SJP and Bravo’s Work of art, the next great Artist

oh my, I am happy as a clam to once again be watching Work Of Art, fully expecting it to not return and delightfully surprised that it has. Such a fun guilty pleasure.

Last nights opener begins with an introduction of the cast of artists participating as they arrive and stroll through a section of the Brooklyn Museum where their self portraits are hanging. Its a varied lot of wannabe art stars most under the age of 30 and so, one of my first observations is that a wider age range would have made for a more balanced community and a level of sophistication by those who have garnered more life experience and so, possibly elevating the level of exhibition to that beyond grad school.

It starts with Kymia Nawabi who likes to express her dark interior, she is approached by the self titled “Sucklord”, “suck” for his “self deprecating” side and “lord for his maniacal “self aggrandizing side” who is a surprising 42 years old. Up next, Dusty Mitchell an elementary school teacher from Ark, using children’s materials in his pieces. Enter Ugo, an attractive French man working in the style of Keith Haring. Ugo is followed by Young Sun Han, who is a performance artist. Then, Jazz-Minh Moore who is a painter. Next we meet Lola Thompson who is a sculptor and thinks the Sucklord is attractive. Enter the “Vegan” whose work illustrates flesh and blood with dough and paint photographed. Leon Linn is up and he is a deaf artist with a small chip on his shoulder…What would contemporary commentary be without the irreverent graffiti artist ie, Michael “Tewes” Chlebowski. Michelle Matson a self described “weirdo” who creates three d works with paper and Sarah Kabot an installation artist. Then an “unconfident” watercolorist, Sarah Jimenez and finally, video artist Bayette Ross Smith.

The task for the first episode was to take a very kitschy piece from a thrift shop or flea market (anyone’s guess) and transform it into something using their particular styles, an “up-cycling” effort. We get to know the cast of characters as they work at their pieces in the studio.

The losing artist was Ugo, based on his piece looking too much like a decorative Keith Haring piece.

I thought that Bayete’s piece was the weakest, visually. Ugo’s piece was derivative but so is every contemporary, or postmodern effort, especially if you are starting from an already made piece. Ugo’s obsessive hieroglyphs and the layering along with the singular color was more sophisticated than the sophomoric collage created by Bayette. When Ugo took down the one layer, it was an even more striking piece. Also the scale of the piece dwarfed the smaller collage, which would have been more interesting if Bayette had played with scale relating his symbols to his concepts and further altering or removing color to create a cohesive and stronger visual image.

The winner of the first show was Michelle Matson who turned a totem into a grave marker by spray painting it a singular color and adding a paper sculpture skeleton laying at the base. The tombstone was blegh but the paper sculpture was well crafted and sort of pulled the piece together.

My least liked piece was made by the Sucklord, it sucked, really it did. I “get” what he was trying to do but it ended up amateurish at best.

My fav piece may have been by Sarah K, “and Mouse”. Sarah took a ceramic cat, sliced it in pieces and hung the pieces on a wall, it was conceptual and visually interesting.

Happy happy to have Work of Art back, and wish we could see the full crits, its the conversation about the finished works that I find most interesting not the silly drama between players. Apparently the crits last for hours, it would be fun to have those available online some where, SJP could get even more mileage for her brain child.

4 Responses to “SJP and Bravo’s Work of art, the next great Artist”

  1. Cody Goodin Says:

    I totally agree with your points on the show. It is one of my guilty pleasures too. Like you I wish there was more dialogue with the artists during critque. Perhaps if we maek a comment to that effect on their blogs it might get them to at least offer expanded versions on line. Another of my favorite shows that is returning next year is Art In the 21st Century on PBS. Can’t wait to see who they get for that.

  2. tricia Says:

    Cody, according to Jerry Saltz there is a lot more dialogue that occurs, but it gets cut in editing, maybe commenting at the Bravo website~~

    I also feel disappointed when they don’t show the interaction with the people who aren’t called forth for the crits, ie the individuals who were safe.

  3. Seth Says:

    I am watching to Trish. And ‘guilty pleasure’ is exactly how I would describe it to. A very mixed group but I think it looks to be an interesting season and I think there will be some interesting art. I totally agree with you about the crits. Those would be an education themselves.

  4. tricia Says:

    Hey Seth

    Last season there was a lot of funky art made, but its all cool cuz its the conversations generated and the glimpse into the minds of creative thinkers that make it worth while. I record it so I can watch without commercial interruptions 😀