Saturday, July 10, 2010

Work of Art Reality TV Show - Episode 5: Car Experience

The challenge this week made it possible for the artists to pretty much do anything they wanted. They were driven to the Audi Forum (essentially a new car showroom) in NYC and told to make a piece of art based on that driving experience. Pretty broad interpretation.

Abdi and Simon driving in an Audi getting a different point of view.

Work of Art is a reality show on Bravo where 14 artists were selected to compete for the title of the "Next Great Artist," $100K and a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum.

This episode looked like a giant advertisement for Audi, but they didn't ask them to create a print ad or anything that commercial. It was open to their own interpretation of the city. Six of the nine artists included car type theme's in their entries.

Show Host, China Chow in the Audi Forum

Miles said he felt overwhelmed in the showroom, so he immediately took a nap. But he woke up with a great idea - an empty doorway - and ended up in the top two. There's something to be said for not over thinking an idea.

Close up of Miles piece.

I really liked the simplicity of it, but wouldn't have selected it for the top two. Miles said it showed a quiet spot in an otherwise hectic environment.  I forget what the wooden signs are supposed to represent, but the judges said it made them feel part of the piece standing between them. They were very impressed.

Jaclyn looking at Miles's entry in the gallery.

We saw Ryan in the bottom three for the first time. He painted himself in a triptych looking cool while driving. He was criticized for not being creative enough and being "too literal." We watched him struggle to come up with any idea at all. I've enjoyed his work each week.

When Simon came around to check on Ryan's progress and noticed his painting included his face yet again, he asked if Ryan considered himself a narcissist. Ryan seemed surprised when he realized that yes, each of his entries included self portraits. I'd like to ask Simon, if anyone ever asked Van Gogh if he was a narcissist? Lots of artists do self-portraits. What's the big deal?

Mark was in the bottom three this week as well. His painting was criticized for being "hotel art" by one of the judges and by fellow contestant, Peregine. He painted a representation of a map of NYC.

Usually Mark uses graphics and photography, but this week, he bought some paint for the challenge. I think he's really talented. 

Guest judge, artist Richard Phillips, left, accused Mark of "painterbation" for painting the same grid ad nauseam. (That's host China Chow on the right.)

 Guest artist, Richard Phillips

 Abdi painted himself as a race car driver.  
I'm a big fan Abdi's work and love this one. The bright colors speak to me every week. He had a lot of fun painting this and it shows.

Jamie Lynn, the Christian from the Midwest, got sent home this week. She came up with a very strange piece of herself as a teenage girl dancing around a hubcap. She said her inspiration came from the hip hop music she was listening to during the drive. She said she had given up on trying to make something to please everyone else and really wanted to be herself this week.

One of the judges said it had "no sex, no speed and no status," all of the things driving in an Audi listening to music provides. She's a very good illustrator and painter and there's plenty of proof on her website here.

Bye bye Jamie Lynn.

Nicole was the only artist to create a  sculpture for her entry. She jotted down her thoughts during the drive, crumpled them up in a ball and balanced them on a structure she built. The judges were crazy for this piece. Again, I don't get it.

Nicole's piece

The winner this week was Jaclyn. She didn't take her clothes off this time, nor did she photograph herself. But her piece was about "catching" men looking at her.

She photographed men walking by the Audi Forum, looking in the window at her and making a photo album of it. Then she covered their faces with white paint and added some mirrors. I'm sure it never dawned on her that perhaps the men were looking at the beautiful cars.

Personally, I don't find this the least bit interesting or creative. It should not have won. I thought for sure Miles was going to win again. But I don't see what the judges see or I don't understand their version of art.

The judges on Work of Art for Episode 5.

When I watch the show each week, I wait for images to pop up in my head to determine what my entry would have been if I were a contestant. This week, all I thought of was making a cityscape. I'm sure that would have been considered too boring, not creative and way too literal. What would your interpretation have been?

You can read Jerry Saltz behind the scene's take of the show here.
You can watch this episode here


  1. Ruthie, I can't thank you enough (so glad to know you from Flying Group. I think I'm going to sign up for both Suzi Blu (all) and this Chaos class too. I'm wanting to paint (haven't for eons). hugs. Fan page:!/pages/Me-Myself-and-You/105043419547115

  2. Interesting...I don't get some of those either...but whatever floats your boat if you're a judge I guess. :)

  3. This show was interesting but none of the artwork stood out for me. What amazes me is that the judges complain about Jamie's work ("no sex, no speed, no status"), then rave about Miles's work. I did like what Miles made, but that seemed a strange about-face for the judges. Ryan is teased about being a narcissist, but then Jaclyn wins. Hello world! If Jaclyn isn't a narcissist, I'm the Pope. The BS about her "vulnerability" and "putting herself forward" makes me want to puke. I think she's very, very clever, an actress playing her role, and she knows how to manipulate the judges with BS (in addition to her cleavage). Great art? Oh, please. They can read all they want into her work, but IMO, no real talent was displayed this week or last week for her work.
    It has been fun to read Jerry Saltz's comments about the show, and the behind the scenes stuff he adds. I especially liked where he said his "cheese-ball meter spiked" when Simon took them to the Audi place. I felt the same way. He's also taken in by Jaclyn's manipulation, saying "she braved further branding as a bimbo" with this work. Hey, she looks like a bimbo, acts like a bimbo, dresses like a bimbo! But she's a very clever bimbo who knows how to work the judges. I did like what Jerry said about Jamie. I haven't cared for her work, but after looking at her website, it's clear she has talent.
    Overall, I think this was the weakest of the shows so far, maybe because there was so little direction given to the artists. The best part was seeing them picking up Golden paints in the Utrecht store (yay Golden). OK, I jest. I wonder how much Audi paid them for this advertisement? For that matter, who thinks up these "Challenges"?