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Work of Art: The Next Great Artist


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#1

Christmas Time

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Posted May 31, 2010 @ 6:28 AM

Work of art the next great artist
Bravo’s latest stroke on the reality canvas brings Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Sarah Jessica Parker and her production company, Pretty Matches, together with the Emmy-nominated Magical Elves (Top Chef, Project Runway) and Eli Holzman, to produce Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, an hour long creative competition series among contemporary artists. Work of Art: The Next Great Artist will bring together fourteen aspiring artists to compete for a solo show at a nationally recognized museum and a generous cash prize.

Hosting this colorful new series is art enthusiast China Chow. She will serve on the judging panel alongside art luminaries Bill Powers, a New York gallery owner and literary art contributor, Jerry Saltz, current art critic for New York Magazine, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, esteemed curator and owner of Salon94 gallery. World-renowned art auctioneer Simon de Pury adds his voice of experience as a mentor to the contestants.

In each episode, contestants are faced with the challenge of creating unique pieces in a variety of mediums such as painting, sculpture, photography, collage and industrial design. The weekly assignments are exciting, original and will challenge the artists' to push the limits of their technical skills and creative boundaries. Completed works of art will be appraised by our panel of top art world figures alongside a new celebrated guest judge every week. Through a gallery showing at the end of each challenge, these industry select dictate which artists have successfully mastered the subject matter and creation of their piece, as well as whose concept leaves the greatest impact.

Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, is produced by Pretty Matches and Magical Elves for Bravo. Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alison Benson and Eli Holzman serve as executive producers.
This seems like it will be boring to watch but I will watch the first episode to see if it is worthwhile to watch the whole season.

#2

Bungalow Joy

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Posted May 31, 2010 @ 11:48 AM

I'll definitely watch. It's an odd concept and to have self-selected to appear on a show as a competing artist is stranger still, but that's part of what's intriguing. When you think about it I guess there can be a valid dismissal of an artist every week though it creeps me out a little. The "art world" needs to be totally deconstructed anyway. Certainly a Bravo show isn't going to revolutionize anything, and in fact I suspect it'll be the same old insularity merely filmed and broadcast. Still, as a small step in truly bringing art to the public it could be pretty revolutionary.

I'm just leery. I hear PeeWee Herman's making a comeback. It would have been great if they brought the Playhouse back and gave the show that kind of fun tone to it instead of the very dour Bravo stamp. It's a template I'm really getting tired of anyway, where you have to calibrate irony versus severity that's the problem with this specific subject in the first place. Like, just as in Top Chef and Project Runway, the judges are probably gonna be central. Great. Time to get all meta again. Such work, when they could make it fun and straightforward-engaged in the actual art in the first place.

#3

calicowesley

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 12:11 PM

I agree - the judges are key to making this show work.

HERE is the NYT review of the show.

#4

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 12:35 PM

As an art student myself, I might give this a shot. It is hard to look at art and compare it to other works because everyone sees a painting or a sculpture in a different way.

But it's not like I have anything else to watch, so then why not tune in? :)

#5

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 12:52 PM

"Your work of art didn't work for us." Really? That's a send off? That's no "Pack your knives and go." Hell, it's not even "See you later, decorator."

Personally, I'd really rather it be something pithy like "Your work belongs in a Courtyard by Marriott."

#6

IseutLaBrune

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 12:54 PM

I have an art history degree and work in a decidedly non-art-related job, so sometimes I feel a little art-starved. I saw the commercial for this show, and immediately turned to my boyfriend and said "I'm sorry; I'm going to have no choice but to watch that show." Just thought I should warn him!

#7

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 11:29 PM

I was resistant to the idea of this show, but I gave it a try and found it fascinating. I just wish there wasn't the obligatory asshole judge.

#8

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 11:40 PM

I thought the man who made the orange painting with the cigarette guy should have won, hands down, but that's exactly why I feel like this show is hinky. Art is so subjective, how do you make creating it a reality show competition? And the clown guy stays? Bah. I'm assuming that was for the Teevee drama and not because they actually thought his was better than the poor, quiet abstract painter lady. But I also thought the performance artist girl's abstract "map" of the winner guy probably shouldn't have been in the bottom. The older woman's piece with the p*ssy concept seemed weaker, to me. Wasn't hers just words and no actual portrait either? At least the performance artist girl (who I found incredibly annoying) had a believable story behind her piece, and I thought it was visually more interesting. Eh, I can already tell this show is going to tick me off.

I like SJP's intent though, her little pep talk was heartfelt and a little moving. And I guess I like the concept, though I have a feeling this show, more than any other creative competition show, could piss me off when it gets to be more about personality than talent.

Personally, I'd really rather it be something pithy like "Your work belongs in a Courtyard by Marriott."

"Thomas Kincade even thinks your work is hackneyed. Adieu!"

#9

trippyhop

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 11:40 PM

I really enjoyed it this. I'm totally rooting for Miles... but I think it's just because I find the whole process of screenprinting to be completely fascinating. I can see his OCD becoming either totally grating or totally emotionally manipulative, depending on how Bravo decides to edit him, but for now, it didn't bother me and just added to his work. That being said, I totally loved Mark's portrait.

I cannot stand Nao. I went to art summer school when I was in high school, so I knew plenty of artists like that who instantly judged, and judged harshly. I mean, I understand the impulse to size up your competition, but there is definitely a gracious way to do it - keep it to yourself. If you think someone else's work is crap, just be happy because then that means that you'll turn out better. Obviously, Nao's gonna bring the drama, and as someone who studied about two years' worth of performance art, I can't wait to see the insanity she's gonna throw at us, despite my ultimate desire to see her fail.

Edited by trippyhop, Jun 9, 2010 @ 11:41 PM.


#10

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 12:08 AM

I could be wrong, but I could swear that Nicole is one of the twin nieces of LuAnn from "The Real Housewives of New York". Can anyone confirm? (And if she is then gee, I wonder how she got on there. :P)

Edited by BravesChick2001, Jun 10, 2010 @ 12:08 AM.


#11

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 12:18 AM

I cannot stand Nao. I went to art summer school when I was in high school, so I knew plenty of artists like that who instantly judged, and judged harshly. I mean, I understand the impulse to size up your competition, but there is definitely a gracious way to do it - keep it to yourself. If you think someone else's work is crap, just be happy because then that means that you'll turn out better. Obviously, Nao's gonna bring the drama, and as someone who studied about two years' worth of performance art, I can't wait to see the insanity she's gonna throw at us, despite my ultimate desire to see her fail.


May I cosign. I thought of the 3, she deserved to be sent home but I kept hearing my cousin/PR viewing buddy telling me that they'll keep her just for the drama. I'm tempted to play a drinking game involving her: take a drink every time you want to yell "C*$t" at the TV when she is on; take 2 drink if you actually say the word! I predict a sharp rise in alcohol poisoning visits to ERs this summer.

Luckily for me, I am viewing this on my 10yo Sony TV with an old-fashioned CRT; I don't think my constitution could have withstood the visage of SJP in HD. She looked haggard and ghastly, mind you, I've never found her to be more that a fair actress and NOT remotely a beauty or fashion icon. Since I first heard of this, I figured it was some sort of reverse fag hag wet dream of Andy Cohen so that he gets to work with her regularly; she's a lot easier to pimp than a stable of Real House-hos.

Not really buying the concept; art is too subjective for this format but it might be worth the occasional look-see for a grin or snark.

#12

Sara Maria

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 12:21 AM

I really enjoyed the first episode. I'm looking forward to continuing to watch even though I don't know a lot about art nor am I an artist myself. But, I went to high school with Abdi and so I'll absolutely be rooting for him to do well. :)

#13

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 1:30 AM

I enjoyed the show, but can't escape the flaw in it's design. When we take fashion, or interior decorating, or hair styling, we're talking about (let's be honest) very frivolous pursuits. Pursuits that take skill and creativity, but things that generally don't amount to high art. For this show, we're getting the same basic set of people with some skill and creativity, but do we honestly think any of them is "The Next Great Artist?" Realize most 20th century artists now considered 'great' would have failed completely in a context such as this. If Jackson Pollock could have even brought himself to finish a single painting within this context (and without walking off the show or punching a stagehand), no one would 'get' what he was doing anyway, and he'd go nowhere. It's kind of like trying to do "The Next Great Classical Composer" for reality TV, it just doesn't work.

#14

Virtuoso80x

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 1:30 AM

*repost*

Edited by Virtuoso80x, Jun 10, 2010 @ 1:31 AM.


#15

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 2:04 AM

For this show, we're getting the same basic set of people with some skill and creativity, but do we honestly think any of them is "The Next Great Artist?" Realize most 20th century artists now considered 'great' would have failed completely in a context such as this.


Totally. I think Project Runway works better in this format because on some level, most people can relate to it. Everyone wears clothes, everyone likes to look nice and it might inspire some people to get creative in their fashion choices... Top Chef, everyone eats, Shear Genius, everyone (well, most people) know what it's like to get their hair cut.

Not everyone is into art, or is exposed to it. I think peeps that are not into art are pretty much just going to watch (if they watch) for the drama, though hopefully they will learn something. It could be cool.

Yeah, I went to art school and the ep just brought me back to freshmen foundations courses. Self-portrait? Check. It actually started making me anxious with all the critiques, making me feel like I was back there... man, I don't miss college.

And although I thought that the performance artist (Nao?) was horribly rude, at least she had a little portrait of her dude, and a concept that made some sense behind what she was doing with her minimalist painting. The chick that went home probably should have. She didn't do the assignment. She did not make a portrait. And even the clown dude (hey did you catch that he was UNTRAINED?!), at the end of the day, painted a portrait, albeit something you might see in a high school art class.

The girl painted a portrait of falling leaves? Yep. It was really nice wall paper. It was lazy... and she was too attached to being an "abstract artist". Falling leaves are abstract? I dunno. Maybe.

#16

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 2:09 AM

I'm glad this show exists. And I don't think art is too subjective to judge in this way. At least based on this first episode. They're not forcing medium, like making everyone paint or draw. They're not giving too specific of challenges. Maybe I'm just relieved that Top Chef Masters is over, but tonight seemed like a breath of fresh air.

Obviously there are limitations. Of course not every medium is going to translate through the TV or work in a classical gallery space. But that shouldn't be new ground for artists - who should know that the environment their work is viewed in will influence its interpretation, for better or worse, intentional or unintentional. There is no art in a vacuum. At least that's what I believe. Artists don't have to cater to their audiences but they have to acknowledge they exist.

I liked Miles' piece a lot but thought the plastic was overkill, and bordered on cheesy. The image was great though. So far Nao bugs me as a person, but I liked where she was going with her piece, she just didn't go far enough. It's like she stopped thinking about it once she conceptualized it and so it didn't break through the confines of her conceptual idea to a place where it could've been really interesting. I expected more from her considering she got Miles to portray and he's one of the strongest characters. What would she have done if she got Jaime Lynn?

Clown boy seems like he'll be a train wreck but I find his naivety amusing so far. A clown painting on a palette, staged on an easel? It's so ridiculous, it might as well have been on velvet, and he wearing a beret.

#17

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 2:43 AM

As soon as they mentioned John Wayne Gacy, I was immediately creeped out. Also, the guy said he had never painted before...so why would you give it a try on a competition. For that matter, why in the world would you try out for this competition? I just can't imagine someone deciding that the first thing they will do with their art ever is to enter a reality tv show competition. I mean, start with your local coffee shop or something.

Still, I like the show so far, and I think the different challenges will be really interesting. I also like that they aren't limiting them to a specific medium for the challenges.

#18

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 4:27 AM

I expected to be a lot more annoyed than I was. I'll keep watching. I'm a little confused why Erik the clown painter was chosen though, if he's not trained or has established an art or creative career in any medium--I mean, at all--but that's the Bravo format for ya! I still hate the format, wish it weren't so dour for this subject, but at least the judges were able to articulate their critiques pretty precisely. So there's something to be derived from paying attention and not vacuuming (yes, I do vacuum at 11PM). I do think the ex-architect was the correct person to go, but Erik won't last long. Nao at least had a interesting idea.

I liked Miles' piece a lot but thought the plastic was overkill, and bordered on cheesy.

I agree but then his explanation saved him, if not the work from that choice. I still did think it was a little cheesy, the whole death portraiture choice, since he didn't interact with Nao at all so he seemed to have gleaned everything from her self-portrait. It may have been pretty spot on in the end, but who knows? Death death death death death goth death. It's not too many steps up from clown painting. I think Abdi should have won.

#19

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 6:40 AM

Am I the only one who found Judith insufferable? She was just so sour-faced and bitchy & not at all like the usual "mom" role the oldest lady on these types of Bravo shows is supposed to take on. Not that she has to be that way, but she seemed so judge-y and mean-spirited.

#20

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 6:48 AM

Am I the only one who found Judith insufferable? She was just so sour-faced and bitchy & not at all like the usual "mom" role the oldest lady on these types of Bravo shows is supposed to take on. Not that she has to be that way, but she seemed so judge-y and mean-spirited.


No. Mr. Wondra started referring to Judith as Ridiculously Old Broad. She seemed to be there to fulfill some producer's demand that at least one of the contestants be over 50. And she also needs to eat a sandwich, perhaps that would make her less bitchy.

That clown picture was some sort of scary-creepfest and not in a good way; but I think the right person was sent home. When I saw the losing work, the first thing that popped into my head was home-made gift wrap paper. Good thing she has a well paying day job.

Edited by Wondra, Jun 10, 2010 @ 6:49 AM.


#21

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 7:52 AM

I enjoyed the show and am looking forward to watching more. I thought Abdi should have won, too, even though I'm glad a fellow Minnesotan did well. There's some real talent in this group of artists so I want to see more.

I thought Nao should have gone home. Her work didn't look like anything to me but I guess I don't know what "performance art" is when it's considered a category like sculpture, photography, painting, screenpainting, etc. (I thought "performance art" meant dancing and acting.) But the abstract painting was pretty bland. Even if the assignment had been to create a portrait but make it abstract, it still would not have been an interesting painting.

I thought the older lady's pussy art portrait was icky. It was funny, however, when the her model was rather miffied and said, "I don't know why she would use 'proud pussy' for me." Then there's a camera shot to the model's self-portrait with the star in her crotch.

#22

courtines

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 8:22 AM

I could be wrong, but I could swear that Nicole is one of the twin nieces of LuAnn from "The Real Housewives of New York". Can anyone confirm? (And if she is then gee, I wonder how she got on there. :P)



I don't know if she is a twin, but she is definitely Luann's niece.

#23

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 8:22 AM

I cannot stand Nao.

May I cosign. I thought of the 3, she deserved to be sent home but I kept hearing my cousin/PR viewing buddy telling me that they'll keep her just for the drama.


I don't like Nao either. She's a judgmental, hack "performance artist" who, after all, wears a t-shirt with her own name on it. IMO, she's one of the cast "villains" or "shit stirrers", which is why Amanda was booted instead of Nao (and I doubted they would have booted Erik this early since it would ruin the "only in America", untrained artist underdog storyline). Moreover, Nao's "portrait" of Miles was terrible because unless you'd already been introduced to Miles, you'd have no idea how it in any way reflected him, and even then Nao needed to explain it.

For that matter, I think Miles won because the thought of Nao's death was quite pleasing to the judges. I would have given the win to Abdi.

I thought the older lady's pussy art portrait was icky. It was funny, however, when the her model was rather miffied and said, "I don't know why she would use 'proud pussy' for me." Then there's a camera shot to the model's self-portrait with the star in her crotch.


Jaclyn Star Crotch is both self-absorbed and not self-aware, so I think she's quite irritating, not to mention arrogant and obnoxious (ex. her prattling on about how she uses herself as a model for other young women, and the preview where she's taking photographs of herself naked). I'm up in the air about whom I dislike more: Nao or Jaclyn.

#24

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 8:43 AM

From the moment I saw her bio on the Bravo site I knew I would hate Nao. I also thought the performance artist girl's abstract "map" of the winner guy should have sent her home but wouldn't. She's gotta stick around to bring the drama. Wallpaper lady was also too abstract. Hers was more a first impression piece than a portrait. Unless her subject only wears blue as her signature or trademark color, we have no way of identifying who it represents.

This show didn't suck as much as I thought. I'm in.

#25

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 8:55 AM

Damn it Bravo! I didn't want to sign up for another one of their shows, but I love it!

Is Nao a plant? I don't think she has the chops to win.

#26

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 9:50 AM

I liked all three of the top finishers and thought a case could be made for any of them winning. All three produced traditional, modern portraits and established an essential idea of who they are as artists. It was an introductory challenge and they all seemed to understand how to approach it.

And I'm glad Miles won but would have preferred he didn't include the plastic. The image stood on its own and the plastic added a literal element that wasn't necessary.

#27

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 10:07 AM

I thought that the judges did a good job explaining why one piece was better than another. I am not an artist, and was afraid that I would be out of my depth, but the three pieces they picked as the top ones were the pieces I responded to most. And while I dislike clown art as much as the next person, I also understood why they chose the abstract painter as the loser. Compare her explanation of her art to clownboy: "She was wearing jewelry, and some blue" vs "Erik has a tough exterior with the tattoos but when you talk to him you find a much softer person." Even Nao (who can leave anytime) had an interesting explanation of her piece. But doing a self portrait of someone based on jewelry and color is weak.

#28

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 10:21 AM

Loved the show! It's great to be able to see creative people given a theme and otherwise free reign to do what they want, in the media of their choice.

That said, I thought the clown painter or Nao should have gone home. To me, the clown guy because I'm suspicious that the only thing he -has- painted before is a clown and he decided to fit Erik into his skill rather than vice versa. But, more than that, he was told to capture the personality of his subject in a portrait and he absolutely didn't because (1) he made a nice guy evoke "It" or memory of John Wayne Gacy and (2) the judges didn't even get a sense of -any- personality from the painting.

I knew Nao wouldn't go because she's there to supply the villain, but I think she should have. "Portrait" should mean that someone can identify something about the person from your painting. I think she's another one who's used that exact abstract "line art" idea before to fulfill some assignment or other.

I think the two "b.s. artists" (harsh--but JMO) should have gone.

On the bright side, seems like a very talented group!

#29

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 10:55 AM

I decided to give this a try when TLO from Project Rungay recommended it, and it turned out pretty well. One nice thing about the art world is that you can cast for talent without worrying about getting personality, too.

My favorite was Abdi's portrait. I liked Miles' composition, but did it really capture the essence of Nao? (I'm not at all impressed with her essence so far, so he made her look too good...)

I thought the judge's comment that Erik's piece was a generic clown was pretty insightful, so he was my vote to go. Amanda did take a superficial approach to her portrait, but at least it had some visual interest.

#30

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Posted Jun 10, 2010 @ 11:05 AM

"Portrait" should mean that someone can identify something about the person from your painting. I think she's another one who's used that exact abstract "line art" idea before to fulfill some assignment or other.

There was a through line between Nao's portrait and Miles' self portrait, though. He painted "himself" as two giant black splotches on a white canvas. She seemed to take that theme and expanded it to include his scurrying around the room. Like she mapped out his two giant splotches. Of course, that wasn't stated but it was there and could have saved her.

Similarly Miles' portrait took a through line he saw in hers and he ran with the morbidity theme because the images she used in her self portrait did evoke a sense of drowning. Nao had said that Miles spent the bulk of their 30 minutes running around and setting up his "fort" so they both seemed to focus their energies on reinterpreting the self portraits rather than getting to know each other.

And while I dislike clown art as much as the next person, I also understood why they chose the abstract painter as the loser. Compare her explanation of her art to clownboy: "She was wearing jewelry, and some blue" vs "Erik has a tough exterior with the tattoos but when you talk to him you find a much softer person."


Erik is clownboy and he didn't really explain his portrait of Mark much better than Amanda explained her portrait of Jaime Lynn. He basically said "I like clowns" to explain the portrait. Mark, who was in the top three with Abdi and Miles, is the one who said he created his image to portray the dichotomy in Erik, and that Erik looks tough but is soft.