Thursday, July 1, 2010

Work of Art Reality TV Show - Episode 2: Appliance Graveyard

Okay, so I'm behind on my reviews of the new reality show to find  "the next great artist." That's what Bravo TV is trying to do every Wednesday night with a group of American artists from all walks of life.The winner gets $100K and a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum. If you missed it, you can watch it here in three parts.

The cast from "Work of Art" on Bravo 

 As you know from my review of the first episode, I really enjoyed the show. But I have a love/hate relationship with it. The hour seems to fly by, because it's definitely entertaining. But some of the challenges aren't really my thing. 

 Adbi and Simon during the challenge.

The concept of creating art on demand isn't very realistic and failing that challenge doesn't mean the person isn't a good artist. If you're an artist you know there can be many, many failed pieces, before creating something great or special. One piece can take many hours, days, weeks or even years to create. But we must suspend that belief since it's a "reality" TV show and take what we get.

 Here's Ryan with his giant cart full of crap looking stressed.

Episode 2 gave contestants the challenge of creating a sculpture from things made from an "appliance graveyard." I prefer traditional sculpture made from things like marble and bronze, but I can appreciate the green concept of repurposing discarded electronics. The only image that came into my mind while watching the show was twisting together a lot of bright, colored wires and stapling them onto a canvas to look like an abstract painting. Pretty boring, huh.

That being said, pretty wires would look a lot better than Ryan's hot mess seen above. Yikes! It's very creative, but it's just ugly. Either you like a piece of art or you don't. No matter what the critics say, people know what they like.

Miles was the winner on week one with the portrait challenge and then again on week two with the above piece. While I find it fascinating to hear the artists describe their thought process of what goes into each piece, I didn't understand this one at all. When the judges looked at the pieces in the gallery, Miles was sleeping on the "bed." The two sacks on either side of the bed were supposed to be umm .. butts. What the hell? You can't even tell the pieces came from recycled appliances, so I really don't understand why this piece was judged as being the best of all of them. I like the red spot on the wall, although I don't know what it has to do with the rest of the piece.

Mark's entry, which is the only one I really loved!

I liked Adbi's piece a lot. It actually says something to me - that consumers of modern appliances are obsessed with their stuff. Plus, it's not ugly. I'm sure he would've painted it, had he been given more time.

John's piece looks like a window display on crack.

Peregrine's sculpture, seen above, was not imaginative at all, nor was it attractive. It looks boring and uncreative to me. I think this was the worst entry.

 Jamie's work, seen above, looks like a boring Good House Keeping magazine Ad. She's the conservative woman from the Midwest, so I suppose it suits her style.

 Jaclyn's entry wasn't bad. I liked the frame around it.

But why Tron was kicked off the island for this is beyond me! The two photo's above show different views of the losing entry. Yes, it was kind of boring too, but better than a few of the others.

 Tron at work

Jerry Saltz is one of the judges and a well respected art critique in the high brow, New York art scene. You can read his behind the scene's recap from this episode here.

What did you think of this episode? Who should have won and who should have been sent home? All opinions are welcome. If you aren't an artist, are you enjoying this show?

Read my reviwew of Episode 1: Portraits, here.
Read review of Episode 3: Book Covers, here


  1. so glad to have found you and your blog- i just started watching the show and saw the one you reviewed here!! YAY! i loved how that kept showing the one artist that was sleep deprived yawning. endless. :)

  2. This is the episode I missed! Interesting show in general just to see how the artists work and then see if my ideas of the best and worst line up with the judges. Too bad there weren't any fiber artists in the group. Justine