We all start off as artists, only most of us give up along the way, so says Damien Hirst and I fully agree. Peregrine's piece was a lot more potent in person and here's why: she intentionally staged the vignette high on a pedestal so if a kid approached her sculpture (and we had some children at this opening) they could only see the edges of it in the same way we only get glimmers of our parents' indiscretions when we're young. The bottom of her installation sparkled purple fairy dust and was meant to read as a sandbox cum ashtray. All the props contained conflated meanings: a unicorn covered with sex ads, lipstick smudged cigarette chalk, broken balloon condoms. It was like a Karen Kilimnik meets Mike Kelley. Wow! I welled up hearing her talk about it and am still impressed by the sensitivity she demonstrated in this work. Then for an artist like Will Cotton to compliment her by saying that he wish he'd made this sculpture himself is just about the highest praise we've seen on Work of Art. Everyone should check out Will Cotton's cover art for the new Katy Perry album released next month. He's also the artistic director on the video "California Gurls." It's further evidence of contemporary art infiltrating pop culture, which I love.
Regarding Ryan's offering this week, I almost told him that the only thing his drawings were missing was a fridge magnet to hold them up, but that felt too mean in the moment. I wish he'd mined his own experience with his JW mother and what sounds like Ryan's decision to choose art over religion. Can you imagine the potential power to be manifest from that exploration? To Ryan's credit, I know that Geoff McFetridge, who does all Spike Jonze's title sequences, had a left-handed drawing contest with Spike to come up with their chicken scratch title cards for Where the Wild Things Are, which instantly recalled Ryan's process for the children's art challenge.
I was just reading a Dave Hickey essay where he said that we talk about our personal vision of beauty because living in a democratic society, Americans want both certainty and consensus ... two ideals hard to come by, especially on reality TV!
I am sorry, but am I the only one who sees Jaquie as a woman who grew up insecure about her looks, got implants at 22 and now has a narcissistic obsession with herself via photos? She can not function in any other medium. And while I give her credit in the car challenge to be able to mold it to her 'bent' she is not an universal artist. Is Bravo keeping her on, only because she is "hot"?
This episode really illustrates how some artworks appeal on a visual level and others are so drenched in the artist's personal narrative that the story is far more appealing than the physical work.
When I looked at the finished works again I was struck by how I was drawn to the art of Jaclyn and Miles. Both pieces were visually interesting to me. The rest of the artwork fell flat for me but the stories that accompanied the pieces were pretty powerful. The difference between beautiful art and art that stirs the emotions was apparent.
Out of all of the episodes, this one in particular made me rethink how my artwork might be improved by inserting more of myself into the work rather than just focusing on works that appeal in a visual sense.
This show is fascinating. I'm an artist, and it's a kick to watch other artists work, and wonder what I'd do in these situations. So, as a fan, thanks to all of you for doing this; it's my fave thing on TV.
Next is a question: how can I show you my work? I want to be on this show! I keep having ideas for each problem, and of course think I could do it better. Thanks.
Hello Mr. Powers,
I have just finished watching the latest episode and I can understand Ryan's departure but personally I thought Jaclyn's was worse. At least Ryan attempted to put child like art into his work. Jaclyn's ink blotches for trees with the excuse of pipe cleaners to symbolize childhood was weak at best. I can't believe Miles got away with the the bathroom tile art. The same stuff over and over. Either the judges have short term memories or they are in denial. Did he deserve to be eliminated for his art..no ..should he have been called out for the art...yes. I know he gets the free pass because he's the golden boy but the same crap again. Yet he is the one the producers like..because he is the fair haired boy who's trying to get the girl he finds cute which could develop into a producers dream..a love story. Miles come and get your Emmy as you certainly know how to play the game and people. He plays himself again as a nice guy, humble and thankful to Simone (butt kisser) but is still the loner, somewhat arrogant and a jerk, but not in front of the judges. He appears solemn, frail, quiet and introverted. I wonder if the last three artists would be Nicole (deserves to be there) but piggybacks with Miles (the golden boy) because of that oh so heart warming love interest storyline for Miles and then Jaclyn for the T & A effect for some male viewers and keep with the rating even though Abdi, Peregrine or Mark are more talented than her. If Miles is not in the final three I will be surprised and and admit that I was wrong on this blog about Miles being the chosen one. Once again thank you for the opportunity to comment on your blog...
No, u are not the only one, Lynne D in CA, if we can sense this i am sure the judges know this. My beef is with who was let go..and who stayed...duck tape squares...really...again with the dots..arg?!?....and he was not even in the bottom 3 ???? What am i missing...does it come off different in person than on tv?... so Ryan was to literal huh, well maybe he should not have created with literal desire to express and rather taken a cue from "duck tape" and made something so abstract that it could be mistaken for art. Sorry Ryan had to go, he was so open emotionally and i really wanted to see his art work catch up to his spirit.
Perigrine blew me away with her story, I've often not cared for the judging on this show but you got it right this time. Myles always gets either an A+ or an F- from me, and that's not a bad place to be as an artist. Ryan was my least favorite so I'm ok with him going home, but I think you missed the respect you should have given him for a very common problem in America. He didn't choose art over religion, his mother chose God over him. Will Cotton's insight was great-he's a keeper.
Is it my paranoia or is if you're in the heavy rotation promo clip bashing Miles, your voted off the show?
In response to Bill Powers wishing Ryan would've explored choosing art over religion and how powerful that would be if he made a piece about it, I agree. It would be a powerful thing, BUT, do you judges even realize the crazy time constraint you put these artists on? Such a great idea as "choosing art over religion" and executing a successful piece requires much more time than a full day and an hour the next day. It's a much more complex idea compared to Peregrine's more straightforward work about the innocence of childhood fused with lost adult friends to HIV. Peregrine's idea was just much easier to depict.
It seems to me that this week, the artists that wound up on the bottom did so because they abandoned their original projects based on Simon's criticisms of them. If they had gone with their original instincts, I think the outcome would have been very different. I am totally disgusted with the whole Miles thing..how YET AGAIN, he arrogantly chose to ignore the challenge and do something completely random..and he doesn't get eliminated!! He's GOT to be the producer's son. As I've already stated elsewhere on this site..the only reason I continue to watch is to be able to laugh when Miles gets to show his work at the Brooklyn Museum, and he and the whole show are exposed for what they really are.
Very disappointed with the judges. You state that none of these works showed who the three of them are...but what did Miles work of art mean to you?? He should have gone home, his did not even have a story to go with it. This show is a joke. and also to find out Nicole is the niece of one of the real housewives is wrong on so many levels, i do wonder if the other contestants were aware of that fact when filming began. Ryan should have stayed. I will not be watching anymore.
I agreed the winning piece was Perigrin's. If only all of them had had such disturbing upbringings, it could have been a contest. Ryan was at a loss...so he again took the challenge literally and made something he would have done as a child including the frustration wadded up and draped on the floor. Abdi..is too nice and uncomplicated to go to any real depths, but he can draw. Miles did a crossword puzzle sans the words..judge says it needs color he complies with primary color rubber band balls,what a genius! The rest did what they could in the time and materials constraints. I think the last three standing will be MIles, Perrigrine and Nicole, then it's anybodys guess.
Completely agree with above post. Think it every week. Jaclyn's being kept around for sex appeal. I did think Peregrine's piece was wonderful last night. Was never impressed with her before but I see so much potential for her now. Guess it has to be the right challenge for the right artist.I will miss Ryan. Saw his work in Chicago before the show and he is an incredible painter. He will do fine.
Peregrine’s work was thoughtful and worked for me too, not sure why Mark’s work was safe. Would like to have heard why Mile’s work better is than Jacyln’s work…
The reason Will Cotton can be an art director for “California Gurls” and have his work on a Katy Perry Album is because his work is already mass-oriented as that of a commercial artist. When ‘high art mixes with low art’ it is because both share a visual straightforwardness in the way the work is executed. It’s also pop music so there is more freedom visually for an artist to be expressive which is why Cotton was able to work with Perry. Cotton’s work has candy, nudes and that works well commercially for the pop music market.
No depth exists in Cotton’s work. If there is, then I credit the viewer for reading into it. Peregrine’s work this week is far stronger than Cotton’s work.
There is something deeply dispiriting about your advising everyone to familiarize themselves with the artwork of Will Cotton by checking out the new Katy Perry album cover. It feels desperate and creepy, like the worst aspects of the very flawed show you are participating in. "Will Cotton matters because he did a Katy Perry video! He knows pop stars!"
Might not Willcotton dot com have been a better place for people to get an overview of his work?
wow Miles saved again, gotta agree with earlier comment is he the producers relative? As for Ryan, he was trying to make his art look like a childs, the judges got exactly what he was trying to do except only another artist could have seen the merit and difficulty of it. As critiques go are you guys just trying to be controversial for the sake of the show? As an art owner, I would be so proud to own works from Eric and Ryan, but Miles no chance. You need more judges especially other artists who would have less bias.
You all are a bit harsh on Miles, but I know what you mean. This week (Child's Play) was his second worst (the worst was the unfinished plywood on stands--where was the police barrier he promised?). However, Miles seems to be the conceptual artist the judges prefer. I loved Ryan's work overall and this week, his piece was thoughtful and right on the mark, if not very visually interesting. Since art is so subjective, this is a difficult contest to judge, unlike other shows (PR) where the marketplace is an acknowledged factor. Take the time constraints of commercial art, add art-critic criteria for original interpretation, and what do you get?
I think Jaclyn is pushing the same ideas that were behind Warhol's soup cans. Her subject is her body, designed for mass consumption.
I'd be curious to know why more of Will Cotton's work (and input) didn't make the final cut of the show. Furthermore, in what aired, the viewer doesn't see why there's a connection between what is expected of the artists, and this particular judge. (Frankly, a work-with-food challenge would've made more sense, not that I'm suggesting that!)
This episode was disappointing, at best. To say that these challenges need "tweaking" is to understate the obvious.
"Lipstick smudged cigarette chalk" that in and of itself was enough to win this challenge for me! who was it that said "keep it simple stupid!"? not to simple, for that speaks volumes with no need for a back story or the added flotsam. Kudos Peregrine!
I think anyone harshly criticizing Jaclyn is either refusing to look past her appearance or is simply jealous. Yes she's got sex appeal, and yes she's narcissistic - but that makes for some really interesting art in my opinion. And who cares if she chooses to focus on a few themes repeatedly? A lot of great artists do that.
Agree with this comment (above "...It seems to me that this week, the artists that wound up on the bottom did so because they abandoned their original projects based on Simon's criticisms of them.")
Simon certainly stirred the emotional pot.
Ryan (feeling insecure because he is primarily a realist oriented painter - in a New York art world where realism is still suspect--???) ...went to the extreme to do super child like renderings...ZAP! he's out! Don't think Ryan will be another Kinkade just because he paints in realist style...Too bad he's gone. Am itching to see a powerful work that ALSO combines great art techniques!!!
And ABDI...His childhood was tough but MOM helped protect, enrich him...I would have loved to see Single Supermom Saves Son pic!!!
Abdi is nice... doesn't mean he doesn't have depth...His realist oriented stuff automatically prejudices at least some judges against him (in my opinion).
Maybe (here I clearly SPECULATE on a passing comment Abdi made about Mom protecting him from bad stuff) - Abdi was exposed to evil as a child, but was armed with - something - which (to date) seems to have made him stronger!
And Mom was the Enabler - enabling Abdi to survive and apparently thrive with not much of a father. (A. seems mature beyond his years!)
I want to hear (SEE) that story!
I agree with Susan, Artist. Watching is great for my own creativity - especially last night's episode. I'm still plumbing the depths about what I would have done and how I would have done it, given the materials at hand. Watching other artist's processes is endlessly fascinating for me. Really liked Peregrine's piece - so complicated and immediate.
As an artist I love watching this show and put myself in their shoes, wondering how I would do. As a full time artist I hate the part about playing the game to get ahead, but I understand it is necessary and if you have talent and that competitive drive to succeed at almost any cost, you can make it. It is easy to criticize these artists but do you think you could do better?
I just watched the "Finishing Touches" interview where China Chow graces us with her "expertise" and I am very disgusted with this show. I can't seem to get what they are trying to push. I understand what modern art is and what being an artist is all about - I am a working artist. But to begin with, how does an artist win a challenge? Especially when you are telling them what to create? In the real world that mindset does not exist for working artist - as a working artist you create what you want and you find your audience/niche market to sell to. Screw what the experts think, forget what the public says you do what you do because you love it not because a panel of "judges" or tv producers say so. If you are a young artist watching steer clear and remember that this show is not real life.
If I were running a show like this I'd tell em to go paint and then when they're done they have to go sell it. If it's unsold after a week then they work with no lights, eat only ramen noodles and then if they continue to lose then they are done! That's the reality of being a working artist!
Also China Chow, the "old masters" techniques that you referred to in the finishing touches video that you said "is rarely seen anymore" is not true! There is a Classical Realism Revival going on as we speak and more and more people are following - wake up!
I think the work of art show is great thank you bravo for finely put on a good show I paint myself mostly wild life just want wish all the artist the best of luck now and in the future
Maybe Miles can make a living as the next ShamWow salesmen, because he can sell, rationalize, talk up, etc., his crappy pieces time and time again. The judges looked down on Jaclyn's piece, yet gave Miles' a pass. To me, neither of their pieces spoke of their childhood, yet Miles is safe again. Plus, he admitted doing similar pieces like this already and admitted it had nothing to do with the challenge - how is that not (1) lazy; and (2) unoriginal? He talks about his pieces, gives the judges some BS, they nod knowlingly and he stays on the show. You can sense the judges consider him their favorite. I'm not saying his was the worst on this episode, but he needs to be called out for doing as little as possible.
Peregrine's piece was incredibly thoughtful and well done, especially given the time restraints this show places on the artists.
You guys really missed the boat with regards to Abdi's piece. I had a very strong personal connection to it, as a kid who drew everything. I copied every sports team logo (especially the Mighty Ducks, which Abdi included), Ninja Turtles, Calvin and Hobbes, lettering styles, and ESPECIALLY brand logos. Abdi really captured something that is the essence of 90s-pop-culture-consumerism-childhood that the judges absolutely missed. The idea of seeing your ability to reproduce things that you and your friends love and the transformation into making those techniques your own (and the realization that you are able to make it your own) is incredibly familiar and really captures that process of discovering your talents. So the concept works on both a personal level and a sociological American/generational level, as well. So there.
How about bringing in some judges from LA, San Francisco, Chicago etc and "watch what happens"? I think the show is a mess, but fun to watch.
Oh no. I am so sad to see Ryan go. Come on Bravo, make a reality show with some of these artist living together. The camera following them developing their art. No contest, just life. I hate to see Ryan go he was so interesting.
First, I think Bill is by far the most interesting judge. He seems like someone you would actually want to hang out with and have conversations with.
I do think Miles is one of the strongest artists on the show. That being said I also think he is growing more stale each and every show. I can understand bending the rules to your advantage with a new work, but I can't understand how he can get by in a competition ignoring the rules completely and just reusing older works. He does seem to have his one specific shtick and everyone seems to love it. It's becoming more and more boring.
I think Ryan has great technical ability, but he just doesn't have the ideas. Mark's photography is far more interesting. Ryan's paintings are more like simple portrait photographs and Mark's photographs are more like paintings as far as composition and concept.
This is so far the only work by Peregrine that made me feel anything and struck me as powerful and intriguing.
So far I was most disappointed in the shock challenge. Nothing was really shocking at all. I do think Mark's was really the most shocking. As an artist myself I feel it very easy to come up with far more shocking imagery. Even really subtle imagery that is far more shocking. I recently listened in to comments at a show I had and it was either people talking about how much they enjoyed it or how shocked and offended they were. Art can be good, bad or indifferent. I think it's far better to make bad art than indifferent art.
So when are the season 2 tryouts?
Although I loved her piece, do you really think Perigrine's work was appropriate for children's museum?
Enough with the conceptual art already!
I wanted to like this show - I was so hopeful about a show that features visual artists - yet the more I watch, the less I like.
First I would ask who comes up with the challenges? The 'judges', or the producers? Or is there an independent panel of artists working on this? These challenges are nothing more than seminar projects from art school. Artists are supposed to be trained in craft to support their vision...which after years of practice and paying dues will lead to recognition. None of these artist strike me as deserving of $100000 and an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum at this point in their careers.
Second, who picked these 'judges' and why? These judges belong to an insular, elite art community. Why are they not more diverse in their ideas and reflective of the wide range of art styles & artists? They are very irritating in their smug arrogance of art superiority. What value does China Chow contribute other than to show off her wardrobe?
I was sad to see Ryan go - I checked out his website and was very impressed with his ability and resume. China Chow said his layering technique is something you don’t see much anymore - this just goes to show how uninformed she and the rest of the judges are. Apparently they are not aware of the contemporary classical realist movement (Novo-realism) that is increasing in popularity and influence.
I spend much time defending contemporary art to my fellow painters. There are some good conceptual artists but come on! There is more to art than this. It’s time to show more variety - not everyone likes conceptualism. We need to see something of craft, skill, technique, aesthetics, grace and beauty.
I will continue to watch this season unfold but seriously doubt I will tune in for another one.
Just A Stupid Artist.. ..with a Fine Arts Degree from UC Berkeley, and a lot of Art internationally published and shown...
@ Bill Powers:
Firstly, I concur with you, Bill (for the first time), about Peregrinne's piece concerning her childhood experience (Unicorn piece). Very strong, and spot on - congrats to Peregrinne (well earned).
Wow Bill Powers!!! Where did that last paragraph in your blog this week come from? It seems that the judges really try to concur and converge, and even cheat at understanding what a piece is about...
In general I do find it odd that this WOA series has curators and critics as artist judges, no simply art critics, who are almost trying to TEACH art through their critiques (you are judging artists not just the art). I think anyone can judge the art, but might be more appropriate to be done by peers or professional artists. Curators and critics understand the art from a different perspective altogether, and whether inadvertently or not, they are a most significant force driving most artists' convergence toward the COMMERCIAL VORTEX of reiterations, conformity, and market supply and demand. Curators and critics have a need to show expert understanding, but honestly Bill, should a curator really be deciding or even guiding what an artist does? Not a Fine Aritst! I guess maybe to get paid, but certainly not if a "great work of art" is sought. It just would'nt qualify, simply because the art would be answering to someone else's call. This is what DISGUSTS the real artist watching these wannabes like Jackie... she hasn't a single artist cell in her body. Curators must be concerned with what will be well received by their particlar clientele. You can say you don't work that way, but lets face it, curators need to have an opinion that converges with that of your buyers.
Bill, I don't mean to be rude, but don't you realize the hipocracy of you and the other curator/critic judges actually trying to determine "the next great artist" or even who is better than the others, by explaining your interpretations of what each artist might have done better? You are inadvertently misleading these artists towards convergences including precedence and other values that should NOT out of any necessity have anything to do with any particular fine artist's own point of view. It's art death, that you are giving these young underdeveloped artists a direction, when their own direction should come only from developing and finding their own voices.
I notice the judges attempt to CONCUR on many opinions... that's ridiculous! Art is not about convergence of ideas = commercial vortex. The judges (curators and critics) are just representing their agenda, which is to applaud the art that their gallery audiences may want to see. This is as commercial an agenda as commercial graphic art. You are losing the FINE ART aspect by acting like you are art teachers or leaders. Everyone can have a valid perspetive on art. Anyone!
What is worse, and really WEAK, is that the judges ask the contestants to explain their idea verbally BEFORE judges state their interpretation... ...That ABSOLUTELY CONTRADICTS Art speaking for itself!
It also appears that such a review format inidcates judges' insecurity, and can be used by judges as a way of dumping the contestant they like least and bailing out the contestant they like most (even when the piece by their favorite was terrible).
Art is NOT asking artists what they intended, but rather understanding an idea and finding its point of view via its connection to you. To be honest, Bill, I congratulate you for this first time, it seems that you did this with Peregrinnes piece with the Unicorn... and it was a strong piece. However, I think it is hipocritical for you and the other judges to listen to presentations, attempt to concur and explain what is art and what isn't... JUDGES SHOULD JUST VOTE, BETTER YET, GET THE AUDIENCE TO VOTE (like Am. Idol). Anyone can be an expert on a NEW piece of art. As for historical understanding, yes it is important to understand art history, but it should never have interfere with what a contemporary artist is trying to express.
So, what is art? Some of the best works of art are done by children... some rendered in realism, some abstractly manifesting the hidden imagination. Absolutely, Ryan has not found his own voice, and absolutely Jackie is NO artist at all, and Miles seems to have alluded the judges very well. He too, like Ryan, is NOT very strong in expressing his OWN point of view. Rather he is very adept in his visual artistic vocabulary (I applaud that), AND he usually has a good concept, BUT he does NOT at all express his OWN point of view about that concept in the art. Unfortunately the Judges buy into his BS presentations and BS verbal diarhea about his pieces. He himself even showed hesitancy to refer to himself as an artist. Not to mention he did actually cheat and bail out in episode/task 7, as Mark said, because he did a recreation of a previous piece. Now that may not be a first, but it certainly cheats himself and everyone else. (It also would have broken the rules in Project Runway.). No one wants to see something rehearsed. Bravo's shows are about reality, creativity, and production in the moment... It's not art to regurgitate... it's puke.
I'll tell you what art is not! It is not finding something meaningful in something unintended... and that's what all the judges on WOA did with Jackie's work of LIE (a previous episode, Nude Photos with Sharpie), which was nothing more than self indulgence in the form of a "graphic blog" (and, as we all know, the Sharpie comments part was NOT her idea, and I have NEVER seen a Real Artist lie about his/her own work). By the way, this is the 21st century - what is shocking about nudity, half naked nudity at that? And the judges had her top 2 for a "Shocker"? Due to her what? Her lying explanation???? I, for one, feel the judges finally asserted their own work of art, the best shocker of the event: Judges picking Jackie top two!!!
PLEASE JUDGES?!!! PLEASE! Just vote, and let the artists verbally talk about their pieces AFTER you vote!!!
I really liked Peregrine's piece this week. It was fun and serious all at the same time and she really went at it with abandon. Miles was a disappointment, but I was not sorry to see Ryan go. Upon reflection, he probably should not have listened to Simon, but within the parameters of the show, he didn't seem to be able to function that well. He wasn't able to be thoughtful quickly. He said he needed time to think and to sleep on it to get his ideas, something he criticized Miles for doing with his naps. Miles can operate within the time constraints; Ryan couldn't.
Jaclyn's work failed because she couldn't inject her naked body into the piece. I was delighted with her discomfort with the challenge. I actually liked her tree, but that stuff she stuck on just looked desperate.
I agree with previous posters: given their criticisms of Ryan's work, the judges owed us an explanation of what they saw in Miles's piece that met the requirements of the challenge. I saw it as a major cop out that he was safe and didn't have to face a critique.
I didn't understand why Miles wasn't called back to the judges to be in the bottom. Why did he get a free pass in that he stated himself that he ignored the assigment objective and evolved a piece that he worked on months ago? So Ryan gets kicked off for doing a poor job interpreting the project but Miles stays b/c he did something that gives him a free pass while ignoring your guidelines? It would have been much more interested to put Miles next to Ryan in the end.
@ Bill Powers (and other judges): Re: Consensus: Wow, Mr. Powers! Where did that last paragraph in your Blog this week come from? IMHO every episode I see the judges really lean towards consensus and convergence on their opinions... that's ridiculous! Art is not about convergence of ideas or their interpretations – that’s a commercial politic. Being curators and critics, the judges unavoidably conform to a commercial agenda, i.e. ‘art’ as past proven, and artwork that gallery audiences may want to see or buy. Unfortunately, this kind of ‘Commercial Vortex’ can interfere with an aspiring artist’s quest to naturally develop & genuinely forge his/her own voice in fine art. Patrons can support and cultivate art without interfering in the Artist’s vision and process. So, why the strings of influential expectations by WOA and cast judges? Perhaps to compensate for the lacking talent in cast artists? One thing that is unfortunate and notably WEAK about WOA’s review format, is that the judges ask the contestants to explain their pieces verbally BEFORE judges state their interpretation... ...That ABSOLUTELY CONTRADICTS Art speaking for itself!
It also seems such a review format indicates judges' insecurity, as it enables the judges a way of justifying elimination of a contestant they ‘like’ least (even with a good piece) and bailing out a contestant they like most (even if his/her piece was terrible). Why not vote before the review/crit?
Art is NOT about ‘asking’ what is intended by a piece, but rather understanding an idea and finding its point of view via its real and original connection to you through interaction with the piece. This happens for the artist, and may only conditionally happen for the audience.
To be honest, Bill, it seems that you connected well with Peregrinne's childhood piece with the Unicorn... and it was a strong piece indeed. However, I think it is Anti-Art for judges of Artists to hear the Artist’s verbal explanations first, then attempt to filter their interpretations or reconcile any made or missed connections, especially if to determine the piece's worthiness as Art…
…Art must speak for itself! (but nothing guarantees everyone gets it, not even some experts)
Enjoyment and interpretation are fine and wonderful – but a separate form of expression! Commercially comparative reviews and judgment can be intrusively interfering to an Artist’s path, especially when it is presented as some sort of ‘expert’s’ remedial solution, a proper direction, or a ‘better’ idea.
BRAVO suggestion: Judges should JUST VOTE while FIRST-VIEWING the Art… CRITIQUE / DISCUSSIONS should be AFTER voting has taken place! Even more exciting and LESS INTRUSIVE, GET THE AUDIENCE TO VOTE. This show shouldn’t be about Art school, a commercial gallery call, or curators selling art. It should be about talented Artists finding praise for fine art. Use the mass audience. Let the selling and careers happen after/separate to the show…
Bravo World's Next Great Artist is suffering from eliminating the best contestants. Why was Miles not eliminated? He admitted his piece had nothing to do with the challenge. I loved Ryan's work. It was authentic. It reminded me of my children, of their art work, and their frustration translated into crushed pieces of attempts. I think Miles is being retained so the drama builds up until the show's ending. If this show is repeated in the next year, please be honest about the drama of the show. Perhaps you could say "only hopeful actors need apply." There was no integrity in this show. Plus, the challenges were for the most part just plain dumb. It would also help if trained and experienced artists were judges. Very disappointed.
What are you people doing, picking the artists' names to be eliminated out of a goldfish bowl? (oh, and by the way..someone forgot to put Miles' name into the bowl..). Not one of these "challenges" has given any artist the opportunity to show a true representation of his/her unique talent. What a bunch of crap. I went back and researched each artist using every outlet I could find on the internet. "The Next Great Artist"???? How in the WORLD could you people in good conscience have eliminated Ryan Shultz based on that lousy challenge? I had to stare at his paintings on his website to determine how some of those paintings were actually paintings and not photographs. Do you have any idea how nearly impossible that is to pull off, yet he does it over and over and over again? Jaclyn's paintings are also beautiful..but with these challenges, every week she comes off looking like a vapid simp. She should sue you people. No wonder they're all having stress attacks. This show SUUUUUCCCKKKKSSS now. Too bad..episode #1 showed promise.
I still don't know if I like this show or not. It is interesting and the artists are quite dramatic and sensitive just as I expected. I only have one problem/question about the Childs Play challenge, if they were only supposed to use supplies they found in the Childrens Museum how did Peregrine get the sex ads? Were they just stacked up on the counter with the rest of the supplies? If not I believe her piece should have been disqualified whether it was good or not. She obviously used supplies from outside the museum. I am shocked that none of the judges picked up on that. Doesn't seem fair to the other artists now does it????
Can we have real judges next season? Perhaps some...ahem...artists? Bill, you do fine on these cut and paste projects sometimes I guess but when you and these other judges start narrating, it's obvious you guys are just wannabes. Besides making full-on errors, you overpraise nonsense and assassinate some real flashes of brilliance - you're in over your head dude. But I'll bet there's a gallery in White Plains with your name on it!
@ WOA judges:
Of course WOA reality show is an artificial point of entry into the real art world. Nevertheless, judges need to understand level of Artist & how Artists critique each others art. There doesn’t need to be a judgmental aspect nor a commercial agenda to reactions & feedback. The judgmental aspect of the WOA judges’ review ‘CAN’ inadvertently mislead these young aspiring artists toward destructive convergences including precedence, conformity & other values that should NOT out of any necessity influence any particular fine artist's own process or point of view. Unfortunately, it is a rather toxic “reality” (influence) that the judges are prematurely giving these young underdeveloped artists a commercial direction, when their own direction should come only from developing & finding their own voices. I would recommend that any serious fine artist put them selves through this kind of situation.
Look at what this process is doing to the very voiceless Jackie (No POV). She’ll do anything to gravitate to what her perceived audience wants, and that just won’t work in fine art. The pressure has led Jackie to express someone else’s idea, to even ask for it, and to lie about her work – no real artist would ever do any of that.
It is ART DEATH to express someone else’s voice. So, why do curators & critics say what would be have been better for artists like Ryan to do? Are they itchin’ for a work made for hire? It won’t be ‘high Art’ because it won’t be pure. While I get Miles for balking at being charged with what to express, how can the judges spare him fairly if all the others were adhering to the ‘work of influence’ imposed by the producers and judges? (FYI – Miles also failed in that he recreated a past work, and that is regurgitation, and cheats us all from seeing his true POV in the work). In all fairness Miles usually has GOOD ‘Concept’, & has talented visual vocabulary, but his pieces dont express a strong personal POV – he expresses them verbally, but NOT in his work.
We can ‘learn’ technique, we can ‘learn’ vocabularies, but we can NEVER learn what to say or how to say it! That would be imitation, regurgitation, and therefore a pointless artistically suicidal effort. Any true Artist was born on the path to developing his voice & expressing it through art – but it is personal & takes balls to do that. Likewise, we don’t ‘LEARN’ to be Artists, and certainly nothing of what true Art is can come from market or buyer influence.
Some of the best works of art are done by children... some rendered in realism, some abstractly manifesting the hidden imagination. Those children didn’t learn professionally successful ways to produce their art? They weren’t guided towards precedence, art ideologies, or trends in the commercial vortex. Anyway, there are many better fields & points of entry into professional art than succumbing to a consumer driven gallery demand. With high Art, usually the gallery comes to the art, not the other way around.
I really learn a lot from your blogs. I google each name, and I love your use of quotes. My complaint.... your blogs are too short. You and Jeanne. I like this show, but I like each episode more when I read your blogs. I just don't get it all on my own, my coterie, or any of the strangers I bother.
I ejoy the show and watching artist create. That is the most interesting part of the show. THe judges are the typical Bravo panel of judges that need to blow their own careers out of the water, Hence the "lavish outfits by china chow". Who cares if her parents were friends with Andy Warhol. WHo wasn't. Thats a long list. And who wants to hear her talk about the artist? i don't. I want to hear from the artist. THis is the only show on Bravo where I really feel there is little to no one on one discussion with the artist where you get to hear them speak about where they are coming from. They took project runway and didn't change a damn thing for the artist. Project runway works because clothing designers are customer based and they are selling and creating in the time period. That is part of their method. Someone earlier mentioned that the artist should make a piece and have to go find a gallery to represent them. Watch them while they create in their dingy studio spaces and wait for word. Sarah Jessica Parker should of talked to real artist. It would of been more similar to real world. Where the artist live together share space work in the space have their lives figure things out. That is the real artist world. I was afraid to watch this show because there is some educating going on of people who are unfamiliar with art who want to understand it but won't now. The gap has widen, where we could of helped people understand and learn and turned them into collectors of art we have pushed them away. If you need help producing this give me a call. It needs help....
Oh and PS. Miles is exacting what this group wants. The others will have to bend to him to make it to the end. There is no guessing here who will finish out. He is the textbook tortured artist.Exactly what America thinks of when they see his goofy work. And that is what they think.
I actually felt that Jaclyns piece was one of her more successful ones - I just felt she couldn't verbalise it. It felt oddly harmonious with Peregrines piece in that, to me at least, both seemed to be referencing the point at which the child is confronted with the adult - where Peregrines was a social context of a child present at very adult parties, Jaclyn's seemed very sexual (have I read too much Freud or where those trees really legs with a childhood 'charm bracelet' strung between them)? For me both pieces re-contextualised the artists and helped me relate to them better.
Both my wife and I are artists and we discussed what we would create if given this challenge - one of the things I was playing with was the idea of scale (in my case I wanted to create a piece adults had to look way down into) so Bill, your comment about scale and a child's eye view with Peregrines piece really struck me. I hadn't seen it like that and it really underlines the importance of the physical presence of the piece. Like you I found it very moving and also felt you were absolutely right in concluding that Ryan needed to address his relationship with his mother in his piece. I ended up dealing with my feelings about my own mothers death in a series of Alice In Wonderland pictures some years back without even realising until others pointed it out - and I wonder if in the end it was a pre-occupation with surfaces that prevented him from articulating his feelings even subconsciously through his piece. He was clearly reflecting on the relationship but it never even came close to having a presence in what he created. I am actually in a way impressed that he managed to control those clearly very powerful feelings so they didn't show in his work - but it rather defeats the point of challenge. It is perhaps a lot to ask of someone to lay themselves bare emotionally - but is that ultimately one of the roles of an artist - to expose what others cannot of ourselves and our cultural context in an almost shamanistic way?
This week offered a bunch of rather safe black and white pieces by most of the participants. When considering the challenge and/or access to materials it seems like an artist might see freedom when "limitations" are imposed. If these pieces somehow offered reflections of the artists' experience/ as youths (with the exception of Peregrin's work), something might be said about their attempt to make "smART art" verses the act of engaging in an experience of creation.
This was not the first time Miles pulled a David Copperfield illusion over the judges, anyone recall the TV's veiled under the Bed in the junk challenge? The photo of the empty doorway used in the Audi Challenge (where did that image come from?/his laptop of existing photos)? Miles, offers work that looks like art (I really like his portfolio prints) but I think he clings too much to being safe with his choices/responses in a rehearsed manner.
I don't think that that was the purpose of this challenging experience, but I hope to see a refined second season.
Also, I wish there was at least one artist that might have worked and or learned from observational drawing and painting (I am in no way suggesting a stuffy traditionalist). Artists such as Jackie and Ryan seems too reliant on the crutch of working from photos.
To Bill Powers, As a casual viewer and fan of the program, I am disappointed by the recent decisions by the judges. I felt Miles and Jaqui's piece was a complete joke out to impress children. Masturbating Women is something I would have been impressed by when I was in Junior High. And for Miles to use a wall with punched holes in it is completely ridiculous. I look at a wall with holes in it and think of drunks having a party, not a piece of art. Miles has no business calling out another artist, and he's done it twice now. This show has become less about art and more about entertainment.