Bill Powers

Bill talks about Abdi's inspired piece, Jaclyn's controversial work, and the battle between artists for a spot in the finale.

on Aug 4, 2010

 

Nice to have Jeanne back on the judging panel although I can't begrudge her taking leave for two episodes while she participated in the Frieze Art Fair where Salon 94 won best booth honors. Also, it was about time we had a female artist as a guest judge. Too many dudes...

A couple of things occurred to me looking at Abdi's drawing. I tried imagining if Mark had invested this much psychic energy into his vision of heaven what a different outcome we might have had for the opposites challenge. Abdi's piece had me thinking about Kehinde Wiley's work and also the Hudson River School where spectacular landscape paintings were made as a sort of tribute to God in nature.

Nicole's strange acorn egg echoed a similar sentiment with it's thinning coconut fur and lava bed blanket protecting the baby orb. I actually lobbied for Nicole's inclusion into the finale and it was a toss up in my mind between her and Peregrine for the final slot. Michele's comment about having the courage to make something small was spot on.

If I were in Jaclyn's position, I'd have used the bathtub self-portrait as part of the seascape were that indeed the direction she intended to go. What's that old saying about it's better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission? Looking back at the children's art challenge where the architecture of Jaclyn's tree sculpture was very much akin to this week's hanging rock installation and I'm surprised she presented something in the same vein after it failed the first time. I do believe her photograph captured the dull gaze of a Sugimoto oceanscape, but it didn't go far enough. All throughout the season her work generated a lot of controversy, which makes me see how much division still exists in a male-dominated art world. I'm so glad that she was part of this artist group. And it's pretty gutsy to title a piece "The End" this deep into the competition.

I am a big fan of Miles's work presented on the show, but part of his MO is to create pieces so complicated in their process that somehow they become beyond criticism, which of course they are not. He found a crumbly mushroom in the woods and marveled at the quiet wonders nature hides among its dead. Very cool.