intelligent and opinionated writer at the center. You may view those blogs as representing smaller/other communities… but I think it’s the center blogger that ultimately matters, and that usually that blogger seeks to also be part of the broader (central) conversation.

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

          Saltz’s FB page is not a blog, nor is the comment-thread of NYMag.

          • http://samsanford.com Sam Sanford

            you are not a blog

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

    I didn’t read the Hickey essay in full, so I’m just addressing the subject from the excerpts and AFC comments here. I, for one, would not be able to stay committed to art making if I thought I was “just convincing myself of it’s intrinsic goodness”, and Hickey’s statement that art basically has no redeeming qualities but that it’s “a good bet,” makes it into just another hollow religion that art worlders buy into, or some life style choice, rather than an innate human activity in the universe, which I happen to think it is. It’s the only activity that exists outside the mundane functions of the world with no practical purpose, explores turning “anything” into “something”, has no moral boundaries and possibly exists as evidence of what might be considered “life”. If I picture the spinning universe without great literature, without music, pictures, sculpture, dance…it all goes dead. I imagine the earliest forms of humans being not fully alive yet until they first began to draw, or bang or sing. An illuminating read is “The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”, Julian Jaynes, which posits that the earliest forms of conscious speech were quite possibly “poetic”. (that’s an extremely reduced paraphrase)

    AS FOR WoA… It’s not about art…it just dabbles in art for commercial purposes and a little entertainment. I think AFC here is getting to the heart of the subject….and it’s not about the show itself, but the struggle for our identities and values about art. My own latest, and evolving, thoughts about the show (having been a contestant) are that it might be BEST for the art world, IF IT DID NOT CONTINUE. Leave us back to our own devices. I’m feeling that way because of the fascinating but endless battle that has been started, and I don’t want to be talking about how genuine or stupid this or that comment on TV was forever….or what some work of art looked like on the TV screen…or guess at what was edited in or out. TV producers should absolutely not hold sway over the identity of art and now that they have stepped into the ring, I think it may get out of control… so at this point I would only want a TV show made by artists/art workers….

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

      Ultimately I think the show is dangerous for art for the very reasons you identify. The fashion world has fairly stark definitions of what makes clothing — art doesn’t have that. Like you, I don’t think it’s a good thing for TV producers to have so much sway over the identity of art.

      As for Hickey — I think his arguments are flawed. The only argument you could make for advocating a frivolous art is that it would be better for it. But people don’t rally behind things they don’t believe in. That kind of passion is vital for the growth of a discipline, even if at times, it’s a burden.

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

        I agree: WANGA is a large and loud example of how fashion/design/advertising (and specifically in this case, Bravo) continues to farm “art” as a theme to fold-in another “special interest” demographic to its consumer-base – this isn’t something that should be blithely celebrated as what Saltz is trumpeting as a welcome addition to the polyphony of art-world/art-critical voices. And the expanding panel of art-world “experts,” “professionals,” and “industry luminaries” used to further justify WANGA’s credibility only helps to blur the distinctions between these very different worlds (not to mention the Brooklyn Museum’s compliant capstoning of it all).

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

    I didn’t read the Hickey essay in full, so I’m just addressing the subject from the excerpts and AFC comments here. I, for one, would not be able to stay committed to art making if I thought I was “just convincing myself of it’s intrinsic goodness”, and Hickey’s statement that art basically has no redeeming qualities but that it’s “a good bet,” makes it into just another hollow religion that art worlders buy into, or some life style choice, rather than an innate human activity in the universe, which I happen to think it is. It’s the only activity that exists outside the mundane functions of the world with no practical purpose, explores turning “anything” into “something”, has no moral boundaries and possibly exists as evidence of what might be considered “life”. If I picture the spinning universe without great literature, without music, pictures, sculpture, dance…it all goes dead. I imagine the earliest forms of humans being not fully alive yet until they first began to draw, or bang or sing. An illuminating read is “The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”, Julian Jaynes, which posits that the earliest forms of conscious speech were quite possibly “poetic”. (that’s an extremely reduced paraphrase)

    AS FOR WoA… It’s not about art…it just dabbles in art for commercial purposes and a little entertainment. I think AFC here is getting to the heart of the subject….and it’s not about the show itself, but the struggle for our identities and values about art. My own latest, and evolving, thoughts about the show (having been a contestant) are that it might be BEST for the art world, IF IT DID NOT CONTINUE. Leave us back to our own devices. I’m feeling that way because of the fascinating but endless battle that has been started, and I don’t want to be talking about how genuine or stupid this or that comment on TV was forever….or what some work of art looked like on the TV screen…or guess at what was edited in or out. TV producers should absolutely not hold sway over the identity of art and now that they have stepped into the ring, I think it may get out of control… so at this point I would only want a TV show made by artists/art workers….

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

      Ultimately I think the show is dangerous for art for the very reasons you identify. The fashion world has fairly stark definitions of what makes clothing — art doesn’t have that. Like you, I don’t think it’s a good thing for TV producers to have so much sway over the identity of art.

      As for Hickey — I think his arguments are flawed. The only argument you could make for advocating a frivolous art is that it would be better for it. But people don’t rally behind things they don’t believe in. That kind of passion is vital for the growth of a discipline, even if at times, it’s a burden.

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

        I agree: WANGA is a large and loud example of how fashion/design/advertising (and specifically in this case, Bravo) continues to farm “art” as a theme to fold-in another “special interest” demographic to its consumer-base – this isn’t something that should be blithely celebrated as what Saltz is trumpeting as a welcome addition to the polyphony of art-world/art-critical voices. And the expanding panel of art-world “experts,” “professionals,” and “industry luminaries” used to further justify WANGA’s credibility only helps to blur the distinctions between these very different worlds (not to mention the Brooklyn Museum’s compliant capstoning of it all).

  • andrew cannon

    off topic: Bill Powers gave Miles a solo show?

    http://www.halfgallery.com/

    • Jeff Evans

      Interesting how Miles won by losing.

      Has anyone seen the show? Is it any good or more of the work-in-progress stuff he showed during the WANGA finale?

      • James K.

        I saw the show. It looked similar to the work he did in the finale. The show consisted of prints of what seemed like a photoshopped image and it’s subsequent zooms. To me, they were cold and disconnected. I only liked one of them: it was sublime and after staring at it for a minute, my vision blurred. It reminded me of the times when my glasses would have oily smears, and I enjoyed that.

        As for “Work of Art,” I thought Karen Rosenberg said it right when she wrote it was part of a new fascination of performance and performers of different kinds (mentioning Abramovic @ MoMA, James Franco, etc). To me, this was inevitable because of the increase of media coverage on art coupled with the prevalence of reality competition shows. Both Abramovic and WoA were frequent topics of conversations between myself and others at one time. I agree with Paddy that if it was not this, it would have been something else because of temporal media fixation (similar to how sometimes the same news story would be covered continuously and by everyone).

        I watched “School of Saatchi” when that came out in London, and it was a common topic amongst myself and my artist friends for a short while too. Although I feel that at least that show was a bit more honest by stating that it is a “school.” It was only a matter of time before the U.S. had its own version. I decided to watch WoA as research and education because I was interested to see how it would affect art, artists, and the art world. For better or for worse, I think it has made some sort of impact, and I’m glad that I kept myself aware despite disagreeing a lot with what the show did.

      • http://maryfortuna.com mary fortuna

        “Won by Losing” is an established reality TV trope. You get to reap the benefits of all that hype while maintaining your purity by making it on your own merits, instead of shilling forever off the big win. Just another part of the grand mythology.

        • tom prieto

          Mary:

          Why not light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.

          As a visual artist, you are in part to see the world as it is.

          WOA is a competition, like any other in the art world. It had participants, rules, judges,and winners. In may not be the Tate Prize, but in form and substances it was a contest.

          The purity of an artist is inherently intrinsic; thus is not effected by externals.

        • tom prieto

          Mary:

          Why not light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.

          As a visual artist, you are in part to see the world as it is.

          WOA is a competition, like any other in the art world. It had participants, rules, judges,and winners. In may not be the Tate Prize, but in form and substances it was a contest.

          The purity of an artist is inherently intrinsic; thus is not effected by externals.

      • http://maryfortuna.com mary fortuna

        “Won by Losing” is an established reality TV trope. You get to reap the benefits of all that hype while maintaining your purity by making it on your own merits, instead of shilling forever off the big win. Just another part of the grand mythology.

  • andrew cannon

    off topic: Bill Powers gave Miles a solo show?

    http://www.halfgallery.com/

    • Jeff Evans

      Interesting how Miles won by losing.

      Has anyone seen the show? Is it any good or more of the work-in-progress stuff he showed during the WANGA finale?

      • James K.

        I saw the show. It looked similar to the work he did in the finale. The show consisted of prints of what seemed like a photoshopped image and it’s subsequent zooms. To me, they were cold and disconnected. I only liked one of them: it was sublime and after staring at it for a minute, my vision blurred. It reminded me of the times when my glasses would have oily smears, and I enjoyed that.

        As for “Work of Art,” I thought Karen Rosenberg said it right when she wrote it was part of a new fascination of performance and performers of different kinds (mentioning Abramovic @ MoMA, James Franco, etc). To me, this was inevitable because of the increase of media coverage on art coupled with the prevalence of reality competition shows. Both Abramovic and WoA were frequent topics of conversations between myself and others at one time. I agree with Paddy that if it was not this, it would have been something else because of temporal media fixation (similar to how sometimes the same news story would be covered continuously and by everyone).

        I watched “School of Saatchi” when that came out in London, and it was a common topic amongst myself and my artist friends for a short while too. Although I feel that at least that show was a bit more honest by stating that it is a “school.” It was only a matter of time before the U.S. had its own version. I decided to watch WoA as research and education because I was interested to see how it would affect art, artists, and the art world. For better or for worse, I think it has made some sort of impact, and I’m glad that I kept myself aware despite disagreeing a lot with what the show did.

      • http://maryfortuna.com mary fortuna

        “Won by Losing” is an established reality TV trope. You get to reap the benefits of all that hype while maintaining your purity by making it on your own merits, instead of shilling forever off the big win. Just another part of the grand mythology.

        • tom prieto

          Mary:

          Why not light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.

          As a visual artist, you are in part to see the world as it is.

          WOA is a competition, like any other in the art world. It had participants, rules, judges,and winners. In may not be the Tate Prize, but in form and substances it was a contest.

          The purity of an artist is inherently intrinsic; thus is not effected by externals.

  • Ryan

    I thought the show was interesting and I thought the setup DID work well for art. Is this the quality of art that one makes when exploring their own path and taking their time? No, but its more like a call-for-entries competition or art school projects, both worthwhile things to experience. And I think it’s only a good thing to expose more people to a part of the art world, because for the most part its a very exclusive and alienating sub-culture.

  • Ryan

    I thought the show was interesting and I thought the setup DID work well for art. Is this the quality of art that one makes when exploring their own path and taking their time? No, but its more like a call-for-entries competition or art school projects, both worthwhile things to experience. And I think it’s only a good thing to expose more people to a part of the art world, because for the most part its a very exclusive and alienating sub-culture.

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

    I tend to agree with some of this even though it contradicts what I just wrote in response to Judith. While I don’t think it worked well for art (artists need more time), at one point when drafting this post, I had included a paragraph that attempted to sketch out a positive scenario in which Bravo would at least alleviate the fear and hatred directed at the art community. If art were thought of as frivolous, I actually think that might occur, and frankly Work of Art furthers that end. It is after all, just a product.

    Having said that, as I mentioned above, I have some question as to whether such a scenario is good for artists. Ultimately I lean towards no, for the reasons Judith Braun and Jesse P. Martin outline.

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

    I tend to agree with some of this even though it contradicts what I just wrote in response to Judith. While I don’t think it worked well for art (artists need more time), at one point when drafting this post, I had included a paragraph that attempted to sketch out a positive scenario in which Bravo would at least alleviate the fear and hatred directed at the art community. If art were thought of as frivolous, I actually think that might occur, and frankly Work of Art furthers that end. It is after all, just a product.

    Having said that, as I mentioned above, I have some question as to whether such a scenario is good for artists. Ultimately I lean towards no, for the reasons Judith Braun and Jesse P. Martin outline.

  • Howard Halle

    Forget community; isn’t the issue here quality? Oh, I know: That idea got run out of town on a rail a long time ago. I should probably admit that I only watched the first episode of WoA, and dispensed with the rest, because the question it raised—can there be a reality-TV show based on the art world?—seemed tautological.Today’s art world is already based on a reality competition: It’s called graduate school. This is what Christopher Knight meant when he said (in another context) that modernism was a running-away from the academy, while postmodernism is a running towards it. What do you seriously think holds up better in a museum? Speaking of which, I went to see the WoA winner’s show at the Brooklyn Museum. It was embarrassingly bad, and all I needed to tell me that were the eyes in my head. But, then, that’s just my opinion.

  • Howard Halle

    Forget community; isn’t the issue here quality? Oh, I know: That idea got run out of town on a rail a long time ago. I should probably admit that I only watched the first episode of WoA, and dispensed with the rest, because the question it raised—can there be a reality-TV show based on the art world?—seemed tautological.Today’s art world is already based on a reality competition: It’s called graduate school. This is what Christopher Knight meant when he said (in another context) that modernism was a running-away from the academy, while postmodernism is a running towards it. What do you seriously think holds up better in a museum? Speaking of which, I went to see the WoA winner’s show at the Brooklyn Museum. It was embarrassingly bad, and all I needed to tell me that were the eyes in my head. But, then, that’s just my opinion.

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

    That’s the packaging of a false dream. I’d be a lot happier with the show if it didn’t make such grand claims — it is rewarding art school level work as if it were masterful.

    I saw the show at The Brooklyn Museum too. It looks exactly like the art you’d see from a fourth year BFA student. No surprises there.

    What is the link to the Knight piece? I’m not sure I’ve read the article you’re talking about.

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

    That’s the packaging of a false dream. I’d be a lot happier with the show if it didn’t make such grand claims — it is rewarding art school level work as if it were masterful.

    I saw the show at The Brooklyn Museum too. It looks exactly like the art you’d see from a fourth year BFA student. No surprises there.

    What is the link to the Knight piece? I’m not sure I’ve read the article you’re talking about.

  • Rrose

    And Hickey is not a nihilist, an absurdist maybe, but not nihilist. His prescription for frivolity is more aligned with Lyotard’s The Inhuman. It’s about the effect of language on logic. It’s about rebelling against the monadic structures of the art world. This dogmatic insistence of art’s autonomy is sickening. There are enough interdiciplanary practices that the idea of boundaries is rediculous. And im sorry if the idea of plurality troubles you… but is it really so awful that “artists” and “critics” must still fall under the title “human”? Really, the elitism is just sad. It’s sad that art seeks shelter as a sub-culture… But that’s about as good as it gets after it lost itself up it’s own ass. i.e. Kantian reductivism. When you exclude the rest of the world in your conversation, it’s hard not to look like the crazy bum on the street, shouting at nobody and drooling… (no offense to bums or drooling)

    Is art important? Yea. As important as humans. Whatever that means to you.

    Is Jerry an erratic caps user? Maybe. … .

    Is it possible for us to put our egos aside and ask ourselves what axiom art has that we believe in and communicate that here?

    If ineffability counts, that’s my vote. If not, I’d say tragic indirect self-reference.

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

      WANGA is McArt (like McMansions, McDonald’s, etc.): it’s poorly made, bad for you, and capitalizes on people who are cursorily interested in “art” but too lazy/disinterested to engage with it in an inconvenient, non-prepackaged, Bravo-accredited, easily-digestible format. Which is fine, sure: milkshakes for everyone! But to hold it up as an instance of wondrous “plurality” is silly, because it’s obviously interested in conflating the interesting, difficult, and otherwise genuine “pluralities” of the “art-worlds” into a serialized, sound-tracked, celebritized, over-hyped, reality-t.v. game-show: it’s banal commercial monoculture to the nth degree.

      And your theorist/philosopher-laden “pshaw, y’all” carries the greatest concentration of academic “elitism” in this thread (before this comment, maybe?)! I know how fun it can be to chuck butter into the deconstructive/semiotic blender, but sometimes it’s worthwhile to be effable, you know?

  • Rrose

    And Hickey is not a nihilist, an absurdist maybe, but not nihilist. His prescription for frivolity is more aligned with Lyotard’s The Inhuman. It’s about the effect of language on logic. It’s about rebelling against the monadic structures of the art world. This dogmatic insistence of art’s autonomy is sickening. There are enough interdiciplanary practices that the idea of boundaries is rediculous. And im sorry if the idea of plurality troubles you… but is it really so awful that “artists” and “critics” must still fall under the title “human”? Really, the elitism is just sad. It’s sad that art seeks shelter as a sub-culture… But that’s about as good as it gets after it lost itself up it’s own ass. i.e. Kantian reductivism. When you exclude the rest of the world in your conversation, it’s hard not to look like the crazy bum on the street, shouting at nobody and drooling… (no offense to bums or drooling)

    Is art important? Yea. As important as humans. Whatever that means to you.

    Is Jerry an erratic caps user? Maybe. … .

    Is it possible for us to put our egos aside and ask ourselves what axiom art has that we believe in and communicate that here?

    If ineffability counts, that’s my vote. If not, I’d say tragic indirect self-reference.

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

      WANGA is McArt (like McMansions, McDonald’s, etc.): it’s poorly made, bad for you, and capitalizes on people who are cursorily interested in “art” but too lazy/disinterested to engage with it in an inconvenient, non-prepackaged, Bravo-accredited, easily-digestible format. Which is fine, sure: milkshakes for everyone! But to hold it up as an instance of wondrous “plurality” is silly, because it’s obviously interested in conflating the interesting, difficult, and otherwise genuine “pluralities” of the “art-worlds” into a serialized, sound-tracked, celebritized, over-hyped, reality-t.v. game-show: it’s banal commercial monoculture to the nth degree.

      And your theorist/philosopher-laden “pshaw, y’all” carries the greatest concentration of academic “elitism” in this thread (before this comment, maybe?)! I know how fun it can be to chuck butter into the deconstructive/semiotic blender, but sometimes it’s worthwhile to be effable, you know?

  • Trong Nguyen

    Regarding David Hickey and William Powhida, I think it is difficult paying serious attention to those who vent against the system and then turn around and happily participate in its machinations – like those who rail against the Hamptons and then gloat of what a great weekend they just had there and thanks to so and so for the wonderful invitation…

    A lot of the “criticism” against WoA seems to fall into the category of psychological disgruntleness attributable to those who “dared not.” I’ve always said that the only brave ones in WoA are the artists and critics who chose to risk something by being on the show or trying out for the show, the rest are left wondering “what if.” I can’t speak for the other artists, but after heavy deliberation with myself and close friends, I chose to do the show as an experiment and to challenge myself as an artist, and yes, to have frivolous fun – regardless of what happened, I wasn’t going to be left asking myself “what if.” Of course the subsequent ridiculousness of the show was not what I anticipated, but that doesn’t mean I regret doing it in any way.

    And indeed I have my major grievances with the show… in particular its overriding lack of constructiveness in the critiques (not to mention the less than stellar mentor we inherited), where for the most part, all the judges seemed to think unanimously without individual insight that you would expect from distinct voices. Troubling also was the format whereby the judges had as long a they want (usually 6-8 hours) to talk about the work and rehearse their lines before discussing with the artists face-to-face was a mis-step on Bravo’s part. Why shouldn’t the critics be put on a level playing field as the artists, and why does Jerry get to talk on and on (on FB, NYMag, etc) incessantly about what he did and said and should have done and said? After so much swiveling and “you might be rights” it dead ends at vacuity.

    But back to the AFC thread…

    Contrary to Harg’s defense of William, I think Deitch was absolutely right when he said that “The irony is that by exposing art celebrity culture, he’s (Powhida) becoming a celebrity himself. So hats off to him.” I would venture to say that WoA pisses people off because, in the end, whether we like it or not, we are all looking for a way to be heard and seeking some form of, for lack of a better word, celebritydom. And that is not such a bad thing, if one sees it in context as just another rite of passage to growing up and living in 21st century culture. If we choose to let something trivial like that water down our serious practices as artists and critics, then we have no one to blame but ourselves, and truly have bigger problems to contend with.

    It is rather easy to talk trash about WoA, and go on and on why it failed as an art reality show. Instead, how about challenging ourselves and exercising an exercise in futility….. why don’t we DISCUSS HOW IT SUCCEEDED? William (as a teacher yourself who should always see the constructive side to the coin), let’s start with you?

    • http://www.philippagrob.com Philippa

      Trong, I agree with what you say and I think it is rather ridiculous that some artists seem to take themselves so serious and preach some kind of hypocritically morals about what being an artist means and what one can do and what one can´t. Isn´t the beautiful thing about fields especially like art that offers endless possibilities in any dircetion?!
      I like to believe that all different kind of views and approaches on art can and must co-exist and make the world a more intersting place.
      I think that in the end, and who are we kidding, art is just as much business as any other industry and we all want to survive, earn a living off what we create.
      Also I believe that the urge to make art, for most artist, arose from wanting to add something to infinity, make a mends, a statement that will in the best case remain after ones life has ended, be rewarded for what we achieve, so in that sense be famous.
      People that claim the opposite are usually just lying to appear what our hypocritically society calls noble or must be delusional.
      In my opinion calling the show dangerous is absolutely ridiculous because I think that any form of “propaganda” for art will maybe just get the masses into museums, galleries, etc., interested in art and I expect that any other intellegent person that is in the” artworld” is smart enough to differentiate a tv show from “reality” and is able to enjoy things for what they are.
      I am a fine artist myself who takes her work serious, I was well entertained by the caricature that WoA made of the business I´m in and I enjoy the discourse it started.
      In the end the show itself should be seen as a possibility to get people enthusiastically talking about the so called artworld in general and its many facets.
      Why do some people(artists) seem to be so personally offended by a show like that, what do they fear?
      They sound a little bitter to me and like you already mentioned maybe just jealous of the contenstants daring to participate in a project like that.

      (I´m sorry if my english is poor but I´m not a native speaker)

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

        Not to harp on this, but I think Richard Phillips was brilliant on WOA. Although inconsistent, I think WOA had a few really great guest judges on the show.

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

        Not to harp on this, but I think Richard Phillips was brilliant on WOA. Although inconsistent, I think WOA had a few really great guest judges on the show.

    • http://www.philippagrob.com Philippa

      Trong, I agree with what you say and I think it is rather ridiculous that some artists seem to take themselves so serious and preach some kind of hypocritically morals about what being an artist means and what one can do and what one can´t. Isn´t the beautiful thing about fields especially like art that offers endless possibilities in any dircetion?!
      I like to believe that all different kind of views and approaches on art can and must co-exist and make the world a more intersting place.
      I think that in the end, and who are we kidding, art is just as much business as any other industry and we all want to survive, earn a living off what we create.
      Also I believe that the urge to make art, for most artist, arose from wanting to add something to infinity, make a mends, a statement that will in the best case remain after ones life has ended, be rewarded for what we achieve, so in that sense be famous.
      People that claim the opposite are usually just lying to appear what our hypocritically society calls noble or must be delusional.
      In my opinion calling the show dangerous is absolutely ridiculous because I think that any form of “propaganda” for art will maybe just get the masses into museums, galleries, etc., interested in art and I expect that any other intellegent person that is in the” artworld” is smart enough to differentiate a tv show from “reality” and is able to enjoy things for what they are.
      I am a fine artist myself who takes her work serious, I was well entertained by the caricature that WoA made of the business I´m in and I enjoy the discourse it started.
      In the end the show itself should be seen as a possibility to get people enthusiastically talking about the so called artworld in general and its many facets.
      Why do some people(artists) seem to be so personally offended by a show like that, what do they fear?
      They sound a little bitter to me and like you already mentioned maybe just jealous of the contenstants daring to participate in a project like that.

      (I´m sorry if my english is poor but I´m not a native speaker)

    • Corinne

      Great post. I would venture to say, in the manner of Saltz, that these kinds of discussions are how the show succeeded…taking place long in the aftermath of the show (“long” in tv-time at least) .

      Powhida’s condemnations made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I laughed heartily at his bombast, I was saddened because that voice is precisely the reason people fear the worlds of art and culture. It is the voice that says you– so much less than I, so much inferior, so unworthy–does not belong in my proximity. I doubt he’s actually angry with Work of Art or with Saltz’s descension into the dirty word of television. I bet he’s pissed that the *Age of the Deification and Immortalization of the True Artistic Genius Like Me* is over. Easy to hide those feelings within a rant about standards, purity and other such.

      I’m not saying that discernment, no matter how subjective that process might be, has no place in evaluating art. And I’m not saying that art & culture can be wholly democratized, whatever that might look like. But we must always and forever question where “standards” come from and who they serve (politically, socially, financially and otherwise).

      Long way of saying: in my observation, WANGA has raised a consciousness of art in non-art types. In many cases, it will last.

      Another observation: the limits of the show inadvertently demonstrated how HARD it is to whip up good art, even for terrific artists who are skilled and/or trained. The “failure” of many of the works from showed that art takes time and thought, reworking, rethinking, dedication. A work of art is a lot of work.

      • Corinne

        Okay,so I just realized that Powhida purposefully adopts artistic affected personae, as Miles claimed to be doing. Never mind. Can’t believe I fell for it.

      • Corinne

        Okay,so I just realized that Powhida purposefully adopts artistic affected personae, as Miles claimed to be doing. Never mind. Can’t believe I fell for it.

    • Corinne

      Great post. I would venture to say, in the manner of Saltz, that these kinds of discussions are how the show succeeded…taking place long in the aftermath of the show (“long” in tv-time at least) .

      Powhida’s condemnations made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I laughed heartily at his bombast, I was saddened because that voice is precisely the reason people fear the worlds of art and culture. It is the voice that says you– so much less than I, so much inferior, so unworthy–does not belong in my proximity. I doubt he’s actually angry with Work of Art or with Saltz’s descension into the dirty word of television. I bet he’s pissed that the *Age of the Deification and Immortalization of the True Artistic Genius Like Me* is over. Easy to hide those feelings within a rant about standards, purity and other such.

      I’m not saying that discernment, no matter how subjective that process might be, has no place in evaluating art. And I’m not saying that art & culture can be wholly democratized, whatever that might look like. But we must always and forever question where “standards” come from and who they serve (politically, socially, financially and otherwise).

      Long way of saying: in my observation, WANGA has raised a consciousness of art in non-art types. In many cases, it will last.

      Another observation: the limits of the show inadvertently demonstrated how HARD it is to whip up good art, even for terrific artists who are skilled and/or trained. The “failure” of many of the works from showed that art takes time and thought, reworking, rethinking, dedication. A work of art is a lot of work.

  • Trong Nguyen

    Regarding David Hickey and William Powhida, I think it is difficult paying serious attention to those who vent against the system and then turn around and happily participate in its machinations – like those who rail against the Hamptons and then gloat of what a great weekend they just had there and thanks to so and so for the wonderful invitation…

    A lot of the “criticism” against WoA seems to fall into the category of psychological disgruntleness attributable to those who “dared not.” I’ve always said that the only brave ones in WoA are the artists and critics who chose to risk something by being on the show or trying out for the show, the rest are left wondering “what if.” I can’t speak for the other artists, but after heavy deliberation with myself and close friends, I chose to do the show as an experiment and to challenge myself as an artist, and yes, to have frivolous fun – regardless of what happened, I wasn’t going to be left asking myself “what if.” Of course the subsequent ridiculousness of the show was not what I anticipated, but that doesn’t mean I regret doing it in any way.

    And indeed I have my major grievances with the show… in particular its overriding lack of constructiveness in the critiques (not to mention the less than stellar mentor we inherited), where for the most part, all the judges seemed to think unanimously without individual insight that you would expect from distinct voices. Troubling also was the format whereby the judges had as long a they want (usually 6-8 hours) to talk about the work and rehearse their lines before discussing with the artists face-to-face was a mis-step on Bravo’s part. Why shouldn’t the critics be put on a level playing field as the artists, and why does Jerry get to talk on and on (on FB, NYMag, etc) incessantly about what he did and said and should have done and said? After so much swiveling and “you might be rights” it dead ends at vacuity.

    But back to the AFC thread…

    Contrary to Harg’s defense of William, I think Deitch was absolutely right when he said that “The irony is that by exposing art celebrity culture, he’s (Powhida) becoming a celebrity himself. So hats off to him.” I would venture to say that WoA pisses people off because, in the end, whether we like it or not, we are all looking for a way to be heard and seeking some form of, for lack of a better word, celebritydom. And that is not such a bad thing, if one sees it in context as just another rite of passage to growing up and living in 21st century culture. If we choose to let something trivial like that water down our serious practices as artists and critics, then we have no one to blame but ourselves, and truly have bigger problems to contend with.

    It is rather easy to talk trash about WoA, and go on and on why it failed as an art reality show. Instead, how about challenging ourselves and exercising an exercise in futility….. why don’t we DISCUSS HOW IT SUCCEEDED? William (as a teacher yourself who should always see the constructive side to the coin), let’s start with you?

    • http://www.philippagrob.com Philippa

      Trong, I agree with what you say and I think it is rather ridiculous that some artists seem to take themselves so serious and preach some kind of hypocritically morals about what being an artist means and what one can do and what one can´t. Isn´t the beautiful thing about fields especially like art that offers endless possibilities in any dircetion?!
      I like to believe that all different kind of views and approaches on art can and must co-exist and make the world a more intersting place.
      I think that in the end, and who are we kidding, art is just as much business as any other industry and we all want to survive, earn a living off what we create.
      Also I believe that the urge to make art, for most artist, arose from wanting to add something to infinity, make a mends, a statement that will in the best case remain after ones life has ended, be rewarded for what we achieve, so in that sense be famous.
      People that claim the opposite are usually just lying to appear what our hypocritically society calls noble or must be delusional.
      In my opinion calling the show dangerous is absolutely ridiculous because I think that any form of “propaganda” for art will maybe just get the masses into museums, galleries, etc., interested in art and I expect that any other intellegent person that is in the” artworld” is smart enough to differentiate a tv show from “reality” and is able to enjoy things for what they are.
      I am a fine artist myself who takes her work serious, I was well entertained by the caricature that WoA made of the business I´m in and I enjoy the discourse it started.
      In the end the show itself should be seen as a possibility to get people enthusiastically talking about the so called artworld in general and its many facets.
      Why do some people(artists) seem to be so personally offended by a show like that, what do they fear?
      They sound a little bitter to me and like you already mentioned maybe just jealous of the contenstants daring to participate in a project like that.

      (I´m sorry if my english is poor but I´m not a native speaker)

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

        Not to harp on this, but I think Richard Phillips was brilliant on WOA. Although inconsistent, I think WOA had a few really great guest judges on the show.

    • Corinne

      Great post. I would venture to say, in the manner of Saltz, that these kinds of discussions are how the show succeeded…taking place long in the aftermath of the show (“long” in tv-time at least) .

      Powhida’s condemnations made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I laughed heartily at his bombast, I was saddened because that voice is precisely the reason people fear the worlds of art and culture. It is the voice that says you– so much less than I, so much inferior, so unworthy–does not belong in my proximity. I doubt he’s actually angry with Work of Art or with Saltz’s descension into the dirty word of television. I bet he’s pissed that the *Age of the Deification and Immortalization of the True Artistic Genius Like Me* is over. Easy to hide those feelings within a rant about standards, purity and other such.

      I’m not saying that discernment, no matter how subjective that process might be, has no place in evaluating art. And I’m not saying that art & culture can be wholly democratized, whatever that might look like. But we must always and forever question where “standards” come from and who they serve (politically, socially, financially and otherwise).

      Long way of saying: in my observation, WANGA has raised a consciousness of art in non-art types. In many cases, it will last.

      Another observation: the limits of the show inadvertently demonstrated how HARD it is to whip up good art, even for terrific artists who are skilled and/or trained. The “failure” of many of the works from showed that art takes time and thought, reworking, rethinking, dedication. A work of art is a lot of work.

      • Corinne

        Okay,so I just realized that Powhida purposefully adopts artistic affected personae, as Miles claimed to be doing. Never mind. Can’t believe I fell for it.

  • http://www.lorenmunk.com James Kalm

    I have not watched one second of Work of Art, and will therefor, not comment.

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

      What noble abstention. Thanks for letting us know.

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

      What noble abstention. Thanks for letting us know.

    • http://mtaa.net t.whid

      Best comment I’ve seen re: WOA

    • http://mtaa.net t.whid

      Best comment I’ve seen re: WOA

    • http://www.perpetualartmachine.com Lee Wells

      I’m there with you on that one James. I’d rather be making it than watching mediocre artists try on TV. Excuse me, the spectacle now says your 15 minutes are not worth anything today.

    • http://www.perpetualartmachine.com Lee Wells

      I’m there with you on that one James. I’d rather be making it than watching mediocre artists try on TV. Excuse me, the spectacle now says your 15 minutes are not worth anything today.

  • http://www.lorenmunk.com James Kalm

    I have not watched one second of Work of Art, and will therefor, not comment.

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

      What noble abstention. Thanks for letting us know.

    • http://mtaa.net t.whid

      Best comment I’ve seen re: WOA

    • http://www.perpetualartmachine.com Lee Wells

      I’m there with you on that one James. I’d rather be making it than watching mediocre artists try on TV. Excuse me, the spectacle now says your 15 minutes are not worth anything today.

  • JP

    All reality tv is vacant television piddle.
    I can’t wait for Sept and new shows so everyone stops talking about this damn show.
    The meta-commentary is so boring it makes the show look good.

  • JP

    All reality tv is vacant television piddle.
    I can’t wait for Sept and new shows so everyone stops talking about this damn show.
    The meta-commentary is so boring it makes the show look good.

  • JP

    All reality tv is vacant television piddle.
    I can’t wait for Sept and new shows so everyone stops talking about this damn show.
    The meta-commentary is so boring it makes the show look good.

  • Andrew

    My perception of the conversation surrounding this show, which I found entertaining in a love-to-hate sort of way, is that there are two camps – those that hold on to a strong belief that the Art World is special and need to approach the show based on its effect on the greater cultures perception of our secret club, and those who are already disillusioned with the machinations of the Art World and would like to see fundamental change in the community to allow for more openness, inclusivity, and a challenge to the status quo. For each of these camps, there will be positive and negative aspects of the show. Did it drive a wedge into the status quo? no. Did it change criticism? no more than the internet already did. Did it disturb the elite bubble that surrounds Art? nope. Are we less special as artists because there is a TV show about art making? no. We’re all still the same as we were before the show, but now we have something fun to talk about together, to gripe about, to gossip over. Let’s also remember that there is a long history in the 20th century of artists going on stupid TV shows and that probably not going so well. I for one hope the show continues with multiple seasons, and we see more integration of curatorial and critical voices in the content, more embrace of mystery in the creative process (to watch the show, you’d think all artists work from photos or weird putty sculptures, in a teleological manner), and a development of the rules in a way that actually facilitates productive work.

  • Andrew

    My perception of the conversation surrounding this show, which I found entertaining in a love-to-hate sort of way, is that there are two camps – those that hold on to a strong belief that the Art World is special and need to approach the show based on its effect on the greater cultures perception of our secret club, and those who are already disillusioned with the machinations of the Art World and would like to see fundamental change in the community to allow for more openness, inclusivity, and a challenge to the status quo. For each of these camps, there will be positive and negative aspects of the show. Did it drive a wedge into the status quo? no. Did it change criticism? no more than the internet already did. Did it disturb the elite bubble that surrounds Art? nope. Are we less special as artists because there is a TV show about art making? no. We’re all still the same as we were before the show, but now we have something fun to talk about together, to gripe about, to gossip over. Let’s also remember that there is a long history in the 20th century of artists going on stupid TV shows and that probably not going so well. I for one hope the show continues with multiple seasons, and we see more integration of curatorial and critical voices in the content, more embrace of mystery in the creative process (to watch the show, you’d think all artists work from photos or weird putty sculptures, in a teleological manner), and a development of the rules in a way that actually facilitates productive work.

  • Paul leicht

    I just thought it was a fun show to watch, plain and simple. I never looked to it for insight into the art world, or even communities or sub-communities for there are far too many to be stereotyped by the number of participants. And I feel sad for anyone to look to it for art world identity. And if they did base all art knowledge off of woa then let them keep believing that, boo for them, obviously they don’t care enough to look deeper and then maybe boo for the art world for not being relevant enough to penetrate the layers into the layman to give them an accurate idea of being an artist.

  • Paul leicht

    I just thought it was a fun show to watch, plain and simple. I never looked to it for insight into the art world, or even communities or sub-communities for there are far too many to be stereotyped by the number of participants. And I feel sad for anyone to look to it for art world identity. And if they did base all art knowledge off of woa then let them keep believing that, boo for them, obviously they don’t care enough to look deeper and then maybe boo for the art world for not being relevant enough to penetrate the layers into the layman to give them an accurate idea of being an artist.

  • Rrose

    Jesse, effibilty is good, but it’s not the communicative function that art hinges on. It is precisely the opposite, that work is subjective, that makes an open dialogue possible, via inter-subjective communication, and allows us to find our own meaning in it. What I meant about this being an art axiom, is that art is a field that has the potential to function without language to communicate ideas about human experience that are ineffable, thus possibly legitimizing the can of worms. This is a basic idea and full of holes, and my point was that it is difficult to establish any real ground for legitimizing a purpose for art or academia or anything… beyond entertainment, which is the opposite of an elitist agenda, because it puts us in the very democratic realm of the absurd. I’m saying (getting to the origin of this post, the importance of art) that the best we can do is pantomime, maybe… and if that’s the case, then we are all on the equal playing field here, and a reality show about it isn’t going to debase the human element. That the point of the frivolity… The illogical behavior is the best evidence we have that we are a little more than machines.

    Trong, Work of Art succeeded in stinging the egos of its art community audience because it flattens the already flaccid sanctimonious postulates of the art world into pure entertainment. By using the reward system already in place, money and museum, it shows what humans will make in order to obtain those things. Real enough. I don’t think the deadlines water down the level of contrivance that is obfuscated by vast majority of art practitioners. The show draws literal lines between reality cooking shows, reality fashion, and reality art… and puts in plane sight the recipes and patterns that are implemented to make the “next great artist”.. Art is as creative Betty Crocker, or Levi jeans… And those participating aren’t entirely different from any american idol contestant. And museums can be seen as abstracted boy bands… If enough reality art shows pop up, it could be the next ism we’ve all been waiting for.

  • Rrose

    Jesse, effibilty is good, but it’s not the communicative function that art hinges on. It is precisely the opposite, that work is subjective, that makes an open dialogue possible, via inter-subjective communication, and allows us to find our own meaning in it. What I meant about this being an art axiom, is that art is a field that has the potential to function without language to communicate ideas about human experience that are ineffable, thus possibly legitimizing the can of worms. This is a basic idea and full of holes, and my point was that it is difficult to establish any real ground for legitimizing a purpose for art or academia or anything… beyond entertainment, which is the opposite of an elitist agenda, because it puts us in the very democratic realm of the absurd. I’m saying (getting to the origin of this post, the importance of art) that the best we can do is pantomime, maybe… and if that’s the case, then we are all on the equal playing field here, and a reality show about it isn’t going to debase the human element. That the point of the frivolity… The illogical behavior is the best evidence we have that we are a little more than machines.

    Trong, Work of Art succeeded in stinging the egos of its art community audience because it flattens the already flaccid sanctimonious postulates of the art world into pure entertainment. By using the reward system already in place, money and museum, it shows what humans will make in order to obtain those things. Real enough. I don’t think the deadlines water down the level of contrivance that is obfuscated by vast majority of art practitioners. The show draws literal lines between reality cooking shows, reality fashion, and reality art… and puts in plane sight the recipes and patterns that are implemented to make the “next great artist”.. Art is as creative Betty Crocker, or Levi jeans… And those participating aren’t entirely different from any american idol contestant. And museums can be seen as abstracted boy bands… If enough reality art shows pop up, it could be the next ism we’ve all been waiting for.

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

    After reading Trong’s comment, it irks me anew that he was sent home so fast. What were they thinking!?

    @ Rrose: you are taking my problem with plurality to such an extreme that it becomes silly…as though being “human” is a credential to call yourself anything you want. Are we all pilots, or surgeons? Do you really believe “we are all artists”? My simple opinion: “Artists” should practice art, many hours a week, like full time….and they should find ways to show their work to the public…”Critics” should study art and art history, formally or informally, and read a lot, then write and find ways to publish….(which could include blogging that gets a following). Is that really elitist?

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

    After reading Trong’s comment, it irks me anew that he was sent home so fast. What were they thinking!?

    @ Rrose: you are taking my problem with plurality to such an extreme that it becomes silly…as though being “human” is a credential to call yourself anything you want. Are we all pilots, or surgeons? Do you really believe “we are all artists”? My simple opinion: “Artists” should practice art, many hours a week, like full time….and they should find ways to show their work to the public…”Critics” should study art and art history, formally or informally, and read a lot, then write and find ways to publish….(which could include blogging that gets a following). Is that really elitist?

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

    After reading Trong’s comment, it irks me anew that he was sent home so fast. What were they thinking!?

    @ Rrose: you are taking my problem with plurality to such an extreme that it becomes silly…as though being “human” is a credential to call yourself anything you want. Are we all pilots, or surgeons? Do you really believe “we are all artists”? My simple opinion: “Artists” should practice art, many hours a week, like full time….and they should find ways to show their work to the public…”Critics” should study art and art history, formally or informally, and read a lot, then write and find ways to publish….(which could include blogging that gets a following). Is that really elitist?

  • http://twitter.com/FakeJerrySaltz FakeJerrySaltz

    I have already accepted Powhida’s apology. It is SOOOO funny that I have made all of this happen. Really, without me, diving into WoA without testing the water’s depth, this blog would not even exist…. I love David Hickey and RESPECT his criticism but without me on WoA he would still be masturbating his Invisible Dragon. Powhida is going to be mad at something no matter what, WHICH is great, I encourage that. I can actually IMAGINE him ranting and raving AT A chair. Paddy, Powhida, and Vartanian are better actors than me: They squabble on these social media networks for their fans but in reality they are in bed together. I support that, too. Nothing like a LITTLE makeup sex.

    You are welcome,

    FakeJerrySaltz
    https://twitter.com/FakeJerrySaltz

  • http://twitter.com/FakeJerrySaltz FakeJerrySaltz

    I have already accepted Powhida’s apology. It is SOOOO funny that I have made all of this happen. Really, without me, diving into WoA without testing the water’s depth, this blog would not even exist…. I love David Hickey and RESPECT his criticism but without me on WoA he would still be masturbating his Invisible Dragon. Powhida is going to be mad at something no matter what, WHICH is great, I encourage that. I can actually IMAGINE him ranting and raving AT A chair. Paddy, Powhida, and Vartanian are better actors than me: They squabble on these social media networks for their fans but in reality they are in bed together. I support that, too. Nothing like a LITTLE makeup sex.

    You are welcome,

    FakeJerrySaltz
    https://twitter.com/FakeJerrySaltz

  • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

    Jason Rhodes was a person who I always thought of fulfilling Dave Hickey’s request for more frivolous art in a more frivolous art world. Maybe not.

    Still, I remember Dave Hickey writing in his “Revisions” column for Art in America two years ago, deriding American Idol style reality television for damaging the national psyche with its “criticism” and “democratic” voting scenarios, going so far as to call American Idol a “dream killer” or something to that effect. I wish I still had the article to quote here (can’t find it online). At the time I was struck to consider his observation, the negative impact of reality talent scouting shows on creative ambition and society’s understanding of meritocracy, and whether or not that even exists.

  • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

    Jason Rhodes was a person who I always thought of fulfilling Dave Hickey’s request for more frivolous art in a more frivolous art world. Maybe not.

    Still, I remember Dave Hickey writing in his “Revisions” column for Art in America two years ago, deriding American Idol style reality television for damaging the national psyche with its “criticism” and “democratic” voting scenarios, going so far as to call American Idol a “dream killer” or something to that effect. I wish I still had the article to quote here (can’t find it online). At the time I was struck to consider his observation, the negative impact of reality talent scouting shows on creative ambition and society’s understanding of meritocracy, and whether or not that even exists.

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

      Jason Rhodes is the perfect example of fullfilling Hickey’s dream. When I was in grad school artists were split on Hickey — those who thought his vision was genius, and those who thought he was responsible for schools of bad art making. Critics are typically responding to sentiments that are already flowing within the culture though, so there’s never a simple cause and effect scenario.

      Anyway, I wish I had that article. It’s very relevant to this conversation, and would be interesting to read relative to Hickey’s previous writing.

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

      Jason Rhodes is the perfect example of fullfilling Hickey’s dream. When I was in grad school artists were split on Hickey — those who thought his vision was genius, and those who thought he was responsible for schools of bad art making. Critics are typically responding to sentiments that are already flowing within the culture though, so there’s never a simple cause and effect scenario.

      Anyway, I wish I had that article. It’s very relevant to this conversation, and would be interesting to read relative to Hickey’s previous writing.

  • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

    Jason Rhodes was a person who I always thought of fulfilling Dave Hickey’s request for more frivolous art in a more frivolous art world. Maybe not.

    Still, I remember Dave Hickey writing in his “Revisions” column for Art in America two years ago, deriding American Idol style reality television for damaging the national psyche with its “criticism” and “democratic” voting scenarios, going so far as to call American Idol a “dream killer” or something to that effect. I wish I still had the article to quote here (can’t find it online). At the time I was struck to consider his observation, the negative impact of reality talent scouting shows on creative ambition and society’s understanding of meritocracy, and whether or not that even exists.

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

      Jason Rhodes is the perfect example of fullfilling Hickey’s dream. When I was in grad school artists were split on Hickey — those who thought his vision was genius, and those who thought he was responsible for schools of bad art making. Critics are typically responding to sentiments that are already flowing within the culture though, so there’s never a simple cause and effect scenario.

      Anyway, I wish I had that article. It’s very relevant to this conversation, and would be interesting to read relative to Hickey’s previous writing.

  • S

    could you provide a link to the hickey article that everyone is referring to? thanks

  • S

    could you provide a link to the hickey article that everyone is referring to? thanks

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

      It’s not an article, it’s an essay included in his book Air Guitar. You’ll have to buy the book.

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

        Update: I was wrong. Thanks to Jesse P. Martin for providing a link to the article.

        http://bit.ly/b19Ck5

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

      It’s not an article, it’s an essay included in his book Air Guitar. You’ll have to buy the book.

  • S

    could you provide a link to the hickey article that everyone is referring to? thanks

  • S

    could you provide a link to the hickey article that everyone is referring to? thanks

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

      It’s not an article, it’s an essay included in his book Air Guitar. You’ll have to buy the book.

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

        Update: I was wrong. Thanks to Jesse P. Martin for providing a link to the article.

        http://bit.ly/b19Ck5

  • http://amoryblaine.tumblr.com Amory Blaine

    Just a minor disagreement with one point in the leading comments:
    “I’ve never experienced a time when people within the art world talked so much about one show.”
    I have. It was the Wire. We immersed ourselves in it. Gathered together to watch it together. talked about it every day until the next installment was revealed to us. Because, without getting too smarmy about it, …it was art.
    The failure of the Bravo production was that there was no art in its execution. It was wholly lacking in any artfulness. The show was a ham-handed, low-budget offense to the practice and ambitions and hopes and (dare I say it, the word has been so abused for so long, used without real meaning)…risks that making work that aspires to the status of art, that the whole life practice demands. And it made a mockery of, and inverted, one of the principal facets of art-making: embarrassment. Of all the risks one takes in this line of work, that is the only unavoidable one. And here, on cable television, is was the staple entertainment.

  • http://amoryblaine.tumblr.com Amory Blaine

    Just a minor disagreement with one point in the leading comments:
    “I’ve never experienced a time when people within the art world talked so much about one show.”
    I have. It was the Wire. We immersed ourselves in it. Gathered together to watch it together. talked about it every day until the next installment was revealed to us. Because, without getting too smarmy about it, …it was art.
    The failure of the Bravo production was that there was no art in its execution. It was wholly lacking in any artfulness. The show was a ham-handed, low-budget offense to the practice and ambitions and hopes and (dare I say it, the word has been so abused for so long, used without real meaning)…risks that making work that aspires to the status of art, that the whole life practice demands. And it made a mockery of, and inverted, one of the principal facets of art-making: embarrassment. Of all the risks one takes in this line of work, that is the only unavoidable one. And here, on cable television, is was the staple entertainment.

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

    Just read the Hickey essay from Air Guitar. Admit I have to reread to unravel some of the logic…but I get the gist at the end, and where he seems to almost be describing Ryan Tricartin. I too would like to read his more recent comments regarding reality tv. If this is located please post!

    • Jeff Evans

      Toward the end of this interview (no date given, although it seems several years old) Dave Hickey is asked what TV he watches and says he watches basketball, “Law and Order”, kickboxing movies, doesn’t like baseball, doesn’t like most things, he mostly channel surfs and the Simpsons are cool.

      BEN BUCHANAN :: What about reality TV?

      DH :: Oh, I hate that.

      http://www.laalamedapress.com/davehickey.html

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

    Just read the Hickey essay from Air Guitar. Admit I have to reread to unravel some of the logic…but I get the gist at the end, and where he seems to almost be describing Ryan Tricartin. I too would like to read his more recent comments regarding reality tv. If this is located please post!

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

    Just read the Hickey essay from Air Guitar. Admit I have to reread to unravel some of the logic…but I get the gist at the end, and where he seems to almost be describing Ryan Tricartin. I too would like to read his more recent comments regarding reality tv. If this is located please post!

    • Jeff Evans

      Toward the end of this interview (no date given, although it seems several years old) Dave Hickey is asked what TV he watches and says he watches basketball, “Law and Order”, kickboxing movies, doesn’t like baseball, doesn’t like most things, he mostly channel surfs and the Simpsons are cool.

      BEN BUCHANAN :: What about reality TV?

      DH :: Oh, I hate that.

      http://www.laalamedapress.com/davehickey.html

  • http://www.williampowhida.com William Powhida

    Trong,

    I understand your criticism about perpetuating the cycle of celebrity/fame by talking about the external influences that shape our perception of artists. I never disagreed with Deitch about that quote, it comes with the territory, but what I don’t believe is that it precludes the possibility of addressing celebrity and the way art criticism and the broader media construct narratives about artists. It just happens that I am actually the subject of the work now in reality, when I used to have to create fictional situations to offer the critique. Now shit like this happens. On her tumblr, Chicago based art writer Claudine Ise offered this critique of my practice:

    “I gotta say I think this is so cynical – as is most of William Powhida’s work. Can’t you imagine this hanging in the office of one of those same “rich collectors” that Powhida is always sneering at? Ditto for all of Powhida’s other drawings. They’re so eminently collectable, the perfect little “burr in the side saddle” (the equivalent to a badge slapped onto on an internet website) that proclaims the bearer to be a knowing participant (wink wink) in a deeply compromised art system. Powhida’s critiques give people permission to carry on with their bullshit — you think what Powhida’s doing is cool? Alright! That means you get it, you’re not totally corrupt like the rest of them. Carry on!

    I do agree with many of the statements Powhida has made in his work – but I think the way they’re packaged completely undercuts them by turning them into saleable objects that are incredibly easy to consume and forget. Carry on.”

    Claudine has correctly identified the “it’s not me he’s talking about. It’s that asshole over there” cognitive dissonance that allows collectors to buy the work. Again, Claudine is arguing that I should just stop making the critique, because it’s ‘collectible’. I brought up Claudine’s comment because I posted the print she is referring to on Tumblr, where it is being seen and consumed in a rather different way than simply being bought or sold. It’s being spread. She’s thinking about it, and somehow I think that is where her argument, and the critique of my practice starts to break down. She isn’t just carrying on, well maybe she is. Don’t think I’m unaware of your reasoning, or Claudine’s, or Howard’s. It’s logical, but here we are discussing the implications of Work of Art.

    That this back and forth is even happening, has exceeded my expectations for the ‘rant’. I learned how cathartic and empowering a good rant can be from my experience working with artist Jennifer Dalton on #class. That show was an attempt to do precisely what you and Claudine are suggesting. The show was not collectible. It was an opportunity to just discuss the ‘deeply compromised’ system. I know it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around the idea that I do different things sometimes, but Jen and I are re-visiting #class soon with a new project, called #rank in Miami.

    Until then, I have also been talking with Paddy and Hrag about doing a Reactor Podcast that address Work of Art, but also broader issues including the Brooklyn Museum, celebrity, branding, criticism, and curation that Work of Art raises. I hope we can make it happen, and that you’d participate. I’d also like to see Howard Halle sit in on it as well. So, how did Work of Art succee? This is my answer, this discussion and all the other ones people are having. In the end, Jerry said it made him think about his own thinking. That’s the other meta, metacognition.

    w

    PS: Fuck off Fake Jerry. I never said I’m sorry.

  • http://www.williampowhida.com William Powhida

    Trong,

    I understand your criticism about perpetuating the cycle of celebrity/fame by talking about the external influences that shape our perception of artists. I never disagreed with Deitch about that quote, it comes with the territory, but what I don’t believe is that it precludes the possibility of addressing celebrity and the way art criticism and the broader media construct narratives about artists. It just happens that I am actually the subject of the work now in reality, when I used to have to create fictional situations to offer the critique. Now shit like this happens. On her tumblr, Chicago based art writer Claudine Ise offered this critique of my practice:

    “I gotta say I think this is so cynical – as is most of William Powhida’s work. Can’t you imagine this hanging in the office of one of those same “rich collectors” that Powhida is always sneering at? Ditto for all of Powhida’s other drawings. They’re so eminently collectable, the perfect little “burr in the side saddle” (the equivalent to a badge slapped onto on an internet website) that proclaims the bearer to be a knowing participant (wink wink) in a deeply compromised art system. Powhida’s critiques give people permission to carry on with their bullshit — you think what Powhida’s doing is cool? Alright! That means you get it, you’re not totally corrupt like the rest of them. Carry on!

    I do agree with many of the statements Powhida has made in his work – but I think the way they’re packaged completely undercuts them by turning them into saleable objects that are incredibly easy to consume and forget. Carry on.”

    Claudine has correctly identified the “it’s not me he’s talking about. It’s that asshole over there” cognitive dissonance that allows collectors to buy the work. Again, Claudine is arguing that I should just stop making the critique, because it’s ‘collectible’. I brought up Claudine’s comment because I posted the print she is referring to on Tumblr, where it is being seen and consumed in a rather different way than simply being bought or sold. It’s being spread. She’s thinking about it, and somehow I think that is where her argument, and the critique of my practice starts to break down. She isn’t just carrying on, well maybe she is. Don’t think I’m unaware of your reasoning, or Claudine’s, or Howard’s. It’s logical, but here we are discussing the implications of Work of Art.

    That this back and forth is even happening, has exceeded my expectations for the ‘rant’. I learned how cathartic and empowering a good rant can be from my experience working with artist Jennifer Dalton on #class. That show was an attempt to do precisely what you and Claudine are suggesting. The show was not collectible. It was an opportunity to just discuss the ‘deeply compromised’ system. I know it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around the idea that I do different things sometimes, but Jen and I are re-visiting #class soon with a new project, called #rank in Miami.

    Until then, I have also been talking with Paddy and Hrag about doing a Reactor Podcast that address Work of Art, but also broader issues including the Brooklyn Museum, celebrity, branding, criticism, and curation that Work of Art raises. I hope we can make it happen, and that you’d participate. I’d also like to see Howard Halle sit in on it as well. So, how did Work of Art succee? This is my answer, this discussion and all the other ones people are having. In the end, Jerry said it made him think about his own thinking. That’s the other meta, metacognition.

    w

    PS: Fuck off Fake Jerry. I never said I’m sorry.

  • http://www.williampowhida.com William Powhida

    Trong,

    I understand your criticism about perpetuating the cycle of celebrity/fame by talking about the external influences that shape our perception of artists. I never disagreed with Deitch about that quote, it comes with the territory, but what I don’t believe is that it precludes the possibility of addressing celebrity and the way art criticism and the broader media construct narratives about artists. It just happens that I am actually the subject of the work now in reality, when I used to have to create fictional situations to offer the critique. Now shit like this happens. On her tumblr, Chicago based art writer Claudine Ise offered this critique of my practice:

    “I gotta say I think this is so cynical – as is most of William Powhida’s work. Can’t you imagine this hanging in the office of one of those same “rich collectors” that Powhida is always sneering at? Ditto for all of Powhida’s other drawings. They’re so eminently collectable, the perfect little “burr in the side saddle” (the equivalent to a badge slapped onto on an internet website) that proclaims the bearer to be a knowing participant (wink wink) in a deeply compromised art system. Powhida’s critiques give people permission to carry on with their bullshit — you think what Powhida’s doing is cool? Alright! That means you get it, you’re not totally corrupt like the rest of them. Carry on!

    I do agree with many of the statements Powhida has made in his work – but I think the way they’re packaged completely undercuts them by turning them into saleable objects that are incredibly easy to consume and forget. Carry on.”

    Claudine has correctly identified the “it’s not me he’s talking about. It’s that asshole over there” cognitive dissonance that allows collectors to buy the work. Again, Claudine is arguing that I should just stop making the critique, because it’s ‘collectible’. I brought up Claudine’s comment because I posted the print she is referring to on Tumblr, where it is being seen and consumed in a rather different way than simply being bought or sold. It’s being spread. She’s thinking about it, and somehow I think that is where her argument, and the critique of my practice starts to break down. She isn’t just carrying on, well maybe she is. Don’t think I’m unaware of your reasoning, or Claudine’s, or Howard’s. It’s logical, but here we are discussing the implications of Work of Art.

    That this back and forth is even happening, has exceeded my expectations for the ‘rant’. I learned how cathartic and empowering a good rant can be from my experience working with artist Jennifer Dalton on #class. That show was an attempt to do precisely what you and Claudine are suggesting. The show was not collectible. It was an opportunity to just discuss the ‘deeply compromised’ system. I know it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around the idea that I do different things sometimes, but Jen and I are re-visiting #class soon with a new project, called #rank in Miami.

    Until then, I have also been talking with Paddy and Hrag about doing a Reactor Podcast that address Work of Art, but also broader issues including the Brooklyn Museum, celebrity, branding, criticism, and curation that Work of Art raises. I hope we can make it happen, and that you’d participate. I’d also like to see Howard Halle sit in on it as well. So, how did Work of Art succee? This is my answer, this discussion and all the other ones people are having. In the end, Jerry said it made him think about his own thinking. That’s the other meta, metacognition.

    w

    PS: Fuck off Fake Jerry. I never said I’m sorry.

  • Abdi Farah

    I do not usually add to these but I wanted to commend Trong for his honest and humble assessment of WOA. It was an honor to work along side him. This balanced view is refreshing and fair and I believe gets to the root of what Work of Art is, an experiement, plain and simple. A shot in the dark. Work of Art is merely one singular work of art, a collaboration between the producers and the “brave” artists and judges who went into this unknown world. And by the amount of response it has garnered, WOA is the most thought provoking work created in a long time. Is it perfect, NO. No piece is. Why are we holding this television to a higher standard than every other piece of art created around the world. I feel genuinely bad for the people who cannot appreciated the really interesting things to be learned from it. Please no offense intended, but people who truly fear this show had reason to fear before WOA. Do you really fear that people will see your work at an opening and conclude that what one of us made a piece on episode N that was better and opt not to buy? Or that your 20 page essay on the merits of X will be trumped by a punchline by one of the judges? Odds are your work wasn’t that great.

    Being involved in it first hand I wish everyone could see the amount of work and research that was poured into this show by the production staff. Did they get everything right. NO. But I think they learned some amazing lessons too. I think they went into this show thinking that they could go about this show like their other shows and they realized as they went along that art was a different animal. They found out with the rest of the world that good art is more way more interesting than interpersonal intrigue, not just as interesting. Who da thunk it! In the end this show opened up a whole tackle shop of worms that the art is squirming wrestling with. Which we all can admit is cool. It reminds me of this interview I heard with John Mellencamp about his deciding to do the Chevrolet theme song. While he had some ambivalence about doing it he admitted that Chevrolet was a better production company than Columbia Records because they at least did what they said. For an art world that still requires an article titled “Who Dares to Question The Importance of Art?” I think we can all show a little love to WOA for reminding us why we got into this thing in the first place.

    Sorry for the long reply. Lastly for a reality television show I think, if we are all honest, we can agree that WOA became a lot less about art celebrity. I don’t even think it belongs in the same breath as Marina Abramovic and James Franco (not judging their explorations). Work of Art, If it had initial intentions of making an art star, transformed into an interesting but simple look into the art world and its various roles. I think its subtitled “The Next Great Artist” rubbed everyone the wrong way because it really revealed how much celebrity was already at the heart of the art world. The music and movie industry is comfortable with it inherent materialism and deification of particular participants (American Idol?). We thought we were above that for some reason. Its okay that we are not. Trong is right, there is nothing inherently wrong with celebrity, its just something we celebrate. We all want something to celebrate.

    • http://mtaa.net t.whid

      Abdi: ‘Work of Art is merely one singular work of art[1], a collaboration[2] between the producers and the “brave” artists and judges who went into this unknown world[3]‘

      1. It isn’t a work of art. It’s a TV show.
      2. Collaboration? Did you have a say in the final edits? Did you even *see* the show before it aired? It was no collaboration.
      3. Unknown world? — this reality show trope is as far from unknown as you can get.

      I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: any artist that allow’s reality show producers control of their media image isn’t brave — they’re stupid. Or naive. Maybe both.

      Congrats on winning Abdi. Your final show did look the best on the tv screen.

      • tom prieto

        T. let’s me clear and put your comments in context.

        Based upon on your background, you are a graphic designer and blogger. Abdi Farah is an artist and a participant in reality TV. Thus his comments more credible than yours. The Internet gives us the power to say much and edit little.

        Thank you for your comments, but your feedback would mean more if you spoke with authority and organized thought.

        • http://mtaa.net t.whid

          @prieto
          Some context:
          I’m an artist whose shown at SFMOMA, The New Museum and Postmasters Gallery (amongst many, many other places). I collaborate with another artist under the name MTAA. Have a look at our resume. http://mtaa.net/mtaaRR/resume

          Regardless of my credentials my reply to Abdi stands on it’s own.

        • http://mtaa.net t.whid

          @prieto
          Some context:
          I’m an artist whose shown at SFMOMA, The New Museum and Postmasters Gallery (amongst many, many other places). I collaborate with another artist under the name MTAA. Have a look at our resume. http://mtaa.net/mtaaRR/resume

          Regardless of my credentials my reply to Abdi stands on it’s own.

        • http://mteww.com m.river

          lol Tom. Tim is an artist and I think he has shown at more museums than Adbi at this point. Is he right now that he is artist? Nope, he’s just right.

          As you said Tom “Thank you for your comments, but your feedback would mean more if you spoke with authority and organized thought.”

        • http://mteww.com m.river

          lol Tom. Tim is an artist and I think he has shown at more museums than Adbi at this point. Is he right now that he is artist? Nope, he’s just right.

          As you said Tom “Thank you for your comments, but your feedback would mean more if you spoke with authority and organized thought.”

        • http://mteww.com m.river

          lol Tom. Tim is an artist and I think he has shown at more museums than Adbi at this point. Is he right now that he is artist? Nope, he’s just right.

          As you said Tom “Thank you for your comments, but your feedback would mean more if you spoke with authority and organized thought.”

          • tom prieto

            That’s for your comments, but this discussion could continue in circles without end. Let’s try this:

            In the art world, it appears criticism necessary all participants – artist, dealers, collectors, and patron. Thus raising the level of debate and discussion is important, if not an impossible goal for all.

            Jerry Saltz is a writer. For the past fifteen years, New York Magazine has published and paid for this work. Mr. Saltz graduated from Chicago Institute of Art. Briefly he was an artist. Jerry does not write about sports nor movies, he critiques art.

            One may not agree with his opinions, but one deny them. Why? Because of time, profession, and background, he has developed an expertise in art criticism. And the end of the day, his talent has been validated by the world.

            At the end of your work day, both you and tim are employed outside the art world. M. River works as a carpenter at a “world class museum” and “during the daytime T. Whid works at an on-line media company as a graphic designer”. See http://tiny.cc/hqdgs. For the moment, this is your area(s) of expertise – carpentry and graphic design.

            When I am sick, I seek the advice of a doctor or if my car does not work, I find a mechanic. I value their opinions in the context of what I can observe, just like fine art. Hopefully, other value art criticism in the same manner.

            That should square the circle for you.

          • tom prieto

            That’s for your comments, but this discussion could continue in circles without end. Let’s try this:

            In the art world, it appears criticism necessary all participants – artist, dealers, collectors, and patron. Thus raising the level of debate and discussion is important, if not an impossible goal for all.

            Jerry Saltz is a writer. For the past fifteen years, New York Magazine has published and paid for this work. Mr. Saltz graduated from Chicago Institute of Art. Briefly he was an artist. Jerry does not write about sports nor movies, he critiques art.

            One may not agree with his opinions, but one deny them. Why? Because of time, profession, and background, he has developed an expertise in art criticism. And the end of the day, his talent has been validated by the world.

            At the end of your work day, both you and tim are employed outside the art world. M. River works as a carpenter at a “world class museum” and “during the daytime T. Whid works at an on-line media company as a graphic designer”. See http://tiny.cc/hqdgs. For the moment, this is your area(s) of expertise – carpentry and graphic design.

            When I am sick, I seek the advice of a doctor or if my car does not work, I find a mechanic. I value their opinions in the context of what I can observe, just like fine art. Hopefully, other value art criticism in the same manner.

            That should square the circle for you.

          • tom prieto

            That’s for your comments, but this discussion could continue in circles without end. Let’s try this:

            In the art world, it appears criticism necessary all participants – artist, dealers, collectors, and patron. Thus raising the level of debate and discussion is important, if not an impossible goal for all.

            Jerry Saltz is a writer. For the past fifteen years, New York Magazine has published and paid for this work. Mr. Saltz graduated from Chicago Institute of Art. Briefly he was an artist. Jerry does not write about sports nor movies, he critiques art.

            One may not agree with his opinions, but one deny them. Why? Because of time, profession, and background, he has developed an expertise in art criticism. And the end of the day, his talent has been validated by the world.

            At the end of your work day, both you and tim are employed outside the art world. M. River works as a carpenter at a “world class museum” and “during the daytime T. Whid works at an on-line media company as a graphic designer”. See http://tiny.cc/hqdgs. For the moment, this is your area(s) of expertise – carpentry and graphic design.

            When I am sick, I seek the advice of a doctor or if my car does not work, I find a mechanic. I value their opinions in the context of what I can observe, just like fine art. Hopefully, other value art criticism in the same manner.

            That should square the circle for you.

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

            Tom: Please stop. Jerry Saltz has been writing for New York Magazine for two years. Prior to that he worked at the Village Voice, but he was not staff. He didn’t get health care, and he didn’t make a living off it. His living primarily came from teaching gigs and paid catalogue essays (which are not criticism). He went to art school but never graduated.

            Like most people in the art world both m.river and t.whid have day jobs that feed into their work in some way even if it’s not always visible. That’s no different than what Jerry Saltz has done up until two years ago, plus they have two more degrees (I don’t think the school matters, but since it seems to be of interest to you, I’ve noted it).

            Neither t.whid or m.river brought up Jerry Saltz and I don’t believe his role in the show is relevant to the point t.whid is trying to make, which was that the show is not a collaboration. He laid out a three point rationale for that decision. The most effective way to rebut this argument is to address the points made, not whether the commentor in question is qualified to make them. At some point all of us have lacked experience in a particular field but it’s important not to let that deter us from engaging in the topics we believe in. If you believe in Abdi’s thoughts, then pay them their proper respect by refuting the points t.whid made. Doing anything else, is a refusal to participate in the discussion.

  • Abdi Farah

    I do not usually add to these but I wanted to commend Trong for his honest and humble assessment of WOA. It was an honor to work along side him. This balanced view is refreshing and fair and I believe gets to the root of what Work of Art is, an experiement, plain and simple. A shot in the dark. Work of Art is merely one singular work of art, a collaboration between the producers and the “brave” artists and judges who went into this unknown world. And by the amount of response it has garnered, WOA is the most thought provoking work created in a long time. Is it perfect, NO. No piece is. Why are we holding this television to a higher standard than every other piece of art created around the world. I feel genuinely bad for the people who cannot appreciated the really interesting things to be learned from it. Please no offense intended, but people who truly fear this show had reason to fear before WOA. Do you really fear that people will see your work at an opening and conclude that what one of us made a piece on episode N that was better and opt not to buy? Or that your 20 page essay on the merits of X will be trumped by a punchline by one of the judges? Odds are your work wasn’t that great.

    Being involved in it first hand I wish everyone could see the amount of work and research that was poured into this show by the production staff. Did they get everything right. NO. But I think they learned some amazing lessons too. I think they went into this show thinking that they could go about this show like their other shows and they realized as they went along that art was a different animal. They found out with the rest of the world that good art is more way more interesting than interpersonal intrigue, not just as interesting. Who da thunk it! In the end this show opened up a whole tackle shop of worms that the art is squirming wrestling with. Which we all can admit is cool. It reminds me of this interview I heard with John Mellencamp about his deciding to do the Chevrolet theme song. While he had some ambivalence about doing it he admitted that Chevrolet was a better production company than Columbia Records because they at least did what they said. For an art world that still requires an article titled “Who Dares to Question The Importance of Art?” I think we can all show a little love to WOA for reminding us why we got into this thing in the first place.

    Sorry for the long reply. Lastly for a reality television show I think, if we are all honest, we can agree that WOA became a lot less about art celebrity. I don’t even think it belongs in the same breath as Marina Abramovic and James Franco (not judging their explorations). Work of Art, If it had initial intentions of making an art star, transformed into an interesting but simple look into the art world and its various roles. I think its subtitled “The Next Great Artist” rubbed everyone the wrong way because it really revealed how much celebrity was already at the heart of the art world. The music and movie industry is comfortable with it inherent materialism and deification of particular participants (American Idol?). We thought we were above that for some reason. Its okay that we are not. Trong is right, there is nothing inherently wrong with celebrity, its just something we celebrate. We all want something to celebrate.

    • http://mtaa.net t.whid

      Abdi: ‘Work of Art is merely one singular work of art[1], a collaboration[2] between the producers and the “brave” artists and judges who went into this unknown world[3]‘

      1. It isn’t a work of art. It’s a TV show.
      2. Collaboration? Did you have a say in the final edits? Did you even *see* the show before it aired? It was no collaboration.
      3. Unknown world? — this reality show trope is as far from unknown as you can get.

      I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: any artist that allow’s reality show producers control of their media image isn’t brave — they’re stupid. Or naive. Maybe both.

      Congrats on winning Abdi. Your final show did look the best on the tv screen.

      • tom prieto

        T. let’s me clear and put your comments in context.

        Based upon on your background, you are a graphic designer and blogger. Abdi Farah is an artist and a participant in reality TV. Thus his comments more credible than yours. The Internet gives us the power to say much and edit little.

        Thank you for your comments, but your feedback would mean more if you spoke with authority and organized thought.

        • http://mtaa.net t.whid

          @prieto
          Some context:
          I’m an artist whose shown at SFMOMA, The New Museum and Postmasters Gallery (amongst many, many other places). I collaborate with another artist under the name MTAA. Have a look at our resume. http://mtaa.net/mtaaRR/resume

          Regardless of my credentials my reply to Abdi stands on it’s own.

        • http://mteww.com m.river

          lol Tom. Tim is an artist and I think he has shown at more museums than Adbi at this point. Is he right now that he is artist? Nope, he’s just right.

          As you said Tom “Thank you for your comments, but your feedback would mean more if you spoke with authority and organized thought.”

          • tom prieto

            That’s for your comments, but this discussion could continue in circles without end. Let’s try this:

            In the art world, it appears criticism necessary all participants – artist, dealers, collectors, and patron. Thus raising the level of debate and discussion is important, if not an impossible goal for all.

            Jerry Saltz is a writer. For the past fifteen years, New York Magazine has published and paid for this work. Mr. Saltz graduated from Chicago Institute of Art. Briefly he was an artist. Jerry does not write about sports nor movies, he critiques art.

            One may not agree with his opinions, but one deny them. Why? Because of time, profession, and background, he has developed an expertise in art criticism. And the end of the day, his talent has been validated by the world.

            At the end of your work day, both you and tim are employed outside the art world. M. River works as a carpenter at a “world class museum” and “during the daytime T. Whid works at an on-line media company as a graphic designer”. See http://tiny.cc/hqdgs. For the moment, this is your area(s) of expertise – carpentry and graphic design.

            When I am sick, I seek the advice of a doctor or if my car does not work, I find a mechanic. I value their opinions in the context of what I can observe, just like fine art. Hopefully, other value art criticism in the same manner.

            That should square the circle for you.

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

            Tom: Please stop. Jerry Saltz has been writing for New York Magazine for two years. Prior to that he worked at the Village Voice, but he was not staff. He didn’t get health care, and he didn’t make a living off it. His living primarily came from teaching gigs and paid catalogue essays (which are not criticism). He went to art school but never graduated.

            Like most people in the art world both m.river and t.whid have day jobs that feed into their work in some way even if it’s not always visible. That’s no different than what Jerry Saltz has done up until two years ago, plus they have two more degrees (I don’t think the school matters, but since it seems to be of interest to you, I’ve noted it).

            Neither t.whid or m.river brought up Jerry Saltz and I don’t believe his role in the show is relevant to the point t.whid is trying to make, which was that the show is not a collaboration. He laid out a three point rationale for that decision. The most effective way to rebut this argument is to address the points made, not whether the commentor in question is qualified to make them. At some point all of us have lacked experience in a particular field but it’s important not to let that deter us from engaging in the topics we believe in. If you believe in Abdi’s thoughts, then pay them their proper respect by refuting the points t.whid made. Doing anything else, is a refusal to participate in the discussion.

  • Vera

    Art community, that’s a phantom. Abstract Expressionism names a group of painters/sculptors whose work differs greatly as in Barnett Newman compared to DeKooning. Yet as a community the participants had ties thru the WPA, sense of an emerging AG, and struggling as artists such that a Raphael Soyer and a Burgoyne Diller were included in their ranks. The rankings are even more diffuse today. Except for gang/gallery affiliations, I can’t see the concept of community being helpful.

    I’m surprised to read AFC concerned about how Bravo producers do or do not position/identify art. The dumbing down of art to the standards of media consumption should surprise no one except those who honestly thought oil companies had safety procedures in place on buoyed oil rigs. Since Warhol and Koons the art world loves to flirt w/ art as commodity, especially in pitches to the public. As soon as someone raises questions of higher value being lost, relevant publications inject a little university philosophy as criticism (dumbed down, or amateurish in the writings of Kuspit, Danto or Foster) to sanction perceived losses. What I find interesting is that the avenues have changed, no one cares about Danto anymore, but read more what is happening on blogs like AFC. I think there is a shift of sites going on for the production of meaning in art. Moreover, that art can be used unmoored from its intentions is obvious from the Cold War propaganda of Nelson Rockefeller employing AbX to symbolize American freedom to Ana Mendieta being appropriated by white feminists even though she publicly admitted to not liking them and on to the practice of art making being packaged up as any other behavior, like fashion. I think what upsets people is that Bravo cannot show some of the more interesting people in the gallery world that might be more representative, like Tracey Emin. Imagine a shit faced Tracey leveling a foul mouthed comeback to a Jerry Saltz, a female Pollock channelled thru Chelsea Handler, now that would be interesting.

  • Vera

    Art community, that’s a phantom. Abstract Expressionism names a group of painters/sculptors whose work differs greatly as in Barnett Newman compared to DeKooning. Yet as a community the participants had ties thru the WPA, sense of an emerging AG, and struggling as artists such that a Raphael Soyer and a Burgoyne Diller were included in their ranks. The rankings are even more diffuse today. Except for gang/gallery affiliations, I can’t see the concept of community being helpful.

    I’m surprised to read AFC concerned about how Bravo producers do or do not position/identify art. The dumbing down of art to the standards of media consumption should surprise no one except those who honestly thought oil companies had safety procedures in place on buoyed oil rigs. Since Warhol and Koons the art world loves to flirt w/ art as commodity, especially in pitches to the public. As soon as someone raises questions of higher value being lost, relevant publications inject a little university philosophy as criticism (dumbed down, or amateurish in the writings of Kuspit, Danto or Foster) to sanction perceived losses. What I find interesting is that the avenues have changed, no one cares about Danto anymore, but read more what is happening on blogs like AFC. I think there is a shift of sites going on for the production of meaning in art. Moreover, that art can be used unmoored from its intentions is obvious from the Cold War propaganda of Nelson Rockefeller employing AbX to symbolize American freedom to Ana Mendieta being appropriated by white feminists even though she publicly admitted to not liking them and on to the practice of art making being packaged up as any other behavior, like fashion. I think what upsets people is that Bravo cannot show some of the more interesting people in the gallery world that might be more representative, like Tracey Emin. Imagine a shit faced Tracey leveling a foul mouthed comeback to a Jerry Saltz, a female Pollock channelled thru Chelsea Handler, now that would be interesting.

  • http://www.darteboard.co J.D. Hastings

    Abdi- you are a very nice guy who seems to legitimately love art and is committed to getting better, all of which are admirable. However, I think you are off base on several points here:

    “WOA is the most thought provoking work created in a long time.” I don’t think so. It has generated a lot of talk, but the issues being discussed have been thought about before during and after the show The show is the specific context for the dialogue. And it is not the only work producing thought or comment at this time. This statement really puts down a lot of other art that just doesn’t have a national television audience.

    “Why are we holding this television to a higher standard than every other piece of art created around the world?” IS it being held to a higher standard or simple an equal standard? All the main participants in this conversation are involved in similar debates about all forms of artworld protocol. Again, though, those topics are going to appeal to a more limited audience than the discussion about a national tv show. Part of this argument could be seen as parties demanding TV be held to an equal standard to art institutions such as galleries or museums versus those who are okay giving TV some leeway towards other goals. At no point is the show being held to a HIGHER standard.

    “They found out with the rest of the world that good art is more way more interesting than interpersonal intrigue, not just as interesting.” I did not participate directly, but as a viewer I had the opposite experience. Why else would they edit several concurrent episodes to imply that Miles had given girls’ their ideas. That you ultimately prevailed over Miles doesn’t mean they let quality of art prevail. In fact the final show did not adequately show the viewers the art well enough for me to judge who should have won. Miles’s loss indicates that they had gotten what they wanted from his antics in getting them through the season to the final episode.

    “Lastly for a reality television show I think, if we are all honest, we can agree that WOA became a lot less about art celebrity” This is a bit more abstract and some time will be necessary to clarify the point but I believe WOA’s whole premise is a part of the trend flipping Warhol’s “Artist as Celebrity” into “Celebrities as Artists.” Others have done better analysis on this than me, but the show took unknowns (all the established artists were eliminated first), has now used the platform to define the unknowns so they are now celebrities, and NOW they will be starting their art careers in earnest. Look at Mile’s recent show. It fits right in with the trend of letting Shaq curate shows, showing Stallone’s paintings, and the aforementioned Franco works. If they wanted to make it about the art they would have showcased it better and given the artists more time and materials to make better work. When they finally did give you that opportunity, as I said they did not take the time to actually showcase it to the audiences on the show.

    Everybody else has done a better job than me discussing specific details of the debate, but since I came her before others had responded I thought I would address these issues that stood out to me as misconceived.

    I wish you the best in your career, as you do seem earnest in your commitment to it, which is possibly the rarest commodity an artist can have.

  • http://www.darteboard.co J.D. Hastings

    Abdi- you are a very nice guy who seems to legitimately love art and is committed to getting better, all of which are admirable. However, I think you are off base on several points here:

    “WOA is the most thought provoking work created in a long time.” I don’t think so. It has generated a lot of talk, but the issues being discussed have been thought about before during and after the show The show is the specific context for the dialogue. And it is not the only work producing thought or comment at this time. This statement really puts down a lot of other art that just doesn’t have a national television audience.

    “Why are we holding this television to a higher standard than every other piece of art created around the world?” IS it being held to a higher standard or simple an equal standard? All the main participants in this conversation are involved in similar debates about all forms of artworld protocol. Again, though, those topics are going to appeal to a more limited audience than the discussion about a national tv show. Part of this argument could be seen as parties demanding TV be held to an equal standard to art institutions such as galleries or museums versus those who are okay giving TV some leeway towards other goals. At no point is the show being held to a HIGHER standard.

    “They found out with the rest of the world that good art is more way more interesting than interpersonal intrigue, not just as interesting.” I did not participate directly, but as a viewer I had the opposite experience. Why else would they edit several concurrent episodes to imply that Miles had given girls’ their ideas. That you ultimately prevailed over Miles doesn’t mean they let quality of art prevail. In fact the final show did not adequately show the viewers the art well enough for me to judge who should have won. Miles’s loss indicates that they had gotten what they wanted from his antics in getting them through the season to the final episode.

    “Lastly for a reality television show I think, if we are all honest, we can agree that WOA became a lot less about art celebrity” This is a bit more abstract and some time will be necessary to clarify the point but I believe WOA’s whole premise is a part of the trend flipping Warhol’s “Artist as Celebrity” into “Celebrities as Artists.” Others have done better analysis on this than me, but the show took unknowns (all the established artists were eliminated first), has now used the platform to define the unknowns so they are now celebrities, and NOW they will be starting their art careers in earnest. Look at Mile’s recent show. It fits right in with the trend of letting Shaq curate shows, showing Stallone’s paintings, and the aforementioned Franco works. If they wanted to make it about the art they would have showcased it better and given the artists more time and materials to make better work. When they finally did give you that opportunity, as I said they did not take the time to actually showcase it to the audiences on the show.

    Everybody else has done a better job than me discussing specific details of the debate, but since I came her before others had responded I thought I would address these issues that stood out to me as misconceived.

    I wish you the best in your career, as you do seem earnest in your commitment to it, which is possibly the rarest commodity an artist can have.

  • Zuriel Waters

    After reading the responses to William Powhida’s rant I thought isnt WOA really for everyone who went to art school and then stopped making art? I mean, its pretty obvious that it doesnt play into our guilty desire to be implicated while watching the show. And it’s setup is based on assignments and group-crits, like art-school, a beginning drawing class or something. The problem I had with the show is that I didnt feel it addressing me i.e. it was not using contemporary artists as its demographic but rather the more general group of people that have at some point in their life come into contact with the theatre of arts education.
    The fact that “real contemporary artists” are actually responding to this seems to point out our desire to have a better version of WOA made, one that is more accurate or self-reflexive or something, and not that we don’t want to see it at all.

  • Zuriel Waters

    After reading the responses to William Powhida’s rant I thought isnt WOA really for everyone who went to art school and then stopped making art? I mean, its pretty obvious that it doesnt play into our guilty desire to be implicated while watching the show. And it’s setup is based on assignments and group-crits, like art-school, a beginning drawing class or something. The problem I had with the show is that I didnt feel it addressing me i.e. it was not using contemporary artists as its demographic but rather the more general group of people that have at some point in their life come into contact with the theatre of arts education.
    The fact that “real contemporary artists” are actually responding to this seems to point out our desire to have a better version of WOA made, one that is more accurate or self-reflexive or something, and not that we don’t want to see it at all.

  • Zuriel Waters

    After reading the responses to William Powhida’s rant I thought isnt WOA really for everyone who went to art school and then stopped making art? I mean, its pretty obvious that it doesnt play into our guilty desire to be implicated while watching the show. And it’s setup is based on assignments and group-crits, like art-school, a beginning drawing class or something. The problem I had with the show is that I didnt feel it addressing me i.e. it was not using contemporary artists as its demographic but rather the more general group of people that have at some point in their life come into contact with the theatre of arts education.
    The fact that “real contemporary artists” are actually responding to this seems to point out our desire to have a better version of WOA made, one that is more accurate or self-reflexive or something, and not that we don’t want to see it at all.

  • Zuriel Waters

    After reading the responses to William Powhida’s rant I thought isnt WOA really for everyone who went to art school and then stopped making art? I mean, its pretty obvious that it doesnt play into our guilty desire to be implicated while watching the show. And it’s setup is based on assignments and group-crits, like art-school, a beginning drawing class or something. The problem I had with the show is that I didnt feel it addressing me i.e. it was not using contemporary artists as its demographic but rather the more general group of people that have at some point in their life come into contact with the theatre of arts education.
    The fact that “real contemporary artists” are actually responding to this seems to point out our desire to have a better version of WOA made, one that is more accurate or self-reflexive or something, and not that we don’t want to see it at all.

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

    Relating to the Hickey article, I’d say my position can be summed up as: Frivolity good; disrespect bad. I apologize for the length of what follows. Nobody will read it, but I needed to say it for my own sanity.

    Yes, it is important to get out of the over-serious, inflexible mode that one can descend into when too invested in something. That over-seriousness can weigh the participants down in ways that can be destructive as well as off putting to outsiders who might add value if they entered the field in question. However Hickey overstates his case. First of, Mr. Saltz is exactly right that there are many art worlds. Hickey misses not only that but the notion that there are several Music-worlds and Film-Worlds. When one thinks of “The Music-World” one tends to think of the current state of pop or rock, which may not take themselves too seriously. However, the attitude of Jazz or Classical Music Aficionados is very similar to the impassioned, occasionally defensive attitude that is examined by Hickey and Ms. Johnson.

    The notion that their exists a “high” and “low” art world is very problematic, and not new. However, the opposing notion that their should be NO distinction between the good or bad is as absurd as the notion that all art is equally good. Without getting into the issues of what constitutes High v. Low, I generally believe that a constant within the best art is passion and true respect for the media by both the creators and the audience.

    This passion is what drives Jazz and Classical music to continue to persist in thriving pockets despite its dwindling market share compared to other popular forms (there are many fewer jazz fans than pop fans, but each jazz fan probably buys 10 times as much music). The flip side of that passion is a defensiveness towards perceived threats. A defensiveness that may actually serve to prevent new audience from seeking admission to what they see as an insular, humorless crowd. Passion is good and drives an attention to detail that can create beautiful work. But it can also drive Myopia.

    There is a cycle and interplay at work between this myopia and those who challenge it when it becomes too much. The critique of Manet to the artworld of his time is similar to Duchamp’s critique of the early modernists, or the critique of Johns and Rauchenberg against the seriousness of the Abstract Expressionists. In each of these instances the critique signalled a shift, and something new and valuable unto itself. However, each of these critiquers was also a part of, or soon assumed to a position within the artworld that might be known as “High” art.

    Of course in Hickey’s terms this is also alienating, and many people who were put off by the abstract expressionists were equally put off by the critique and their subsequent counter-movements. The dialogue had passed those “outsiders” by completely. What he seems to long for in the final paragraph is a reactive movement from the bottom up, outside the formalized “artworld,” by which he means “high art world.” However, reading that paragraph brings to mind any number of works that have occurred within that world, including the works of Johns and Rauchenberg and many others, especially since the time he wrote that.

    At the same time, there are any number of other art worlds, less connected and decentralized that are every bit as frivolous, while providing the same types of critiques, if one is open to finding them. The idea that the top institutions must be destroyed is nihilist, the idea that the same values can be found elsewhere is very positive. As would be anything that allowed greater communication between these various worlds. I wish Hickey had explored the latter option more than the former.

    To my eyes, as someone who cares deeply about art but isn’t within the artworld, the main participants in the present discussion, Ms. Johnson, Messrs. Saltz, Green and Powhida, basically form the head of the artworld Voltron. All these other worlds exist, but they define it’s highest point and engage in much of its critical debate. The discussion at hand feels very much like a self examination of the state of the flux between passion and defensiveness.

    Mr. Powhida, in particular is in a unique position, as the frivolous critiquer suddenly inserted into the thick of that which he has critiqued. He has a difficult role to play in that. At no point does critiquing the state of the artworld require a divestment of passion for that world. His initial critique was presented with respect for art. His issues with work of art come down to the same issue. I may frivolously tease and critique my mother, but there’s a big difference between that and someone less close to her attempting the same.

    And this seems to be the key difference between participants in this discussion: To what extent does Work of Art DISRESPECT the field that we love? Mr. Powhida feels strongly, as does Green, and that’s fine. I agreed with several specific complaints about the show in his “rant.” On the flip side, if he ever asserted (and I don’t think he did outright) that anybody who did watch the show loves Art any less than him, he would be overstretching his bounds. Obviously Ms. Johnson loves art. Her specific recaps of the show never betrayed that and always examined the show with the eye of someone knowledgable.

    Nor do I think Mr. Nguyen, Nao Bustamante, or Ms. Braun and maybe some others, joined with a cynical or disrespectful intent. As Trong has laid out, his participation was an act of engagement in a possible experiment within the artworld. The fact that the show quickly shed itself of anybody participating on that level, is one of the great failings of the show. Without those participants, the show became something far less. An art school level competition with several participants more interested in themselves than the art (not all of them, but some of the most prevalent), run by producers whose motivation was clearly to use the art setting to more base ends. (I think Mr. Saltz has sincere love for art, but his actual contribution to the show actually aided the most unfortunate aspects).

    I believe the show exhibited enough contemptuous, or disrespectful aspects to warrant the distaste of Mr. Powhida and Green, however, it also contained enough sincere intent by participants and audience members (meaning Ms. Johnson and some of the post-show engagement by Saltz with us populist critics, if not squabbling with actual critics) to warrant the viewing by those who so chose.

    Personally, the universality that allows nobodies like me to converse with the head of artworld-voltron, even if virtually, by leaving bloviated comments that nobody will read, has made it a valuable, if often enraging experience. In this aspect, I believe the show did fulfill Hickey’s request.

    However, I do not believe that the worst part of the show were necessary for that fulfillment. So within this framework, I find myself agreeing with many of the participants, if not on every point. We must respect art, and Love art, but must never lose sight of having fun with it either.

    And this seems to be the key difference between participants in this discussion: To what extent does Work of Art DISRESPECT the field that we love?

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

    Relating to the Hickey article, I’d say my position can be summed up as: Frivolity good; disrespect bad. I apologize for the length of what follows. Nobody will read it, but I needed to say it for my own sanity.

    Yes, it is important to get out of the over-serious, inflexible mode that one can descend into when too invested in something. That over-seriousness can weigh the participants down in ways that can be destructive as well as off putting to outsiders who might add value if they entered the field in question. However Hickey overstates his case. First of, Mr. Saltz is exactly right that there are many art worlds. Hickey misses not only that but the notion that there are several Music-worlds and Film-Worlds. When one thinks of “The Music-World” one tends to think of the current state of pop or rock, which may not take themselves too seriously. However, the attitude of Jazz or Classical Music Aficionados is very similar to the impassioned, occasionally defensive attitude that is examined by Hickey and Ms. Johnson.

    The notion that their exists a “high” and “low” art world is very problematic, and not new. However, the opposing notion that their should be NO distinction between the good or bad is as absurd as the notion that all art is equally good. Without getting into the issues of what constitutes High v. Low, I generally believe that a constant within the best art is passion and true respect for the media by both the creators and the audience.

    This passion is what drives Jazz and Classical music to continue to persist in thriving pockets despite its dwindling market share compared to other popular forms (there are many fewer jazz fans than pop fans, but each jazz fan probably buys 10 times as much music). The flip side of that passion is a defensiveness towards perceived threats. A defensiveness that may actually serve to prevent new audience from seeking admission to what they see as an insular, humorless crowd. Passion is good and drives an attention to detail that can create beautiful work. But it can also drive Myopia.

    There is a cycle and interplay at work between this myopia and those who challenge it when it becomes too much. The critique of Manet to the artworld of his time is similar to Duchamp’s critique of the early modernists, or the critique of Johns and Rauchenberg against the seriousness of the Abstract Expressionists. In each of these instances the critique signalled a shift, and something new and valuable unto itself. However, each of these critiquers was also a part of, or soon assumed to a position within the artworld that might be known as “High” art.

    Of course in Hickey’s terms this is also alienating, and many people who were put off by the abstract expressionists were equally put off by the critique and their subsequent counter-movements. The dialogue had passed those “outsiders” by completely. What he seems to long for in the final paragraph is a reactive movement from the bottom up, outside the formalized “artworld,” by which he means “high art world.” However, reading that paragraph brings to mind any number of works that have occurred within that world, including the works of Johns and Rauchenberg and many others, especially since the time he wrote that.

    At the same time, there are any number of other art worlds, less connected and decentralized that are every bit as frivolous, while providing the same types of critiques, if one is open to finding them. The idea that the top institutions must be destroyed is nihilist, the idea that the same values can be found elsewhere is very positive. As would be anything that allowed greater communication between these various worlds. I wish Hickey had explored the latter option more than the former.

    To my eyes, as someone who cares deeply about art but isn’t within the artworld, the main participants in the present discussion, Ms. Johnson, Messrs. Saltz, Green and Powhida, basically form the head of the artworld Voltron. All these other worlds exist, but they define it’s highest point and engage in much of its critical debate. The discussion at hand feels very much like a self examination of the state of the flux between passion and defensiveness.

    Mr. Powhida, in particular is in a unique position, as the frivolous critiquer suddenly inserted into the thick of that which he has critiqued. He has a difficult role to play in that. At no point does critiquing the state of the artworld require a divestment of passion for that world. His initial critique was presented with respect for art. His issues with work of art come down to the same issue. I may frivolously tease and critique my mother, but there’s a big difference between that and someone less close to her attempting the same.

    And this seems to be the key difference between participants in this discussion: To what extent does Work of Art DISRESPECT the field that we love? Mr. Powhida feels strongly, as does Green, and that’s fine. I agreed with several specific complaints about the show in his “rant.” On the flip side, if he ever asserted (and I don’t think he did outright) that anybody who did watch the show loves Art any less than him, he would be overstretching his bounds. Obviously Ms. Johnson loves art. Her specific recaps of the show never betrayed that and always examined the show with the eye of someone knowledgable.

    Nor do I think Mr. Nguyen, Nao Bustamante, or Ms. Braun and maybe some others, joined with a cynical or disrespectful intent. As Trong has laid out, his participation was an act of engagement in a possible experiment within the artworld. The fact that the show quickly shed itself of anybody participating on that level, is one of the great failings of the show. Without those participants, the show became something far less. An art school level competition with several participants more interested in themselves than the art (not all of them, but some of the most prevalent), run by producers whose motivation was clearly to use the art setting to more base ends. (I think Mr. Saltz has sincere love for art, but his actual contribution to the show actually aided the most unfortunate aspects).

    I believe the show exhibited enough contemptuous, or disrespectful aspects to warrant the distaste of Mr. Powhida and Green, however, it also contained enough sincere intent by participants and audience members (meaning Ms. Johnson and some of the post-show engagement by Saltz with us populist critics, if not squabbling with actual critics) to warrant the viewing by those who so chose.

    Personally, the universality that allows nobodies like me to converse with the head of artworld-voltron, even if virtually, by leaving bloviated comments that nobody will read, has made it a valuable, if often enraging experience. In this aspect, I believe the show did fulfill Hickey’s request.

    However, I do not believe that the worst part of the show were necessary for that fulfillment. So within this framework, I find myself agreeing with many of the participants, if not on every point. We must respect art, and Love art, but must never lose sight of having fun with it either.

    And this seems to be the key difference between participants in this discussion: To what extent does Work of Art DISRESPECT the field that we love?

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

    Relating to the Hickey article, I’d say my position can be summed up as: Frivolity good; disrespect bad. I apologize for the length of what follows. Nobody will read it, but I needed to say it for my own sanity.

    Yes, it is important to get out of the over-serious, inflexible mode that one can descend into when too invested in something. That over-seriousness can weigh the participants down in ways that can be destructive as well as off putting to outsiders who might add value if they entered the field in question. However Hickey overstates his case. First of, Mr. Saltz is exactly right that there are many art worlds. Hickey misses not only that but the notion that there are several Music-worlds and Film-Worlds. When one thinks of “The Music-World” one tends to think of the current state of pop or rock, which may not take themselves too seriously. However, the attitude of Jazz or Classical Music Aficionados is very similar to the impassioned, occasionally defensive attitude that is examined by Hickey and Ms. Johnson.

    The notion that their exists a “high” and “low” art world is very problematic, and not new. However, the opposing notion that their should be NO distinction between the good or bad is as absurd as the notion that all art is equally good. Without getting into the issues of what constitutes High v. Low, I generally believe that a constant within the best art is passion and true respect for the media by both the creators and the audience.

    This passion is what drives Jazz and Classical music to continue to persist in thriving pockets despite its dwindling market share compared to other popular forms (there are many fewer jazz fans than pop fans, but each jazz fan probably buys 10 times as much music). The flip side of that passion is a defensiveness towards perceived threats. A defensiveness that may actually serve to prevent new audience from seeking admission to what they see as an insular, humorless crowd. Passion is good and drives an attention to detail that can create beautiful work. But it can also drive Myopia.

    There is a cycle and interplay at work between this myopia and those who challenge it when it becomes too much. The critique of Manet to the artworld of his time is similar to Duchamp’s critique of the early modernists, or the critique of Johns and Rauchenberg against the seriousness of the Abstract Expressionists. In each of these instances the critique signalled a shift, and something new and valuable unto itself. However, each of these critiquers was also a part of, or soon assumed to a position within the artworld that might be known as “High” art.

    Of course in Hickey’s terms this is also alienating, and many people who were put off by the abstract expressionists were equally put off by the critique and their subsequent counter-movements. The dialogue had passed those “outsiders” by completely. What he seems to long for in the final paragraph is a reactive movement from the bottom up, outside the formalized “artworld,” by which he means “high art world.” However, reading that paragraph brings to mind any number of works that have occurred within that world, including the works of Johns and Rauchenberg and many others, especially since the time he wrote that.

    At the same time, there are any number of other art worlds, less connected and decentralized that are every bit as frivolous, while providing the same types of critiques, if one is open to finding them. The idea that the top institutions must be destroyed is nihilist, the idea that the same values can be found elsewhere is very positive. As would be anything that allowed greater communication between these various worlds. I wish Hickey had explored the latter option more than the former.

    To my eyes, as someone who cares deeply about art but isn’t within the artworld, the main participants in the present discussion, Ms. Johnson, Messrs. Saltz, Green and Powhida, basically form the head of the artworld Voltron. All these other worlds exist, but they define it’s highest point and engage in much of its critical debate. The discussion at hand feels very much like a self examination of the state of the flux between passion and defensiveness.

    Mr. Powhida, in particular is in a unique position, as the frivolous critiquer suddenly inserted into the thick of that which he has critiqued. He has a difficult role to play in that. At no point does critiquing the state of the artworld require a divestment of passion for that world. His initial critique was presented with respect for art. His issues with work of art come down to the same issue. I may frivolously tease and critique my mother, but there’s a big difference between that and someone less close to her attempting the same.

    And this seems to be the key difference between participants in this discussion: To what extent does Work of Art DISRESPECT the field that we love? Mr. Powhida feels strongly, as does Green, and that’s fine. I agreed with several specific complaints about the show in his “rant.” On the flip side, if he ever asserted (and I don’t think he did outright) that anybody who did watch the show loves Art any less than him, he would be overstretching his bounds. Obviously Ms. Johnson loves art. Her specific recaps of the show never betrayed that and always examined the show with the eye of someone knowledgable.

    Nor do I think Mr. Nguyen, Nao Bustamante, or Ms. Braun and maybe some others, joined with a cynical or disrespectful intent. As Trong has laid out, his participation was an act of engagement in a possible experiment within the artworld. The fact that the show quickly shed itself of anybody participating on that level, is one of the great failings of the show. Without those participants, the show became something far less. An art school level competition with several participants more interested in themselves than the art (not all of them, but some of the most prevalent), run by producers whose motivation was clearly to use the art setting to more base ends. (I think Mr. Saltz has sincere love for art, but his actual contribution to the show actually aided the most unfortunate aspects).

    I believe the show exhibited enough contemptuous, or disrespectful aspects to warrant the distaste of Mr. Powhida and Green, however, it also contained enough sincere intent by participants and audience members (meaning Ms. Johnson and some of the post-show engagement by Saltz with us populist critics, if not squabbling with actual critics) to warrant the viewing by those who so chose.

    Personally, the universality that allows nobodies like me to converse with the head of artworld-voltron, even if virtually, by leaving bloviated comments that nobody will read, has made it a valuable, if often enraging experience. In this aspect, I believe the show did fulfill Hickey’s request.

    However, I do not believe that the worst part of the show were necessary for that fulfillment. So within this framework, I find myself agreeing with many of the participants, if not on every point. We must respect art, and Love art, but must never lose sight of having fun with it either.

    And this seems to be the key difference between participants in this discussion: To what extent does Work of Art DISRESPECT the field that we love?

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

    Relating to the Hickey article, I’d say my position can be summed up as: Frivolity good; disrespect bad. I apologize for the length of what follows. Nobody will read it, but I needed to say it for my own sanity.

    Yes, it is important to get out of the over-serious, inflexible mode that one can descend into when too invested in something. That over-seriousness can weigh the participants down in ways that can be destructive as well as off putting to outsiders who might add value if they entered the field in question. However Hickey overstates his case. First of, Mr. Saltz is exactly right that there are many art worlds. Hickey misses not only that but the notion that there are several Music-worlds and Film-Worlds. When one thinks of “The Music-World” one tends to think of the current state of pop or rock, which may not take themselves too seriously. However, the attitude of Jazz or Classical Music Aficionados is very similar to the impassioned, occasionally defensive attitude that is examined by Hickey and Ms. Johnson.

    The notion that their exists a “high” and “low” art world is very problematic, and not new. However, the opposing notion that their should be NO distinction between the good or bad is as absurd as the notion that all art is equally good. Without getting into the issues of what constitutes High v. Low, I generally believe that a constant within the best art is passion and true respect for the media by both the creators and the audience.

    This passion is what drives Jazz and Classical music to continue to persist in thriving pockets despite its dwindling market share compared to other popular forms (there are many fewer jazz fans than pop fans, but each jazz fan probably buys 10 times as much music). The flip side of that passion is a defensiveness towards perceived threats. A defensiveness that may actually serve to prevent new audience from seeking admission to what they see as an insular, humorless crowd. Passion is good and drives an attention to detail that can create beautiful work. But it can also drive Myopia.

    There is a cycle and interplay at work between this myopia and those who challenge it when it becomes too much. The critique of Manet to the artworld of his time is similar to Duchamp’s critique of the early modernists, or the critique of Johns and Rauchenberg against the seriousness of the Abstract Expressionists. In each of these instances the critique signalled a shift, and something new and valuable unto itself. However, each of these critiquers was also a part of, or soon assumed to a position within the artworld that might be known as “High” art.

    Of course in Hickey’s terms this is also alienating, and many people who were put off by the abstract expressionists were equally put off by the critique and their subsequent counter-movements. The dialogue had passed those “outsiders” by completely. What he seems to long for in the final paragraph is a reactive movement from the bottom up, outside the formalized “artworld,” by which he means “high art world.” However, reading that paragraph brings to mind any number of works that have occurred within that world, including the works of Johns and Rauchenberg and many others, especially since the time he wrote that.

    At the same time, there are any number of other art worlds, less connected and decentralized that are every bit as frivolous, while providing the same types of critiques, if one is open to finding them. The idea that the top institutions must be destroyed is nihilist, the idea that the same values can be found elsewhere is very positive. As would be anything that allowed greater communication between these various worlds. I wish Hickey had explored the latter option more than the former.

    To my eyes, as someone who cares deeply about art but isn’t within the artworld, the main participants in the present discussion, Ms. Johnson, Messrs. Saltz, Green and Powhida, basically form the head of the artworld Voltron. All these other worlds exist, but they define it’s highest point and engage in much of its critical debate. The discussion at hand feels very much like a self examination of the state of the flux between passion and defensiveness.

    Mr. Powhida, in particular is in a unique position, as the frivolous critiquer suddenly inserted into the thick of that which he has critiqued. He has a difficult role to play in that. At no point does critiquing the state of the artworld require a divestment of passion for that world. His initial critique was presented with respect for art. His issues with work of art come down to the same issue. I may frivolously tease and critique my mother, but there’s a big difference between that and someone less close to her attempting the same.

    And this seems to be the key difference between participants in this discussion: To what extent does Work of Art DISRESPECT the field that we love? Mr. Powhida feels strongly, as does Green, and that’s fine. I agreed with several specific complaints about the show in his “rant.” On the flip side, if he ever asserted (and I don’t think he did outright) that anybody who did watch the show loves Art any less than him, he would be overstretching his bounds. Obviously Ms. Johnson loves art. Her specific recaps of the show never betrayed that and always examined the show with the eye of someone knowledgable.

    Nor do I think Mr. Nguyen, Nao Bustamante, or Ms. Braun and maybe some others, joined with a cynical or disrespectful intent. As Trong has laid out, his participation was an act of engagement in a possible experiment within the artworld. The fact that the show quickly shed itself of anybody participating on that level, is one of the great failings of the show. Without those participants, the show became something far less. An art school level competition with several participants more interested in themselves than the art (not all of them, but some of the most prevalent), run by producers whose motivation was clearly to use the art setting to more base ends. (I think Mr. Saltz has sincere love for art, but his actual contribution to the show actually aided the most unfortunate aspects).

    I believe the show exhibited enough contemptuous, or disrespectful aspects to warrant the distaste of Mr. Powhida and Green, however, it also contained enough sincere intent by participants and audience members (meaning Ms. Johnson and some of the post-show engagement by Saltz with us populist critics, if not squabbling with actual critics) to warrant the viewing by those who so chose.

    Personally, the universality that allows nobodies like me to converse with the head of artworld-voltron, even if virtually, by leaving bloviated comments that nobody will read, has made it a valuable, if often enraging experience. In this aspect, I believe the show did fulfill Hickey’s request.

    However, I do not believe that the worst part of the show were necessary for that fulfillment. So within this framework, I find myself agreeing with many of the participants, if not on every point. We must respect art, and Love art, but must never lose sight of having fun with it either.

    And this seems to be the key difference between participants in this discussion: To what extent does Work of Art DISRESPECT the field that we love?

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

    I think the word experiment is good one, but it suggests too that the results are to be observed and analyzed afterwards. Not to mention what the wide range of hypotheses for such an experiment were, including that many thought it was a dangerous one to even tinker with. Being completely self-absorbed I admit I thought it was my own little laboratory, just to “get on”, play a game, and watch myself on TV.” I later added…”to be booted off with dignity.” (Is that frivolous enough?)

    But now I have begun to really look at it from other points of view…and I’m feeling a big “NO” building up in my throat… NO…we don’t want to demystify art, or explain it, or justify it, or make it more accessible. Either go into artists’ studios and watch them for a year(s), or make it a real game show and give everyone a cardboard box and a pair of scissors. Yes, I love talking about art and WoA generated plenty of that, and so I’d take this “experiment” as a lesson in…if us folks don’t own our dialogue, Bravo is going to hijack it.

    • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

      That was exactly my feeling throughout the series, a big “NO.” Artists ought to be wary of greater accessibility, demystification or justification. When you try to broaden the art world like that to people who have no innate interest in art-making or art-buying, you’re treated to the embarrassing tedium of Carrie Bradshaw gasping, “They really do have futures!” at the finale, like as if Carrie Bradshaw has a clue about working artists, and as if working artists give a shit about Carrie Bradshaw’s approval. Plus she paid for that reception, in a way, so, you better just get along with Carrie Bradshaw, because she grew up in a time when the government supported art, not for nothing. .

    • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

      That was exactly my feeling throughout the series, a big “NO.” Artists ought to be wary of greater accessibility, demystification or justification. When you try to broaden the art world like that to people who have no innate interest in art-making or art-buying, you’re treated to the embarrassing tedium of Carrie Bradshaw gasping, “They really do have futures!” at the finale, like as if Carrie Bradshaw has a clue about working artists, and as if working artists give a shit about Carrie Bradshaw’s approval. Plus she paid for that reception, in a way, so, you better just get along with Carrie Bradshaw, because she grew up in a time when the government supported art, not for nothing. .

    • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

      That was exactly my feeling throughout the series, a big “NO.” Artists ought to be wary of greater accessibility, demystification or justification. When you try to broaden the art world like that to people who have no innate interest in art-making or art-buying, you’re treated to the embarrassing tedium of Carrie Bradshaw gasping, “They really do have futures!” at the finale, like as if Carrie Bradshaw has a clue about working artists, and as if working artists give a shit about Carrie Bradshaw’s approval. Plus she paid for that reception, in a way, so, you better just get along with Carrie Bradshaw, because she grew up in a time when the government supported art, not for nothing. .

    • Jeff Evans

      Francis Bacon said “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” — not to demystify art, explain it or make it more accessible. Although, one might say that with WANGA’s emphasis on the drama between artists — whether Erik played together well with Miles, or the women didn’t want to work with Mark — the show didn’t demystify art at all.

      Sarah Jessica Parker and the producers just shoved art into the reality show format used for “Project Runway”, when it doesn’t really fit.

    • Jeff Evans

      Francis Bacon said “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” — not to demystify art, explain it or make it more accessible. Although, one might say that with WANGA’s emphasis on the drama between artists — whether Erik played together well with Miles, or the women didn’t want to work with Mark — the show didn’t demystify art at all.

      Sarah Jessica Parker and the producers just shoved art into the reality show format used for “Project Runway”, when it doesn’t really fit.

    • Jeff Evans

      Francis Bacon said “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” — not to demystify art, explain it or make it more accessible. Although, one might say that with WANGA’s emphasis on the drama between artists — whether Erik played together well with Miles, or the women didn’t want to work with Mark — the show didn’t demystify art at all.

      Sarah Jessica Parker and the producers just shoved art into the reality show format used for “Project Runway”, when it doesn’t really fit.

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

    I think the word experiment is good one, but it suggests too that the results are to be observed and analyzed afterwards. Not to mention what the wide range of hypotheses for such an experiment were, including that many thought it was a dangerous one to even tinker with. Being completely self-absorbed I admit I thought it was my own little laboratory, just to “get on”, play a game, and watch myself on TV.” I later added…”to be booted off with dignity.” (Is that frivolous enough?)

    But now I have begun to really look at it from other points of view…and I’m feeling a big “NO” building up in my throat… NO…we don’t want to demystify art, or explain it, or justify it, or make it more accessible. Either go into artists’ studios and watch them for a year(s), or make it a real game show and give everyone a cardboard box and a pair of scissors. Yes, I love talking about art and WoA generated plenty of that, and so I’d take this “experiment” as a lesson in…if us folks don’t own our dialogue, Bravo is going to hijack it.

    • http://sammckinniss.com Sam

      That was exactly my feeling throughout the series, a big “NO.” Artists ought to be wary of greater accessibility, demystification or justification. When you try to broaden the art world like that to people who have no innate interest in art-making or art-buying, you’re treated to the embarrassing tedium of Carrie Bradshaw gasping, “They really do have futures!” at the finale, like as if Carrie Bradshaw has a clue about working artists, and as if working artists give a shit about Carrie Bradshaw’s approval. Plus she paid for that reception, in a way, so, you better just get along with Carrie Bradshaw, because she grew up in a time when the government supported art, not for nothing. .

    • Jeff Evans

      Francis Bacon said “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” — not to demystify art, explain it or make it more accessible. Although, one might say that with WANGA’s emphasis on the drama between artists — whether Erik played together well with Miles, or the women didn’t want to work with Mark — the show didn’t demystify art at all.

      Sarah Jessica Parker and the producers just shoved art into the reality show format used for “Project Runway”, when it doesn’t really fit.

  • tom prieto

    I am not artist, critic, nor art dealer, but I think the following should be said. I am on the outside looking in.

    I am just the audience.

    WOA and Abdi Farah sparked my interest in the art world. I believe the public has also become interested art world based upon the Internet traffic and ratings for the show.

    This discussion and debate is in reverse – looking at a cause instead of an effect.

    WOA is just a TV show; but it and the related art criticism have encouraged more people to look at fine art, again. Today, people’s attention is split and filled with images from all media. At least for a one moment – people are looking at fine art, again.

    Art needs an audience, unless the artist creates only for themselves. But that is not what an artist does. Without the audience, there is no oxygen, no breathe, and no life left in the art world.

    I am just a patron. I do not own gallery, nor write about art, nor collect art – I just see.

    Because of WOA, I see an artist who is gifted in terms of talent and vision. Abdi is an outlier. I know this because see images, read his words, and understand his accomplishments. I can feel the impact of his work on myself and see his impact on others.

    I just see.

    Is he next Picasso? I do not know. He is only 23 and young. He just makes art. He is not running for President, fighting wars, nor making movies. He just makes art. Rather than see and encourage potential, I read and see critics and writers who do otherwise.

    They do not see.

    I see that Abdi Farah and WOA are about art, just art. And without art, there is no life.

  • tom prieto

    I am not artist, critic, nor art dealer, but I think the following should be said. I am on the outside looking in.

    I am just the audience.

    WOA and Abdi Farah sparked my interest in the art world. I believe the public has also become interested art world based upon the Internet traffic and ratings for the show.

    This discussion and debate is in reverse – looking at a cause instead of an effect.

    WOA is just a TV show; but it and the related art criticism have encouraged more people to look at fine art, again. Today, people’s attention is split and filled with images from all media. At least for a one moment – people are looking at fine art, again.

    Art needs an audience, unless the artist creates only for themselves. But that is not what an artist does. Without the audience, there is no oxygen, no breathe, and no life left in the art world.

    I am just a patron. I do not own gallery, nor write about art, nor collect art – I just see.

    Because of WOA, I see an artist who is gifted in terms of talent and vision. Abdi is an outlier. I know this because see images, read his words, and understand his accomplishments. I can feel the impact of his work on myself and see his impact on others.

    I just see.

    Is he next Picasso? I do not know. He is only 23 and young. He just makes art. He is not running for President, fighting wars, nor making movies. He just makes art. Rather than see and encourage potential, I read and see critics and writers who do otherwise.

    They do not see.

    I see that Abdi Farah and WOA are about art, just art. And without art, there is no life.

  • tom prieto

    I am not artist, critic, nor art dealer, but I think the following should be said. I am on the outside looking in.

    I am just the audience.

    WOA and Abdi Farah sparked my interest in the art world. I believe the public has also become interested art world based upon the Internet traffic and ratings for the show.

    This discussion and debate is in reverse – looking at a cause instead of an effect.

    WOA is just a TV show; but it and the related art criticism have encouraged more people to look at fine art, again. Today, people’s attention is split and filled with images from all media. At least for a one moment – people are looking at fine art, again.

    Art needs an audience, unless the artist creates only for themselves. But that is not what an artist does. Without the audience, there is no oxygen, no breathe, and no life left in the art world.

    I am just a patron. I do not own gallery, nor write about art, nor collect art – I just see.

    Because of WOA, I see an artist who is gifted in terms of talent and vision. Abdi is an outlier. I know this because see images, read his words, and understand his accomplishments. I can feel the impact of his work on myself and see his impact on others.

    I just see.

    Is he next Picasso? I do not know. He is only 23 and young. He just makes art. He is not running for President, fighting wars, nor making movies. He just makes art. Rather than see and encourage potential, I read and see critics and writers who do otherwise.

    They do not see.

    I see that Abdi Farah and WOA are about art, just art. And without art, there is no life.

  • Abdi Farah

    To J.D. Hastings:

    You make a lot a great points. To rebuttle, anything the Producers learned throughout the process was not during their initial editing of the show. At that point they were going through their natural process. It was only after each episode aired, and the critiques from the world poured in, that notes were taken.

    Also, Miles has a show up now because he is a real artist! To equate him with Shaq or James Franco is an error! Artists get discovered in a myriad of ways. Some apply for group shows, some have people see their work at a thesis exhibition, now, some have their work seen on tv. Bill Powers worked with Miles because he was a fan of his work and because he knows people are going to want to buy. The SAME reason any gallerist shows any artist.

    To t.whid:

    OF COURSE WOA is a collaboration. To say WOA was not a collaboration between the producers and artists is to say that a movie is not a collaboration between the actors and directors, even if the actors have no say in the final edit. When I was in the competition I had the realization that this show was relying on me/us to make art and whatever I did, good or bad, would have an indelible effect on the final product. If we all just put our brushes down at any moment the show would have failed. Truth

    Also to say that a tv show , at its nature, is emphatically not a work of art is wrong. Tell that to the people who made the WIRE. Whether WOA is a good work is the more apt debate. Thanks for he congrats!

    • http://mtaa.net Tim Whidden (t.whid)

      Hi Abdi,

      You seem like a genuinely nice guy with some real drawing talent and my congrats are sincere. But you’re mistaken re: WOA being art and it being a collaboration.

      re: collab
      Directors give actors, um, direction. Did you receive direction? I’m sure we’d all be very interested to hear about it.

      More importantly the collaboration between directors/actors or curators/artists is based on mutual trust and pursuing a common goal. The relationship between reality show producers and contestants isn’t. Whether goals are shared is arguable (producer’s goal: create a good show; contestants goal: win (hope the show is good so the win means something)). But the most important component in the relationship is not there. Did you trust those producers? If so I refer you back to my stupid, naive or both comment.

      re: WOA as art
      Whatever is declared as art by the artist is art. The producer’s didn’t declare the show as a work of art therefor it isn’t. No debate necessary.

      Good luck and best regards, T

      • tom prieto

        T. Consider this:

        Whatever is declared as art by the artist is art. The producer’s didn’t declare the show as a work of art therefor it isn’t. No debate necessary.

        Debate is necessary; this statement makes no sense. A thing is not other than what is it is. A duck is a duck. If something is art, it must conform to the rules and expectation of others.

        Art needs an audience to be valued and appreciated. You may consider it art, but it must express itself as such to others. If not, then it is not art; it is something else. This is as old as time: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

      • tom prieto

        T. Consider this:

        Whatever is declared as art by the artist is art. The producer’s didn’t declare the show as a work of art therefor it isn’t. No debate necessary.

        Debate is necessary; this statement makes no sense. A thing is not other than what is it is. A duck is a duck. If something is art, it must conform to the rules and expectation of others.

        Art needs an audience to be valued and appreciated. You may consider it art, but it must express itself as such to others. If not, then it is not art; it is something else. This is as old as time: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

      • tom prieto

        T. Consider this:

        Whatever is declared as art by the artist is art. The producer’s didn’t declare the show as a work of art therefor it isn’t. No debate necessary.

        Debate is necessary; this statement makes no sense. A thing is not other than what is it is. A duck is a duck. If something is art, it must conform to the rules and expectation of others.

        Art needs an audience to be valued and appreciated. You may consider it art, but it must express itself as such to others. If not, then it is not art; it is something else. This is as old as time: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

  • Abdi Farah

    To J.D. Hastings:

    You make a lot a great points. To rebuttle, anything the Producers learned throughout the process was not during their initial editing of the show. At that point they were going through their natural process. It was only after each episode aired, and the critiques from the world poured in, that notes were taken.

    Also, Miles has a show up now because he is a real artist! To equate him with Shaq or James Franco is an error! Artists get discovered in a myriad of ways. Some apply for group shows, some have people see their work at a thesis exhibition, now, some have their work seen on tv. Bill Powers worked with Miles because he was a fan of his work and because he knows people are going to want to buy. The SAME reason any gallerist shows any artist.

    To t.whid:

    OF COURSE WOA is a collaboration. To say WOA was not a collaboration between the producers and artists is to say that a movie is not a collaboration between the actors and directors, even if the actors have no say in the final edit. When I was in the competition I had the realization that this show was relying on me/us to make art and whatever I did, good or bad, would have an indelible effect on the final product. If we all just put our brushes down at any moment the show would have failed. Truth

    Also to say that a tv show , at its nature, is emphatically not a work of art is wrong. Tell that to the people who made the WIRE. Whether WOA is a good work is the more apt debate. Thanks for he congrats!

  • Abdi Farah

    To J.D. Hastings:

    You make a lot a great points. To rebuttle, anything the Producers learned throughout the process was not during their initial editing of the show. At that point they were going through their natural process. It was only after each episode aired, and the critiques from the world poured in, that notes were taken.

    Also, Miles has a show up now because he is a real artist! To equate him with Shaq or James Franco is an error! Artists get discovered in a myriad of ways. Some apply for group shows, some have people see their work at a thesis exhibition, now, some have their work seen on tv. Bill Powers worked with Miles because he was a fan of his work and because he knows people are going to want to buy. The SAME reason any gallerist shows any artist.

    To t.whid:

    OF COURSE WOA is a collaboration. To say WOA was not a collaboration between the producers and artists is to say that a movie is not a collaboration between the actors and directors, even if the actors have no say in the final edit. When I was in the competition I had the realization that this show was relying on me/us to make art and whatever I did, good or bad, would have an indelible effect on the final product. If we all just put our brushes down at any moment the show would have failed. Truth

    Also to say that a tv show , at its nature, is emphatically not a work of art is wrong. Tell that to the people who made the WIRE. Whether WOA is a good work is the more apt debate. Thanks for he congrats!

    • http://mtaa.net Tim Whidden (t.whid)

      Hi Abdi,

      You seem like a genuinely nice guy with some real drawing talent and my congrats are sincere. But you’re mistaken re: WOA being art and it being a collaboration.

      re: collab
      Directors give actors, um, direction. Did you receive direction? I’m sure we’d all be very interested to hear about it.

      More importantly the collaboration between directors/actors or curators/artists is based on mutual trust and pursuing a common goal. The relationship between reality show producers and contestants isn’t. Whether goals are shared is arguable (producer’s goal: create a good show; contestants goal: win (hope the show is good so the win means something)). But the most important component in the relationship is not there. Did you trust those producers? If so I refer you back to my stupid, naive or both comment.

      re: WOA as art
      Whatever is declared as art by the artist is art. The producer’s didn’t declare the show as a work of art therefor it isn’t. No debate necessary.

      Good luck and best regards, T

      • tom prieto

        T. Consider this:

        Whatever is declared as art by the artist is art. The producer’s didn’t declare the show as a work of art therefor it isn’t. No debate necessary.

        Debate is necessary; this statement makes no sense. A thing is not other than what is it is. A duck is a duck. If something is art, it must conform to the rules and expectation of others.

        Art needs an audience to be valued and appreciated. You may consider it art, but it must express itself as such to others. If not, then it is not art; it is something else. This is as old as time: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”

  • Andrew

    To return to the original topic, I’d like to thank Paddy for reminding me of the Hickey article. Recently, I attended a talk by Enrique Chagoya where he echoed Hickey in one of his Q&A responses. When asked how he felt about “an artist’s impotence in the face of injustice” he responded by saying (paraphrased), “I don’t really believe artists can change anything. Change happens very slowly in this culture. All I can do is respond to things that are interesting to me, poke fun at things that make me nervous, and make work.” He also quoted John Baldessari saying, “We make art because it is the thing we can’t stop doing.” On the surface, it’s hard to interpret Chagoya’s prints as being “frivolous”, as loaded as they are with art history and political content, but his comments seemed very relevant to Hickey’s thesis.
    Given that the essay is so steeped in the politics of the Culture Wars, it’s intriguing to me to consider WOA as another example of popular media
    ‘attempting to portray artists in some fashion, which will necessarily be a problematic and incomplete portrayal. In this case, art practice isn’t being portrayed as evil, sinful, or degenerate. Instead, the portrayal seems to be enacted by the saviors of art, the people who want art to be good, special, and beautiful. By equating fine art with more popularized creative endeavors like fashion design or fine dining, Bravo’s producers are making the case for Art to be popularized too. This is all very noble, but I see a lot of the pushback from artists as being a “hey, that’s not my art world” sort of statement. There is a protective cringe to defend dignity from getting lost. Where does this special dignity come from and is it there to be lost in fact? My feeling is that the show wasn’t nearly stupid enough, dramatic enough, or controversial enough to be great TV. What would an accurate and dignified portrayal look like? Was WOA too dignified in fact too be accurate?

  • Andrew

    To return to the original topic, I’d like to thank Paddy for reminding me of the Hickey article. Recently, I attended a talk by Enrique Chagoya where he echoed Hickey in one of his Q&A responses. When asked how he felt about “an artist’s impotence in the face of injustice” he responded by saying (paraphrased), “I don’t really believe artists can change anything. Change happens very slowly in this culture. All I can do is respond to things that are interesting to me, poke fun at things that make me nervous, and make work.” He also quoted John Baldessari saying, “We make art because it is the thing we can’t stop doing.” On the surface, it’s hard to interpret Chagoya’s prints as being “frivolous”, as loaded as they are with art history and political content, but his comments seemed very relevant to Hickey’s thesis.
    Given that the essay is so steeped in the politics of the Culture Wars, it’s intriguing to me to consider WOA as another example of popular media
    ‘attempting to portray artists in some fashion, which will necessarily be a problematic and incomplete portrayal. In this case, art practice isn’t being portrayed as evil, sinful, or degenerate. Instead, the portrayal seems to be enacted by the saviors of art, the people who want art to be good, special, and beautiful. By equating fine art with more popularized creative endeavors like fashion design or fine dining, Bravo’s producers are making the case for Art to be popularized too. This is all very noble, but I see a lot of the pushback from artists as being a “hey, that’s not my art world” sort of statement. There is a protective cringe to defend dignity from getting lost. Where does this special dignity come from and is it there to be lost in fact? My feeling is that the show wasn’t nearly stupid enough, dramatic enough, or controversial enough to be great TV. What would an accurate and dignified portrayal look like? Was WOA too dignified in fact too be accurate?

  • Andrew

    To return to the original topic, I’d like to thank Paddy for reminding me of the Hickey article. Recently, I attended a talk by Enrique Chagoya where he echoed Hickey in one of his Q&A responses. When asked how he felt about “an artist’s impotence in the face of injustice” he responded by saying (paraphrased), “I don’t really believe artists can change anything. Change happens very slowly in this culture. All I can do is respond to things that are interesting to me, poke fun at things that make me nervous, and make work.” He also quoted John Baldessari saying, “We make art because it is the thing we can’t stop doing.” On the surface, it’s hard to interpret Chagoya’s prints as being “frivolous”, as loaded as they are with art history and political content, but his comments seemed very relevant to Hickey’s thesis.
    Given that the essay is so steeped in the politics of the Culture Wars, it’s intriguing to me to consider WOA as another example of popular media
    ‘attempting to portray artists in some fashion, which will necessarily be a problematic and incomplete portrayal. In this case, art practice isn’t being portrayed as evil, sinful, or degenerate. Instead, the portrayal seems to be enacted by the saviors of art, the people who want art to be good, special, and beautiful. By equating fine art with more popularized creative endeavors like fashion design or fine dining, Bravo’s producers are making the case for Art to be popularized too. This is all very noble, but I see a lot of the pushback from artists as being a “hey, that’s not my art world” sort of statement. There is a protective cringe to defend dignity from getting lost. Where does this special dignity come from and is it there to be lost in fact? My feeling is that the show wasn’t nearly stupid enough, dramatic enough, or controversial enough to be great TV. What would an accurate and dignified portrayal look like? Was WOA too dignified in fact too be accurate?

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

    IDEA: What if Jerry (if you are reading this?) said NO to doing a second season? Such an act would be a radical/artful way of reclaiming his identity and the upper hand for “art” out of the clutches of WoA producers. They can still do their future seasons, but let them figure it out anew, mix it up, bring in other major/minor voices, artists among them. Jerry would have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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

      Didn’t Jerry already say he wasn’t going to do a second season?

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

    IDEA: What if Jerry (if you are reading this?) said NO to doing a second season? Such an act would be a radical/artful way of reclaiming his identity and the upper hand for “art” out of the clutches of WoA producers. They can still do their future seasons, but let them figure it out anew, mix it up, bring in other major/minor voices, artists among them. Jerry would have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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

    IDEA: What if Jerry (if you are reading this?) said NO to doing a second season? Such an act would be a radical/artful way of reclaiming his identity and the upper hand for “art” out of the clutches of WoA producers. They can still do their future seasons, but let them figure it out anew, mix it up, bring in other major/minor voices, artists among them. Jerry would have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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

      Didn’t Jerry already say he wasn’t going to do a second season?

  • http://eageageag.blogspot.com eageageag

    Don’t you believe it.

  • http://eageageag.blogspot.com eageageag

    Don’t you believe it.

  • Jeff Evans

    In the comments of Jerry’s WANGA finale recap for NY mag

    JerrySaltzCritic on 08/12/2010 at 11:56am says
    If there is a second season I think that I should make way for someone else who would be able to do with art criticism on a very large stage, what I was simply unable to do.
    I seem to be able to do that HERE… at my keyboard; think in REAL TIME and be reasonably clear… but I was not able to do it on camera. This makes me sad. As much as I loved what I learned from being on this show.
    I cannot go into the Promised Land I was looking for. But I DID GLIMPSE IT.
    And it contains multitudes…
    Sigh.
    Thank you,
    Jerry Saltz.

  • Jeff Evans

    In the comments of Jerry’s WANGA finale recap for NY mag

    JerrySaltzCritic on 08/12/2010 at 11:56am says
    If there is a second season I think that I should make way for someone else who would be able to do with art criticism on a very large stage, what I was simply unable to do.
    I seem to be able to do that HERE… at my keyboard; think in REAL TIME and be reasonably clear… but I was not able to do it on camera. This makes me sad. As much as I loved what I learned from being on this show.
    I cannot go into the Promised Land I was looking for. But I DID GLIMPSE IT.
    And it contains multitudes…
    Sigh.
    Thank you,
    Jerry Saltz.

  • http://eageageag.blogspot.com eageageag

    “I think that I should…”

    Doesn’t sound definitive to me.

  • http://eageageag.blogspot.com eageageag

    “I think that I should…”

    Doesn’t sound definitive to me.

  • http://eageageag.blogspot.com eageageag

    “I think that I should…”

    Doesn’t sound definitive to me.

  • http://eageageag.blogspot.com eageageag

    “I think that I should…”

    Doesn’t sound definitive to me.

  • Vera Savoir

    Jerry was as somewhere between watching paint dry and grass growing, but then, he’s just a weather man. The work competency was at the undergraduate leve;l and the participants not too challenging so that the reality format of personal conflicts could be staged. The problem is the subject matter, as a painter, I found very little of interest in the participants work, but watching the genesis of art work just isn’t arousing as the filleting, chopping, skewering, suturing of food on Bravo’s Top Chef. The time of processing a Coq au Vin perfectly matches the time frame of the show’s format; fine art, and as well, the clothing constructions on Project Runway, seem a little more lumbering in its editing demands. Moreover, sponsor’s commodities are not as well integrated, not like the GE stainless and Gladd products so visible in the background on Top Chef. Given the LGB Straight spread of the demographics and the 1.2 million weekly ratings, I could see this going again, but they really need to pick up the caliber of the artists to keep any fine art audience from being bored.

  • Vera Savoir

    Jerry was as somewhere between watching paint dry and grass growing, but then, he’s just a weather man. The work competency was at the undergraduate leve;l and the participants not too challenging so that the reality format of personal conflicts could be staged. The problem is the subject matter, as a painter, I found very little of interest in the participants work, but watching the genesis of art work just isn’t arousing as the filleting, chopping, skewering, suturing of food on Bravo’s Top Chef. The time of processing a Coq au Vin perfectly matches the time frame of the show’s format; fine art, and as well, the clothing constructions on Project Runway, seem a little more lumbering in its editing demands. Moreover, sponsor’s commodities are not as well integrated, not like the GE stainless and Gladd products so visible in the background on Top Chef. Given the LGB Straight spread of the demographics and the 1.2 million weekly ratings, I could see this going again, but they really need to pick up the caliber of the artists to keep any fine art audience from being bored.

  • Vera Savoir

    Jerry was as somewhere between watching paint dry and grass growing, but then, he’s just a weather man. The work competency was at the undergraduate leve;l and the participants not too challenging so that the reality format of personal conflicts could be staged. The problem is the subject matter, as a painter, I found very little of interest in the participants work, but watching the genesis of art work just isn’t arousing as the filleting, chopping, skewering, suturing of food on Bravo’s Top Chef. The time of processing a Coq au Vin perfectly matches the time frame of the show’s format; fine art, and as well, the clothing constructions on Project Runway, seem a little more lumbering in its editing demands. Moreover, sponsor’s commodities are not as well integrated, not like the GE stainless and Gladd products so visible in the background on Top Chef. Given the LGB Straight spread of the demographics and the 1.2 million weekly ratings, I could see this going again, but they really need to pick up the caliber of the artists to keep any fine art audience from being bored.

  • Vera Savoir

    Jerry was as somewhere between watching paint dry and grass growing, but then, he’s just a weather man. The work competency was at the undergraduate leve;l and the participants not too challenging so that the reality format of personal conflicts could be staged. The problem is the subject matter, as a painter, I found very little of interest in the participants work, but watching the genesis of art work just isn’t arousing as the filleting, chopping, skewering, suturing of food on Bravo’s Top Chef. The time of processing a Coq au Vin perfectly matches the time frame of the show’s format; fine art, and as well, the clothing constructions on Project Runway, seem a little more lumbering in its editing demands. Moreover, sponsor’s commodities are not as well integrated, not like the GE stainless and Gladd products so visible in the background on Top Chef. Given the LGB Straight spread of the demographics and the 1.2 million weekly ratings, I could see this going again, but they really need to pick up the caliber of the artists to keep any fine art audience from being bored.

Previous post:

Next post: