Thursday, October 20, 2011

Work of Art 2.2

The challenge this week was:

“The artists must use Parkour, a discipline where participants overcome obstacles using only their bodies to move from point A to point B in the most creative and inventive way possible, as their inspiration.”

So they were broken into teams and challenged to create art that showcased “motion.”

While watching I thought Bayetés idea was really quite unexciting, boring, really kind of dumb, but I was glad to see he was not going to try and make this week’s challenge about “race” again. In the end he won the challenge, and I have to agree with the judges. His piece did show the childish fun he tried to portray. And really, there wasn’t much competition.

Then there was Kathryn.

A graduate of MassArt and a MFA from Yale. Impressive. What isn’t impressive is her work, which consists of taking dough, jelly, fruit juice and other materials and throwing it at paper or plastic. It’s supposed to look like human organs and blood.

And then there is the crying. Really, get over it. In some of the first art classes I took, the instructor conducted brutal critiques. His point was that someday one of us would put our work out in the world and people would trash it. We needed to be strong enough to take the crit, because in the end “it is only fake guts.”

I find it hard to believe this is what you get for spending over 150K on an art education. I’d ask for a refund.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Work of Art

I don’t normally use this space to rage, but I really feel that this is a subject that,
a. I want to talk about and,
b. needs my meager input and my insight.

Bravo TV fired up the second season of “Work of Art.” I watched the first episode and I was not disappointed. The show gave me plenty of things to complain about.

I think a touch of background information is important here. I watched season one. The show is kind of like “Survivor” for “artists.” Each week they get an art challenge, and must complete a work in a very short time. The lovely China Chow tosses the loser with her catch phrase “your work of art didn’t work for us.”

Last season I did very little public commentary on the show, the one time I did was in Laguna Beach, when some people were talking about the show as they entered a gallery. As we passed, I did say that Miles (who ended up being in the final three) was a douche, which is a comment I stand by to this day.

So in the interest of providing season two with at least one great artist, I went to an open call for the show. I waited in the glaring sun of Los Angeles with about 400 other people for about four hours. I brought a portfolio of paintings and photographs. When I finally got in to see the inquisitors, the one comment that will forever stand out was “your work is really great; it is however, just photography.”

So I found it interesting that the guest judge on the first episode would be Mary Ellen Mark, a very accomplished and wonderful photographer. I was quite disappointed by the way the other judges seemed to treat Ms. Mark. I wanted to reach into the TV and choke Jerry Saltz when he rolled his eyes at one of Ms. Marks comments.

So I guess it really doesn’t matter if you’re amazingly famous, or just a guy from LA, because in the end your work is “just photography.”