Simon de Pury

Simon weighs in on the artists' junk yard art, from Miles' sleepy exhibit to Judith's wire work.

on Jun 17, 2010


I was thrilled to meet Jon Kessler during the filming of this episode. I admire his work and in particular his ultimate masterpiece that is on public view near Hamburg as a permanent installation in the collection of Harald Falckenberg, one of today's most adventurous collectors. I normally like to see the work of an artist before I get to know the author of the work, as I prefer not to be distracted in any way by the personality of the artist. In this competition we discover simultaneously the characters of the contestants and the works they create. While filming and watching this episode, I found Jon Kessler to be a good judge and an excellent communicator with the artists.

It was interesting to see how the various contestants went about choosing their materials in the junk yard. Most contestants piled junk into the plastic bins until they were so full they could hardly move them. Unlike most of the artists, Peregrine immediately chose the exact three pieces she later utilized for the completion of her work. She must have instantly visualized in her head the work she wanted to create. However I was not surprised that the judges didn't single out her work as one of the best or worst. It was also interesting to observe how a contestant like Ryan coped with the challenge, who entered the competition as a painter without much experience using other mediums.

I was relieved to see that Miles was taking every opportunity to catch up on his sleep, both at the junk yard and during the art exhibit as an integral part of his work. First of all it struck me that he looked quite sleep deprived since the first challenge and secondly he demonstrated that he can win in his sleep!