Friday, July 2, 2010

Work of Art Reality TV Show - Episode 3: Book Cover's


It's been said we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but that's exactly what this challenge is all about. The winner for Week 3 will get to see his artwork on a real book cover published by Penguin books. If you missed this episode, you can watch it here.

In case you haven't been following the new reality series, "Work of Art," on Bravo, 14 artists are vying for the title "The Next Great Artist;" on a reality show similar to "Project Runway." Each week they're given a theme to complete and one winner is selected and one is sent home. The last artist standing will get $100K and a show at the Brooklyn Museum.

 Cast of "Work of Art"

For this weeks challenge, the artists were given the title of a classic novel and told to create a book cover for it. The assignments were for: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Pride and Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland, Dracula, Frankenstein and The Time Machine. There were some interesting pieces created and a few that fell short. Some worked as a decent piece of art, but failed as a book cover.

WoA Judge Jerry Saltz and Katherine Court from Penguin

When helper Simon said getting your work on a Penguin book was the ultimate accolade, Judith rolled her eyes. She said she does "fine art" and acted like creating a book cover was beneath her. Well la-dee-da-da! What a snob. I guess she didn't really want to win.

Judges Jerry Saltz and Jeanne "Ms. Mullet" Greenberg

Mark's book cover and one of the top two.

I really liked Mark's entry a lot. It looks like a real book cover to me. He's primarily a photographer and graphic artist, so this challenge was perfect for him.


Mark was in the top two to win, but John's depiction of "A Time Machine" took the prize. Why John wasn't given immunity for the following week is unknown to me. I really love this as a piece of art and as a book cover. I love the color and the collage elements of it. Congrats and well done, John.

John Parot's Winning Book Cover

Winner of the challenge, John Parot

The bottom 3 were Peregrine, Jaclyn & Judith


Book Cover entries by Peregrine and Jaclyn

Okay, Peregrine, this is a nice mixed media piece, but how it's supposed to depict "The Time Machine, " a sci-fi classic; I don't know. She didn't know either and admitted John's version of the same book was much better.


Jaclyn, who takes off her clothes for every challenge, said she wanted to create something in a "modern classic style." She said she had seen the movie, but only read the synopsis of the book. It was hard to believe that after seeing what she came up with, but she knew it was weak. She had no excuse for misspelling Jane Austen's name. Nothing like attention to details.

Contestant Abdi looking at Peregrine's entry hanging in the gallery.

Judith was sent home

Judith claimed she printed the title backwards, because Jane Austen use to write letters that way. That's a nice factoid, but it's not going to sell the book if you can't even read the name of it. One of the judges said it made him feel stupid not knowing what language it was.

Judith's losing entry for  Pride and Prejudice

Judith decided to use her "finger print" method to represent the flowers and gardens in Pride and Prejudice. (Cue cricket noises here.) She spent hours on it, but wasn't happy with how it was unfolding, ended up changing a lot of it and almost started over the following day.

Despite the lameness Judith displayed on three weeks in this show, she's a successful working artist and has shown her work all over the world. Checkout her website here.

Erik's Book Cover

Erik is the novice of the show. Judge Jerry Saltz told him to stop using that as an excuse for doing bad work. I think this was the best thing he's done so far, which isn't saying much.

Contestant Erik
Erik said, before this show, no one had ever seen his artwork outside of his own family. No clue why they picked him or why he hasn't been kicked off yet.

Read Jerry Saltz on what happened behind the scene's here
Read my review on Episode 1, Portraits, here.
Read my review on Episode 2, Appliance Junkyard, here.


  1. I love your reviews, Nina. You really put a lot of work into gathering pictures and info. And I have to say I agree with most of your comments. I do not understand why Miles won either of the first 2 (although I rather like him). I felt that Abdi or Mark should have won the first one, I really liked Mark's entry. I also liked Mark's entry for the second show the best. I think they kicked Trong off because he was too smug and calm and wasn't going to provide the drama they want to get the ratings up. Oops, my TV cynicism is showing.

    I am so glad they kicked Judith off. I don't understand why she was on the show in the first place; did she not know they were going to be creating art on demand and under pressure? No matter how talented she is, she spent too much time proclaiming herself as a Fine Artist, but wasn't able to step up. Looking back, I think maybe her Fine Artist attitude was a little more defensive than snobbish: she was trying to make the excuse that she was out of her element, somewhat akin to Erik's bemoaning about his lack of schooling.

    I think Jaclyn's picture for the book cover, if she had a little more time to enhance the contrast as she said, would be good for a bodice-ripper romance novel (but definitely not for Pride and Prejudice!). I also don't know why Erik is there, except perhaps as a foil for the others. Maybe he'll surprise us later. Or not.

  2. I love this show! I just finished watching episode 4. So glad Judith is gone. Wanted her gone from the get go. So far I have almost agreed with all decisions or at least agreed with who should be in the top and who should be in the bottom 2 or 3. Wait until you see this episode?

    Love your background on your blog. How did you do this? Please tell!@

    Have a safe 4th Nina.