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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Work of Art: The Next Great Artist

I finally watched an episode of Bravo TV’s “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.” Okay, okay, I was “chained” to the elliptical machine and there was nothing else on, but to my surprise, I actually found it quite entertaining. Not so sure about the art part, but the drama and intrigue and pretentiousness are delicious.

It’s certainly got a peculiar premise. All artists, no matter their medium, are given the same assignment: make something with junked appliances, create book jacket art, etc. It seems a silly not to mention simplistic way to judge an artist’s particular talent. (I was amazed the artist who drew the lot for Pride and Prejudice had never even read it. Shame on her. ) Update: whilst on the Bravo TV blog looking for an image, I read that another artist misspelled Jane Austen's last name in her piece! How can they be so culturally illiterate and sloppy?

With the exception of Jerry Saltz who is the art critic of New York Magazine, the judges, for the most part, seem like parodies of art world aficionados. (Woody Allen should keep them in mind if he ever does a movie with an art gallery scene in it. They’d be brilliant.) The socialite art consultant Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn is so icy cool you wonder if she’s got a pulse. Her monotone voice grates and what’s with her hair? Clearly the big money goes to vapid host China Chow’s extravagant wardrobe (Sarah Jessica Parker is a producer). She looks out of place and frankly pretty blah in her endless parade of Dallas-style cocktail dresses with hair to match. She’d be better served with a more subdued, chicer wardrobe by say, Jil Sander who happens to know a thing or two about Contemporary Art.

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