Great idea: every time a crappy reality show comes on tv, turn it off, go to your room, and create a beautiful piece of art. I'm going to start the ball rolling on this TONIGHT.
Last week Ryan was sent home. On my computer screen, his work reproduced well. His rejected crumples spilling onto the floor, with his scratchy, left-handed drawings hung from above, depicted this challenge. Child-like screw ups and sketches, yet adult in abstracted gesture and display (which also reminded me of his unraveled Zebra sculpture from the graveyard challenge). The attempt to draw left-handed, and its failure, seemed enough to pull him through. Left brained, left footed ... but flat footed.
Sorry that I was not around for these two episodes, it won't happen again.
This week the remaining six artists were given sweeping art historical topics to tackle in pairs. Certainly their team discussions felt vague, as if these topics had been left unattended in their educations, either in science class (order and chaos), religion or art history (heaven and hell), or in history and at the playground (male and female). But these topics require discussion. Google any one and be overwhelmed just by the pages. Jeff Koon's famed "Made in Heaven" series combined all of these topics into one. He would have been the ideal judge for this challenge!
In general, this episode revealed how hard it is to talk about art - cleverly highlighted by the goof during the commercial break where the artists attempt to describe their meaning of art. It is edited as one big blooper. Not to say that I did not enjoy this - I did. The frustration and pleasure of their stops, starts and pauses are genuine, and drive me to be more articulate and clear cited when discussing art.
Again this week, the losing work looked good on screen. Mark's blissed out depiction of himself at the pearly gate was readable - the only element missing was his wings. And, despite Jerry's comment and Peregrine's worry, his team's "light and dark" approach does carry historical precedence - think Hieronymus Bosch, or Blake's illustrations of Milton's Paradise Lost, and so on. But their interpretation seemed pale next to the male and female team, who also stereotyped head-on, yet succeeded. Thank heaven for Miles's repeated manipulations, his punch (but, no bloody knuckle?), and for Ryan's tar.
Great idea: every time a crappy reality show comes on tv, turn it off, go to your room, and create a beautiful piece of art. I'm going to start the ball rolling on this TONIGHT.
I must say, people take this show and its cast way too seriously. Who cares if people manipulate others on the show? And in all actuality, that's all reality tv is, people manipulating each other and producers creating unrealistic story lines.
Yes, the show does not portray the "art world" in the best way, but the show is entertaining and people do watch it and follow it, otherwise, there would not be people posting on a blog for the show.
I personally like Miles. Not only is he attractive, but he is witty and smart. He gets inside of people's minds and messes with them. By doing so, he has allowed for himself to go far in the competition. He obviously knows what he is doing.
Viewers need to not get so heated about the participants on the show. IT IS JUST A TV SHOW!!! Also, if you are so dissatisfied with the program, don't watch it. Nobody is forcing you to watch it.
when i walked around a particular corner in the louvre about 10 years ago, there was a marble sculpture "cupid and psyce" as a stood before this piece, i could see it breath, with a few minutes i was weeping as i had never before experienced a work of art actually take my breath from me. great art needs no explaination, it needs no judgement, it just becomes great during the process of its creation, it is great the moment it is finished.
funny to think that the sculpture i saw 10 years ago even today would put to shame any of these pieces and would have perfectly representes all six of these opposing forces, and opposites.
Wouldn't it have been interesting if the judges didn't know whose work was who's? Therefore they would have to judge only on the piece itself without being preoccupied with who created it. Now granted for some like Miles and Jaclyn it would have been obvious, but then again we might not have seen such favoritism as we've seen throughout this show.
It seems to me that judges (or really producers) have eliminated all the artists who didn't look good on camera and/or didn't project enough drama...so typical of most reality shows but surprising coming from a Bravo reality show.
What I expected was to see were artists creating art sometimes out of their comfort zone like Project Runway or Top Chef....how many times have we seen challenges in which the contestants had to use a certain material or ingredient they weren't comfortable using? where is that here? Where is the versatility at all with the likes of Miles, Jaclyn, or Nicole?
Producers take heed to these posts because about 90% of them reflect that this show is lacking and very disappointing. And a lot of these posters offer good critique and good ideas.
I hope there is a reunion show because I will be very curious to watch how these artists respond to the comments made by viewers.
Well I think we all wish that the artists demonstrated more familiarity with art history, and cultural and scientific ideas in general. But the time constraints don't provide an opportunity for the artist to think through the *challenge*, grasp it fully and place it in any sort of context. Of course, the weak and campy quality of the challenges hasn't helped. Stereotypes are about all there is time to work with--and that is not the fault of the participants.
There is also the luck of the draw. Male/Female is nearly open-ended; Heaven/Hell is constrained by the Judeo-Christian tradition that established the dichotomy in the first place. "Order/Chaos" was potentially the most interesting duality. I think both Nicole and Abdi failed in equal amounts with that one.
Yeah, I would hope that the judges, the main Jury especially, would think more deeply about what they say and how they say it. There is no question but that none of the so-called "experts" comes off looking well-educated, aesthetically perceptive, or thoughtful in expression. There have been many chances to sneak some genuine content into this diverting bit of frivolity and few have been taken.
Oh, and by the way Jeanne, I think you mean "clear sighted"?
When did asking an artist if she masturbates standing up pass for some legitimate criteria for judging talent? This show seems seems so contrived and the judges all seem to have crushes on miles and Jaclyn and have some clouded reasoning for whose work they like. I was very dismayed at the lines that have been crossed in this show. You do not see sexiness enter into judging top chef or project runway.
The whole show is very disrespectful to artist starting with some of the choices for contestants like the nutty older lady to the scrap book style artist from down south somewhere. These could not possibly been the strongest contestants of the 1000s that applied for the show. When they choose contestants for top chef and project runway it appears that they have legitimately tried to find skilled people. People watch this and think that artists are a bunch of pretentious idiots.
Your challenges are not the same as cooking shows. A public art installation in two days? That is ridiculous it is not like conceiving and sewing a garment or putting together food. The process of art usually takes time and for the artists whose genres take time it is unfair. Sculpting takes a lot more time than taking a photo and manipulating it on photoshop or doing a screen print of it for example.
You are going to lose a lot of viewers - especially artist viewers if you don't fill the holes in this sinking ship.
The fine art world is fond of using the put down of "Craftsmanship" when condescending to skilled artists, yet Miles the brilliant Craftsman is winning all the way with clever manipulation of the participants and a skill saw. He played everyone and is being openly rewarded for it. Such a wonderful example of how the art world works when there is more to your manipulation ability and less to your art than the art world judges bring to it. Do almost nothing with your art; let the judges put depth of meaning into it. I Love how this show reflects the art world!! Encouraging Jaclyn to do herself nude again was a brilliant ploy by Miles to make it seem like she's the artist repeating herself when in fact Miles has done variations of the same minimalist theme. The kid makes me want to be on the show just to try and beat him at his game. I do wish the producers would stop featuring someone chastising him every show, it always gives away that they are going to be voted off, killing the suspense.
I think Miles would be better suited for a construction site. At first his building was interesting-- now it is downright boring....and can Jackie do anything but nudes? Peregrine's frustration with Mark's inability to push the envelope was apparent...what a downer for her to have such narrow partner. I will be glad when we get back to individual challenges. At that point it will be apparent to everyone that the best artist at hand is Peregrine.
Sad to see Mark go as he was a hometown favorite. Abdi is definitely who I'm rooting for at this point. Peregrine seems a bit inconsistent and with the crowd thinning out the margin of error is nil. Jaclyn is probably a bukkake away from squeezing by yet another round. Miles and Nicole will most likely be in the finale. It will consumate in a lovers quarrel and the end of Miles as we know it as he self-implodes in an american apparel emo meltdown of galactic proportions. Welcome back Jeanne.
As someone who makes art and has been very ill, I was moved by Mark's part of the whole work. I understood Peregrine's contribution, but reacted only intellectually to it. Virginia Woolf talks about the spiritual aspect of being ill, so does Proust. I did not see Mark's "heaven" as his death, or his being at the Pearly Gates. I saw and felt those moments when one is so weak, so far down, actually, that one can only communicate with God. These are moments of transformation, not of giving up, because one still has hope. I thought Mark beautifully portrayed these moments.
Two more things - If his portrayal was so safe - why was everyone screaming? If it was so safe, why was he voted off? And, are photoshop skills accepted form of expression in this contest or not accepted? Why comment on them if they are accepted?
I think this show is a prime example of the disconnect between "normal" people and the so-called "artworld." I believe art is a form of communication. A successful communication consists of a work telling an idea, and the viewer UNDERSTANDING it with no explanation or essay to tell you what it is. I feel a work of art needs to succeed in this communication WITHOUT the person standing there explaining it to you. It needs to stand ON ITS OWN, and tell the story of our time. This holds true especially in todays fastfood - McDonalds type society where people have the attention span of a 6 yr old with ADHD. A wall with a hole punched through it? If I was in a gallery I would have walked right past it because it doesn't immediately grab my attention and say "that guy has skill." Normal people tend to like art that they themselves can't do. I have a theory about this. I believe that when normal people see the work of someone like Rembrandt, Bonnat, Valesquez, and even modern painters like Graydon Parrish....something happens to them. They get a sense of relief and a sense of hope that MAN can create such emotionally packed imagery with a few primitive tools. A stick with hair, some pressed oil, and some metal mixed in with it. An ARTIST needs to MASTER their craft AND have the problem solving skills to convey a complex idea that will work a thousand years from now.
It seems to me that for the most part the people on this show have not chosen their style purposefully, but due to their limitations. They have not mastered their craft, thus resort to sticking cigarette buttes into oversized photos.
Thats how I see it anyway....
Watching this show every week is like watching a gradual descent into hell. The healthiest is eliminated each week and what's left are the most manipulative and most easily manipulated. It is a very sick show. And the judges are leading the descent. I won't be watching anymore.
Not sure I really buy Miles' "loss of control" depiction via punching a wall. That seemed pretty controlled to me. He built the wall and methodically punched a hole, exactly where he intended to.
A loss of control is when you are so angry, you punch a real, installed wall of sheetrock, completely "blind". (aka "drunken roulette".) You may hit a stud... or you may luck out. Broken wall, or broken knuckles.
Now that would have been giving up some control... not exactly practical, but far more interesting, and with some adrenalin.
And for once, I can forgive Jaclyn's decision to strip for the camera. I've painted and seen lots of unsettling work, and for me, that painting was downright disturbing. It was the most cringe-worthy, unsexy thing Ive seen on this show so far, and as a result, it was pretty spiffy. She was so uncomfortable about it, she couldn't even say the word "masturbate".
Despite the fact that her "side" was supposed to represent taking back control, that was some serious loss of control.
THEY GOT IT ALL BACKWARDS.
...or... not really.
The female archetype is traditionally understood as the unstable, primal psyche who needs to be controlled, ("hysteria" root: "hyster" [uterus] re: Freud) and the male has commonly been referred to as the one who represents rationale, logic, structure, and control. So despite Miles completely missing the point of the exercise (again), it still seemed to work itself out, concept-wise.
Aesthetically.. meh. :/ Try again. No excuse for mediocrity.
Jaclyn likes to deal with the male gaze in her work, but I think in this piece, she had a chance to get really uncomfortable with that. The male gaze subject is still part of that whole 1990s postmodern period, and it tires me, but at least this work seemed honest.
Miles, on the other hand, never seems to take a risk about anything when it comes to the work he has made on this show. It's all very nice and controlled, and everything is according to plan. I would argue his work is downright fascistic, but he just doesn't appear to have made a true connection to his method to go full-out and explore what that kind of control and rigidity is truly about. It's a shame, actually, because I think he could really make some interesting pieces which contain a lot of tension, and would also prove to be far more personal. Hopefully, before the season ends, he decides to let go of safety, and drown in control.
This episode was as Mile's would put it, "distractingly boring", but Mark and Parakeet's dilemma did break the monotony. Hearing and seeing the explanation behind their work was very emotional. Mark offered himself up and his story. Miles thinks that is a trivial gesture, which he stated in a very waspish and unattractive manner and I disagree.
His pal Jaclyn won again for her vulnerability. She offered herself up as the human figure in their work, in a cliche manner, but she did it. Then Mile's created his piece, which tied the two together.
Alone, she would have been standing there open and vulnerable again. Mark offered himself up as the human figure in his and Parakeet's work. She is the one who failed to offer anything to tie their visions together. Her work was hokey, amateurish, and she incorporated cigarettes again so soon after winning the previous challenge, which cigarettes were a prominent part of that work.
The finished piece did fail because it was too literal and too cheaply executed, but what was there and salvageable was Mark's Heaven work. It was peaceful and the scar was communicated properly, atleast you could make it out and probably reach in your mind, "Ok, nirvana despite past trauma," but Parakeet's Hell made no sense and brought you no where, it was as vapid as Abdi's Cave.
What was this hyping up this episode as the most emotional ever, not hardly. Why, because what's her face cried in light of she knew they were eliminating the wrong person?
Why didn't anyone correct Abdi when he kept saying that Socrates wrote 'The Cave'? It was driving me crazy! Plato wrote it! Plato, gd it! Plato!
"(which also reminded me of his unraveled Zebra sculpture from the graveyard challenge)"
Huh? Did I miss something? I don't remember a graveyard challenge.
Mark, good luck to you and I hope to see your work in the future. You kept your integrity, unlike some of the others. Keep it up.
Unfortunately, Miles, Nicole, and Jaclyn are the best suited for reality TV. The casting people and producers most likely cast them first as probable winners, then cast backwards to determine who be voted off earlier to ensure one of them winning. That's usually how reality tv works folks. It's not like they just saw a few thousand artists and determined that this handful were "the best". They have to make sure idiots like us tune in each week to see some drama and expend effort posting about it! What really sucks is that this show has probably ruined people like Miles' or Jaclyn's art careers. Their disingenuous behavior will hurt them in the long run. No one will take them seriously after this and they will be punchlines in the art world - yet all they probably wanted to do was win some cash on a game show...
This show eludes me. Good artists are being sent home and all the while the judging continually seem to fawn over Miles and his "here, it's a fist through the wall" pieces. It's confusing to me.
I wonder if any of this work would be marketable in the real world, would anyone purchase what they are considering art. I just don't see anyone saying I have to have this for my home or collection, do you? I would be interested in having the judges price the pieces, show us what they think these art pieces are worth in the real world.
Here's what's bothering me.
The time constraints in the format of the show is forcing all the artwork more or less into purely conceptual expression because executing the challenges satisfactorily in traditional media is very nearly an impossibility.
Looking at Miles Mendenhall's earlier portfolio, it's obvious much of his focus is in the low brow art movement but nearly all of his work on the show is conceptual (except for the Micky Mouse). It's a smart way for him to play the game, but Conceptualism is antithetical to the ideals behind the low brow movement.
And this kind of artificiality, in my opinion, greatly detracts from what is potentially the most provocative aspect of trying to blend the creative process of the artist and reality television.
Oy. Talk about impenetrable duality.
Okay - I almost threw in the towel, but I really want to finish this season to see if Miles wins (I don't want him to, but it looks that way). He & Jackie remind me of rich kids who went to a Liberal Arts college and now think they're "all that." Of course Peregrine's part of that whole art snobbery. Again & again, I keep hoping this show would've made art more "approachable" but all it's done is prove to me that the art world still considers itself above everyone else. Really? Jackie naked again? Has she had a TOTALLY original idea yet where no one infuenced her?
I watched the show for the first time and felt it was a big joke. No design elements were discussed. Art is not really about the narrative, or at least not only about the narrative, but that's what this show is about. Do you masturbate standing up? Seriously, this was a question in regard to visual art? I am so disgusted by this stupid show and so incredibly disappointed that I will not watch again. I've been a painter for over 30 yrs and have a BFA in painting. This show has nothing to do with art and everything to do with egos, cheesy tears rolling down a judge's face ( I was impressed with her smudge free eyeliner I will admit) and sensational ratings. If you want a good show about art, go to HULU or Netflix and find Art 21 or ArtCity. Those are great shows that talk about something real and challenging.
I am often frustrated by the 'art speak' that seems to so read into work..didn't I read that Barnett Newman's minimalist canvases represented heaven and hell and all dualities? Hmmm..Sometimes I think that Miles is just pulling your collective legs and you always fall for it! Frankly I just don't get the tar.. I was deeply moved by Mark and Perigrine's work; I thought it had a very strong emotional impact and I thought the sublety of Mark's piece really worked.
It bothers me to read viewers' criticism of Jaclyn. She's investigating issues that are familiar to every woman: Wanting to be attractive, indeed celebrating our sexuality, while sometimes feeling violated by men's response to it. Some of us are unsure if our feminism is compromised by our desire to look hot. Jaclyn has been attacked in these pages for being a hypocrite, for contradicting herself. But if these things were simple, if we had it all together, what would art be like? Dull, no? Would we even need it?
On the other hand don't you LOVE the way the male judges react to Jaclyn's work? They have a free pass to lust over her luscious young body. They maintain their dignity and political correctness through proper discussion of the male gaze." Now that I think of it, aren't they assuming the time-honored role of protectors of women?
None of this is to say that Jaclyn is the "next great artist," or even that her work is particularly good. But you're an insightful and interesting critic, so I value your opinion of it.
And I sure would like to hear you call out your colleagues on their prurient subtext!
I wonder if the judging would turn out differently if the judges were able to see all of the same footage we get to see as an audience. Of course this can also be said of show like Project Runway. Do we think the judges would care that Miles was manipulating his partner in this challenge or that he used materials from a previous manipulation. Would they like him more or less if they were to get to see behind the scenes as we are?
I can understand how some of the judges decisions seem controversial; judging art is highly subjective. Still, I get a sickening feeling that the eliminations rely (to some extent) on viewer ratings, rather than a cool headed critique of the work. Are we really judging works of art, or we are keeping the drama going?
I also felt sad that Mark had to go... I do see how the judges wanted more from him, but I don't feel this standard of excellence is being enforce across the board (read Jakclyn and Miles.)
But what really nauseated me from this last challenge was seeing Miles tearing Mark's work apart; I thought his comments where a big faux from him, considering Marks gutsy introspection... you have to give the guy a share of credit for that.
So shame on Miles, shame on the judges (specially that guest judge dimwit), and shame on us viewers for feeding our ratings to such a failed show.
It was so predictable that Jaclyn took off her clothes again and was lauded for it. Please. Very little manipulation was needed from Miles although he congratulated himself on the victory. Mark disrobes (and clearly not because he loves himself the way Jaclyn does) and he's penalized for it. Hello, Peregrine should have gone down for that, not Mark. This was Peregrine's concept...and her "hell" was far far more contrived than his "heaven".
So Mark disrobes and it's not met with positive review. Jaclyn does again and again as if it's a new statement and you all find a way to find it...art. Such complete bull. You are all so ridiculous. I'm done with the show. Not interested in seeing the season out or in a season 2. Right down there with the interior design debacle.
I agree with someone above...Would be NICE to have more diversity (both of gender and of ideas) on the judges panel!
Quote from Jeanne Rohatyen above DIAGNOSES a major problem with many of these artists (notably Peregrine and maybe Nicole...possibly Miles) ". Certainly their team discussions felt vague, as if these [sweeping historical] topics had been left unattended in their educations, either in science class (order and chaos), religion or art history (heaven and hell), or in history and at the playground (male and female)."
I think there's a REAL lack of official (or unofficial) exposure to major ideas in life. Oh, maybe some had the college English or philosophy course & discussed a few ideas...
Viewers can (over time) figure out who has depth to their ideas & who doesn't. Abdi and secondly Mark are my two favorites as substantive thinkers.
That 'blooper' reel showing the artists talking about their process and work was insulting. You create a show about art, you then get a bunch of artists together, and then ask them to discuss their work and then turn around and make them look morons. Keepin' it real classy there, Bravo.
Miles persistently draws squares. Jackie persistently displays her body (Pride and Prejudice?). Jackie masturbates; Miles ejaculates; John gets eliminated. Miles continues to be boring and do what Miles wants to do which is blame his whole life on OCD. I wish at least one of the judges would admit that this show lacks honesty.
How intriguing this blog speaks of Miles' manipulations! The only manipulations I see in him are the ones he perpetrates on the naive judges or his equally naive opponents. Raiding an absent competitors materials, no less while crowing about how he planned it that way all along just adds to the stench of fraud surrounding Miles. Also smelling like the proverbial fish after three days: Jaclyn and those faux boobs. This woman is a walking cliche, and a rather vapid one, at that. Her lack of originality makes me livid. Shame on the judges for falling for Miles and Jaclyn's tired acts ad nauseum. The guest judge, Ryan McGinniss, seemed as precious and self-important as his own cloyingly kitschy art. I suppose frauds speak to each other across a crowded art gallery. Where is PT Barnum when we really need him?
Tonight's episode showed me only what I have always believed to be true about artists. They love their own BS and will spew it non-stop whether you believe it or not. Jackie is self-centered & ego-maniacal so of course Miles was her perfect team mate. Peregrine is too self-conscious and unsure to be truly whole person (maybe she will be a good artist though)but I was really disappointed when she threw Mark under the bus.
Mark on the other hand, stood like a man and accepted responsibility for his choices. Bravo!!! This alone should have won the contest for him. I applaud him for his work and his ethics. He is a "work of art" who should continue to hone his craft.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that can't stand Miles. What's funny is I thought he was pretty good looking when I first saw him, but the guy opens his mouth and the ugly pours out. Bummer is it kills the fact that his art sometimes hits.
The show is a good idea, I'm excited about the possibility of seeing interesting work created, but they need to treat it differently than say a top chef type show. Complete pieces need time to develop and finish, regardless of how quickly someone can find a concept and hone their idea. The time limits need to be longer. It will serve the quality of the show in the long run. Cos what's the use of finding creative talent if none of them get to really open up what they have?
I think contemporary art is more about concepts and less about skill or talent. Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol are some of the more famous artists who did this. Abdi may be able to paint reasonably well, but his ideas almost always fall flat and he double guesses himself constantly. I'm about 90% sure that Miles will probably win this thing, but I can't be 100% sure. You never know what might happen. Nicole has surprised me because she seems far more conceptual than she did in the first couple of episodes. Jacklyn is also a good painter, but she's kinda in the same boat as Abdi. Almost everything she does seems to have to do with her naked body. Nothing wrong with that. Art has always been about the human forms.
Wow, the ALL male judges are so predictable . It's so sad. They LOVE it when Jackie shows some boob, and pretends like she doesn't want to, over and over again . Pulleeeease! That's all BS, Jackie I almost believed you were not about exploiting your plastic body, and don't even pretend they are real. Miles work is art because he's so pretentious and the judges believe it. That chick who keeps making high school art projects needs to go too. Abdi and Perigrine are the real artists.
Shouldn't Miles have been disqualified for using someone's left over materials? Was there no budget for this challenge? Just curios.
Missed your presence on the show these past two weeks. I know that art is subjective, but I am curious if any of the judges feel that Jaclyn is continually relying on her sexuality and her body to skate by in this competition. Maybe my frustration stems from the fact that it appears on more than one occasion her competition has really given her the ideas for her pieces of work. I think her paintings ar egood, but nothings pectacular and her inability to compose a piece without outside influence does not sit well with me.
Sad to see Mark go. He seems so genuine and like a great guy. I forsee lots of success for him in the commercial field.
China looked great tonight, as always. That dress --- how fun and sparkly was that?