Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn

Jeanne applauds Miles' youthful enthusiasm and discusses Ryan's polarizing work in this week's junk challenge.

on Jun 16, 20100

 

This week's graveyard challenge immediately brought to mind such artists as Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, Chris Burden and Jon Kessler. So how cool that Jon came on the show as our first guest artist!? As a teacher of many years, he is used to talking on the spot. He immediately set a mandate for the artists to breathe life into the defunct objects.

Nao has a fighting spirit and good for her that she is unapologetic. The setup of cameras and stopwatch is extreme, and yes, comparable to a college crit. Nao says in this episode that she is sure to be among the top three, and her confidence is applaudable, especially following Mark's cringe-worthy comment last week about being OK with a B+. (Go to Jerry's blog on the New York Magazine's website for more.) Nao's paper cut-out work was a bit too illustrative, and on TV looked like an enormous pop-up book at best, and at worst a paper shredder out of Tim Burton's office. The scene of her hunting for pictures on the roof with the plastic bag headpiece, perhaps reclaiming the plastic from Miles' winning portrait of her, was Nao at her best.

I was the only judge that liked Ryan's unraveled zebra sculpture. To Jerry (my walk around partner) the sculpture was a mess, with the form barely distinguishable. But the shape took on that of a classical pieta, with a sculptural rhythm. His is, however, a bit clownish to watch at work.

Judith needed a better plan. Instead she got caught untying knots. We have all been struck by tunnel vision. Jon Kessler makes tinkering look easy, but it is clearly not.

Trong seemed absent from his crit - blank as his TV screens. When Bill asked Trong if he would include this work in his own retrospective, it was surprising that Trong did not play along, neither defending the work nor claiming defeat. Of course, few artists want to be approached as dead, planning their retrospective. In this time-based contest, a capable artist's fate lies in the strength of a single work. Our judgments are not cumulative.

Nicole's burial diorama, if a bit nostalgic, was especially moving in person. Her careful categorization of the objects obsolescence was touching, even intimate. She took to heart Jon's note that each object holds its history. She built her own archeological site, her mini-grand canyon. She showed sophisticated use of on hand materials - it was not just objects buried in a sandbox. Perhaps if Miles hadn't made the clutch move of sleeping through the viewing, she might have won this one. But probably not.

 

25 comments
NiaRae
NiaRae

I think Miles has a misunderstood sense of humor, which makes it hard for people to see the good in his work. What I like about Miles is that he is not trying hard to impress, he is doing his own thing and I believe that separates him from the rest. No one knows what type of atmosphere these people had previously been living in, and I find it charming that Miles is clearly there just trying to enjoy the opportunity he has been given.

The thing to realize about this show is that artists have so many different types personalities and points of view (I can say that because I am an artist), that it's impossible for everyone to be understood and well-liked. Miles' sense of humor and art may not be for everyone, but I personally enjoy it and find it refreshing in a reality TV world full of fake and overzealous personalities.

James Totulis Viewer
James Totulis Viewer

"Discussing the past only makes opts for a safer future." Let your next program reward the BEST ARTIST for the LEAST effective/affective work of art....Balance would gradify this artist/audience member at home. ----James Totulis

Niccoshea
Niccoshea

I do agree about watching Miles and his process is very exciting, also his honest brash nature is good TV... but why is there no portfolio of his work with the other artists? Is there a "hidden" reason behind that?

TornpaperArt
TornpaperArt

I agree with Picasso291 comment, Miles didn't meet the challenge requirements. You can't play favorites, and you shouldn't allow contestants to add to the judging process, his obsessive compulsive behavior is entertaining during the creation, but inappropriate during judging.

L Mario
L Mario

I hope Bravo gives you the opportunity to have a one on one with the artists. One of the most important aspects of any successful artist is his or her relationship with their gallerists. Great art dealers like Castelli, Parsons, and Janis supported their artists financially and emotionally; granted they are art dealers from a by-gone era. Today art dealers are now referred to as gallerists. The job title may have change but the relationship between the gallerists and artists is even more important today then ever.

Here is my quick break down on relationships in the creative arts

Artists make stuff Art dealers/gallerists discover the artist, then exhibit the artist’s stuff Viewers look at stuff Critics voice their opinion on stuff Collectors buy stuff Museums exhibit stuff from wealthy collectors and sometime buy stuff to add to the museum collection. Auction houses resell stuff Raise and Repeat

Right now Bravo is focusing on stuff artists make, but the real reality about art is the relationships that the artist forms in his or her career.

Point blank: Bravo should give you your own show!

Ken Lasher
Ken Lasher

I don't understand how Miles won the graveyard challenge. He didn't use anything from the graveyard! He screen printed a over sized pillow, made two butt holes out of cement and made a bed out of plywood and lumber. Where was the graveyard item?

If a guy lying on a homemade bed is what you call art, then I am in the wrong business. He (or You) should be working at Rooms to Go!!!

Sarah Linered
Sarah Linered

Dear Jeanne, I love t;o watch you shine on the show you have really shown and proven that you know art, and you really know what your talking about. You have great clarity and diction so I can really understand what your saying. I am truly inspired by you because I am not much of an art person so to watch you helps me learn a ton. Great job on the show so far I am looking forward to watching more!

Sonia291
Sonia291

First I want to thank you for bringing this type of reality TV entertainment to us. As an artist myself I LOOK and have LOOKED on national television for some kind of relative field in the visiual arts. Another TV station is dedicated to the presentation of the arts, but not enough of the VISIUAL kind and if so its always repetative and boring. It's time that artists like us are recognized not only in Galleries but also on national television. Every week I look eagerly forward to seeing another segment of your show. As a result of your show I have literally learned so much and enjoyed everyones produced artwork. My favorite so far is Abdi Farah, I enjoy his entrepetations, concepts and well done executions, a very talented young man. However, Miles on the other hand did not sit fine with me. I agree with everyones opinion of him and should've stuck with the supplies at hand. Also, it was uncalled for to critique Trong when the Judges have already decided his outcome. I thought it was kind've childish and naive. Thank you Jessica Parker for such a wonderful program

Judith BRAUN
Judith BRAUN

It may be silly to go around defending Trong, he's doing it fine on his own. But from my vantage, standing inside the scene itself I saw and heard Trong responded thoughtfully, though not launching huge defenses. Maybe it "sounded" blank to the judges, and I can't argue with Jeanne's perceptions, but Trong sure wasn't just staring blankly. As for Bills question of whether he'd use the piece in his envisioned "retrospective"...any definitive answer would give to much credence to such a question, based on a piece made in the reality show challenge context....the question seemed to be just trying to corner him, not critique the work..

just a tranny
just a tranny

I wish you didn't have to make fun of some of the most disposable and most often mocked and murdered. Now I am not able to enjoy the rest of your blog entry, now whenever I hear your commentary on the show I will always be returned in my mind to the fact that you think this way about transpeople. Someday, it will be as unacceptable to write that as it is to write other pejoratives that used to be common place. But the odds are much higher for my being stabbed multiple times or bludgeoned to death before that happens.

chris n
chris n

Your comments in the blog are far more interesting than those edited into the show. I wish you would speak your mind as well as you write it, although perhaps you have and it did not get included. Still, I would repeat what I wrote in Bill's blog, relative to what actually gets onto the show:

I am disappointed in the judges remarks and reactions. They are fairly superficial, self-serving, literal, tentative, and yet smug (like you are all deer in the headlights, yet are looking at yourselves talking in the mirror), rather than actually giving good, constructive feedback. As a group, you don't seem as knowledgeable as one would expect of such "experts." For instance, I agree that it is embarrassing that Jerry Saltz did not know who Tom Friedman was. Hmmm....

There were several good pieces this week. I wish the show would not ignore some of the contestants who are not in the top or bottom three. Actually, more contestants and less judging would be great. Jon Kessler was fine, probably because of his experience teaching art. Maybe it would work better to have all guest judges - or more art teachers - or let viewers vote.

As for Miles, although he makes solid, though flawed work, many viewers are sick of him already. Whether he is whining about his plight, poisoning the other contestants with his material fumes, or leaping uninvited into the judges' role, he is boring and annoying. More of the other contestants, please.

Pamela,non-artist
Pamela,non-artist

Thank you Bravo! My family and I are thoroughly enjoying this new show, and learning quite a bit along the way too I might add. I personally don't have an artistic cell in my body, but I do know what I like. So far I am in complete agreement with the judges (though I feel that first challenge really belonged to the second place portrait...would love to own that myself!)

Keep up the great work everyone!

Tannis Curls
Tannis Curls

Just another thought about Mile's piece. He mentioned a couple of times,that he was going for a totally uncomfortable feeling for the bed. His mattress looked awfully fluffy and comfy to me. You know,...he could have killed two birds with one stone, by smashing a few t.v. screens and taking that glass, with say some circuit boards, etc. Stuffing that into his mattress, he would have fulfilled the requirement of using some of the supplied materials for the task, as well as realizing his concept to it's fullest......In my opinion the T.V. tomb should have taken top honors.

alexian
alexian

Oh Miles! Poor, brilliant Miles. So tortured, so disheveled, so deep, so genius. SO CLICHE!!! (I have two babies under two so I don't have a lot of sympathy for sleep deprived kids like Miles) I agree with so many comments- and I am relieved to see I am not alone in my opinion of the Miles Vs. Trong discussion. "Artists" like Miles give artists a bad name. I'm just sad that the judges were all so blown away by him- I only saw what BRAVO showed me, but I see nothing more than a bull sh-t artist. But to his acclaim- we are all talking about him!! Who knows, my opinion of Miles may change as the show grows. I'll give him another chance. I am all about second chances. On another note; It's great to see another visual arts inspired show. Not sure it has the criteria to produce the "next best artist"- If so; it challenges everything I know to be true about what a "great artist" is. Entertaining nonetheless and the artists who are being shown will be fun to watch. And since I am weighing in the TV head man/boy sculpture should have WON!

FULCRUM
FULCRUM

Fun show - it is very exciting and very interesting to see the imagination that the artists bring into it.

As for 2nd episode challenge - I don't understand how one artist can be condemned for not re-imaging the piece when miles -- literally didn't use them. Moreover -- now that Miles has twice in as many episodes shown that he is full of pretense and artifice I have to say I like him even less that Nao -- and that is sooo hard to top.

He seems like a pretentious little jerk and I can not believe that the judges are falling for this. I hope they catch on fast. In the first episode he pretended he didn't know who SJP - and I don't care what he says in his interview - that wasn't a joke - he was trying to seem above the TV watching crowd. And then with his SLEEP and his "distractedly boring" - etc... what a jerk. Also - the project didn't call for SLEEP how the show was affecting him - it called for a narrative about found and discarded objects.

He's cute - but let's move on and stop thinking he is the next big thing. He's a jerk.

verdi111
verdi111

Seems pretty obvious to me that Miles planned his installation in advance of the show. That he fell asleep at the warehouse to promote it before he made it. And he only marginally adapted the electronics idea to make the installation suit the challenge and that his OCD persona is an act in itself.

I don't know...maybe that's the way to play to game. Have your ideas mapped out ahead of time and just adapt the challenges to fit an idea you've already formed. Portrait of the Dead. Check. Performance Art Sleeping among the concrete Anuses. Check.

Nicole I think should have won that one. And I think Trong would have stayed if he'd adapted a similar anthropological motif and stacked up his televisions and appliances into a totem pole.

I do like Abdi. A lot. This wasn't his best piece but still..... I think there's authenticity and integrity in his work.

Can't say the same for Miles.

Avid
Avid

Love the show! and you are becoming my favorite judge.

Art can be so "intimidating" on so many levels, and I think this show is helpingtobreak barriers showing that is all so subjective and that we can all relate, regardless of our background, socioeconomic status or pedigree. I appluad that about this show.

Sure was sorry to see Trong go. I did like his piece and was looking forward to seeing more from him. I still do not get the appeal of Miles' sculpture, but just my opinion.

Jea DeVoe
Jea DeVoe

It is a pleasure to get so many different view points and opinions. I value your insight and I agree, "TV land is a legitimate venue for an artist" and their work, I might add. I was inspired by my elementary school teacher, a former Marine in a three piece button down suit, who for me, first sang the siren song of the Muses. I began my painting career in PS1 NYC in 1958, finger painting and find deep personal satisfaction in following my muse. I am old school and feel if one uses the current precepts and acceptable western Art canons you can justify Amandas release and by the same token (great art is a word kicked around to much for me) Only time will truly tell what works transcend their time and place and have universal value. That brings me to the Sculpture Task, for me Miles "Worst Place" as an installation or performance art, is truly inspired, but as sculpture falls flat, a thousand years form now if I came upon it in a cave I would most likely think it a tomb if you compare it to the "Venus of Willendorf" his sculpted work on this task is vapid with out the context! Truly the most demanding judge of the Arts is Father time.

Carolyn Kay
Carolyn Kay

Just when I thought I might begin to see what the art world appreciates, you judges threw me for a complete loop.

Miles criticized Tranh's work for being boring, but what's more boring than watching a sleeper? What's exciting or engaging about another person sleeping?

You judges criticized some of the contestants for not incorporating the technology, but neither did Miles. So your judgments make no sense to this un-art trained person.

If the show keeps up like this, I may have to give up on the notion that I might come to understand what art is all about by watching it.

Joanne Luongo
Joanne Luongo

If the show goes on for another season, my suggestion to you and the producers is to get a judge who knows who Tom Friedman is. Jerry Saltz not only embarrassed himself, but probably lost a good many viewers due to his ignorance. In my humble opinion, and from an artists' viewpoint, this has hurt the show, and is a disadvantage to the conceptual artists who are competing.

AuntyDonut
AuntyDonut

i feel that Miles was making a commentary about being surrounded by a**holes and you all loved it and allowed him to force his opinion of Trong and you know what they say opinions are like a**holes everyone has got one and apparently miles has four.

Picasso291
Picasso291

As a viewer i really didn't understand why Miles won. One I do not believe he used any of the materials from junk warehouse in a novel or redesign way. As a viewer we saw him building the bed from lumbar that he purchased. I think by the rules of the challenge he would have been eliminated. He did not use the materials in any shape or form that was uniques or reconstuted them. Sleeping with your work is nothing new. I just couldn't believe as a judge one would fall for such a trite concept. One that has been used time and time again. Supposely he used the material ( by deliberating refusing to use the term Junk) by placing it under the bed. Did he tell you he did this, or could one see it. Did he actually reinvent or breath new life into them/ or purposefully design them in anyway? If so from viewing the episode the viewer could not and left us scratching our heads. Honestly I think the judges need to go back and review their call. I just don't think he met the requirements of the challenge.

BigLittleWolf @ DailyPlateOfCrazy
BigLittleWolf @ DailyPlateOfCrazy

I liked Ryan's sculpture as well - what could be seen of it. But everything pales in comparison to what Miles created. Its juxtapositions of hard and soft, rectangular and circular, even the screen print of (interior) circuitry on the surface of the bed covers was brilliant. Then there's his humor, which is boyish and brash, but in no way offensive.

Curling up and sleeping on his literal "platform" - real or not - was the pièce de résistance.

I imagine the judges expected something more of Trong, whereas Jaime was cut some slack. As for Judith - her original concept wasn't served, and what she ultimately presented was a confused mess. There were many possibilities in the use of the fine wires and cables, but she missed the boat on that one.

I continue to be impressed with the way this show is being handled.

TwistedVisions
TwistedVisions

I thought that both of the picks were wrong. I agreed in the top and bottom groups but did not think that Trong's was the worst of the bottom group. His at least had some artistic thought in it. As to Miles, he did not even complete the assignment! Yeah he slept on the art... and had two giant bungholes, but other than that, wasn't the assignment to use the items in the graveyard to create art? He did not use a single piece of electronics (yeah he copied a circuit card motif onto his bed, but otherwise I saw no bits from the electronics graveyard. I don't care if it was the best art in the gallery, it DID NOT fulfill the assignment and therefore should have been DQed or at least commended but not considered for the win!

As to your comment about the "no judgement approach" His comment about Trong's art was certainly judgemental and definitely worthy of the worst traits of reality game TV.