Last night’s premiere of Work of Art challenged the artestants to create portraits of one another—in a metaphorical bring-out-your-subject’s-essence-or-something way. With only 13 hours to do so, the inaugural contest drew out a surprising amount of stellar pieces, including Miles’s episode-winning, neo-Pointilist portrait of Nao, Trong’s red-leather 3-D cube representation of John, and Abdi’s fiery painting of Ryan. On the chopping block was Amanda, whose overly abstract portrait of Jaime Lynn was called “very good wallpaper” by judge Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and “fall foliage fail” by us here at Bravo HQ. Here’s our take on all 14 wannabe works of art, replete with cheeky new titles and snap-judgment analysis.
John's Portrait of Trong
Retitled: "Trong 3 Ways"
Artestant's Explanation: John wanted to show John in the multiple capacities that he occupies as a flowering creative figure: "writer, curator, artist."
Our Snap Judgment: Kind of a snooze--nothing quite captures the eye, and the "mirror reflections" of Trong's tri-polar self look like they were filled with Photoshop gradients our middle school self used to be fond of.
Trong's Portrait of John
Artestant's Explanation: There's really no need to explain why you would do a portrait on a faux snakeskin cube, so Trong took the opportunity to be humble: "I'm not 100 percent pleased with it."
Our Snap Judgment: The painting is great, and although we're at a loss as to why red snakeskin was in any way necessary to the work, we do know that art made on red snakeskin is universally awesome.