Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Work of Art" on Bravo

A friend called my attention to a reality show "Work of Art" on Bravo Channel posted online by RealtiyTVFan.org. This competitive series brought together 14 aspiring artists to compete for a solo show at Brooklyn Museum and $100,000, "Survivor" style. Each week they are presented with a new challenge to prove their talent and skills.

I watched a some segments from a few episodes.

First challenge was to create a portrait of one of their competitors.

Another one asked the contestants to create book cover designs and one of the contestants has to read the book while working the the design, since he had not read it before.

Another episode asked them to create a shock piece.

So, here is the contour of the show.

The problem I have is that great art is not necessarily created within limited time frames. The examinations academies adopt usually are the tools to detect talents and potentials and this show does not bother to make the distinction of these aspects.

This show is more entertainment than enlightenment. What we do need in the US is something similar to The (British) Turner Prize, a contemporary art award that was set up in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art.

The prize is awarded each year to 'a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding'.

Artist Ross Bleckner summarized well in his article:
Sarah Jessica Parker's show on Bravo, Work of Art, is a joke. Albeit an inside-the-art-world kind of joke.

And the irony, or the joke if you will, is that the teacher-judges know that art, let alone "great art," will never be the result of a series of televised assignments; work produced in a classroom of sorts. I wish the show was called "artists get in a room and try to get a show at a museum that no one will care about or ever go see, but one of them wins $100,000 and some Prismacolor pencils." Not exactly the "opportunity of a life time" as Bravo has it, but closer to reality for these unsuspecting hopefuls.

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