Simon de Pury

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

on Jun 17, 20100

 

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!

 

57 comments
Art@home_dad
Art@home_dad

I Did not take the opportunity to read through all the comments, so forgive me if it has already been said. I think a more fitting title for Miles' piece would have been "3 As*holes in an Art Gallery." (like no ones ever seen that before! lol)

Mike2010
Mike2010

After watching the show, some of these people got to go. Such as Miles, so pretentious, so fake. If people think he got OCD, then they haven't seen the real world of OCD. Another person need to go is Jaclyn. She has narcissistic personality disorder, plus she loves to get ideas from other contestants and take credits for those ideas.

Episode 3: Judging A Book By Its Cover was a joke. Do you think all the judges have read all of those books? The best book cover was by Mark.

All artists, if you can't handle the criticisms from critics, you are in the wrong profession.

yolande boulanger
yolande boulanger

Who wants to bet? Miles will be the winner.

He is a "low key arrogant"manipulator, plays mama and papa like a child, gives us a performance like no other with the reading of his book instead of working on his piece, is not going by the rules and yet he is still on.

The judges went soft on third episode (book cover). Bet you it was only to keep the gallery quiet after all the negative comments received. Keep on watching.

Yo

Viewer3000
Viewer3000

We all know why Jaclyn doesn't like the boys on the show. None of them look at her in a sexual way and this offends her. Poor thing! I hope her art won't suffer because of this! Its a great show, I hope it continues to grow strong in the ratings. Maybe next week I can say bye bye to Jaclyn.

jmoo14
jmoo14

Miles seems like a kid who always got his way and was always taught to speak his mind no matter how rude his comment is. His parents must have been afraid of suffocating his "talent". This created a socially inept child. This is shown by the fact that he was crying and shaking in this episode because he simply had to make a comment.

Vivi
Vivi

hi Simon, I will like to know when is the next casting?, I will LOVE TO BE ON THE NEXT SHOW... I have a lot to show.. I love WORK OF ART! art is life, life is art!

pjean
pjean

Miles is inspired by his insomnia. I get that. But really? A pair of anuses make this art? Sorry, you lost my interest.

Viewer3000
Viewer3000

Tell me why taking nude photos of yourself is so shocking? Isn't it just pornogrophy? The test was "shocking" Jaclyn is so hung up on herself. Its getting very old now. If she wins this competition then it is rigged. I love the show but Jaclyns high and mighty attitude should not be acceptable to th judges. She is degrading the art world.

CloudNineArt
CloudNineArt

Hey Westsider... Seriously? You are going to take the racism approach on this? Absolutely NO ONE on this show has discriminated against any person of color! What about Abdi? Abdi is an amazing artist! He is still on the show and has not been discriminated against. Did you forget about him or something? YOU...Mr./Mrs. Westsider ARE what is wrong with this world. ART does not discriminate. YOU do.

Ms Shine
Ms Shine

I love Abdi! His art is AMAZING! I loved his I.E.D. and his style is crazy good! I am a painter and his work inspires me to work even harder at my talent! Thanks Abdi for doing what you do best and never stop making art because it is truly beautiful!

Taylar
Taylar

ok im only 14 and I think that miles is a fantastic artist, all of his art shows something about himself and his life .Abdi is always franticly running around but in the end he always comes out with something amazing, those two seem to stand out the most to me.

NoFlashPhotography
NoFlashPhotography

I agree with some of the other comments. Miles is nothing but a "I only act this way to gain attention" person. He won TWO, TWO challenges. His winning art wasnt even that good! Okay, so what you slept on his art, I BET YOU IF MILES DIDNT SLEEP ON HIS ART, ABDI WOULDV'E WON. All I saw in Miles art on that episode was a coffin with two seats next to it with a guy sleeping on it. I dispised Miles since the first episode, he read "Frankenstine" just to show off to everyone "Hey! I read a whole novel in ____ hours! HA, I bet you can't!" I dispise his attitude he acts all tired and shy just to get people to like him and appreciate him more. THE OTHER CONTESTANTS HAVE BETTER ART THAN HIM, no offence. But I dont see what's so special about his art compared to, lets say, Ryan. Or Abdi. Or the Spanish Guy (what's his name?). And how he just threw Trong under the bus was uneceptable. Sorry but your art is distractingly boring. I just thought, "Wow, what about your art? It isnt better. Actually it's worse." I'm sorry that Trong had to be critisized by such a faker.

TaminFL
TaminFL

Miles, Miles, Miles! Is he talented, Yes. Is he brilliant, Yes. Does he have strategy, Somewhat (but limited). Does he have "phych" diagnoses, Extremely likely to. Are his days at the top numbered, Absolutely. Miles may claim to suffer from OCD and sleep deprivation, but his diagnoses should not have ended there! From where I sit and from what I'm observing, Miles also suffers from a form of Mania. He seems to have come out of the gates at the height of a Manic state and seemingly capitalizes on that (with back to back wins). But manic stages don't last, and when those folks crash, they fall hard. They actually tend to be useless, nonproductive, and apathic when they aren't in heightened stages. He also seems to be passive-aggressive. Think about it, you have a kid that after each win, his shoulders slump, his chin is to his chest and he looks up sheepishly, acts as though he can't speak a complete word such as thanks (or whispers it), and walks off and waves at the judges like a 3 year old little girl. He may think he is coming off as humble when in fact it appears immature. But that same boy, did not have a problem interrupting the judges to call out one of the most successful artists in the competition(that being Trong), by boldly stating, "I find your piece distractingly boring" including even nonverbal communication and didn't even have a problem looking at Trong with strong engaged eye contact while saying it. Gee thanks Miles for waking from your 2 day nap to join the judges panel. Oh and in the upcoming show, he appears to get his game on with Nicole (but not the game of Art). Miles didn't finish any formal education yet he did not bust his butt (as he did in the 1st 2 challenges) to win that challenge which would put him on the map forever with a book cover. Instead, he'll just take art supplies, beer and food. BEWARE of the crash of Miles! Maybe we should just get him lithium and cold chopped cucumbers for his puffy eyes NOW and avoid the crash all together!

Westsider1
Westsider1

I wa initially apprehensive about a reality show geared towards making art, however I thought that I would watch it before making a judgement. Predictably, as in many other areas of life the white males gushed about the white males and completely dissed the women and men of colour-in this case Trong. Miles sculpture was far from innovative and he did not follow the guidelines set out by the show. I hope the judging improves in the following episodes or this show will end up in the trash.

Yvonne Watters
Yvonne Watters

Love the show so far, I am a artist myself and hope to be able to participate in next seasons show, I log on to and check the casting notices. I find the artists to be very diverse and enjoy the challenges that they are put to. I think this was a great brainchild for Bravo reality, and think there should be more shows like this for talent, in all areas of the arts. I personally cannot take anymore stupid reality shows, bravo for taking on the art world and showcasing us artists everywhere.. Bravo...Bravo....Yvonne

artman
artman

I was all ready to trash this show hard. I mean really, really hard. And while I do scream at the TV some, I haven't thrown anything! Each episode I'm convinced that it and the art will be total crap and each time I'm actually impressed by the contestants and the art. I have found that the lousy art/ists are getting chopped week by week, so I don't worry about that, and even if the person I thought should win didn't, they're usually 2nd or 3rd (not like Project Runway where the stuff I pick is the opposite of what the judges like!)PS: How to I apply for next season?

Chagall In Maini
Chagall In Maini

Just read through all the comments above...interesting. I wanted to quickly chime in, for what it's worth, that Trong should not have been eliminated! Judith had gold in her hands with all those switches and cords and she came up with a totally boring and erratic moonscape. Maybe we missed something...I would love to hear more on what the judges said about Trong. What a waste though..I so wanted to see what else he would produce. Bummer call!

Chagall in Maine
Chagall in Maine

Mark's piece on Shock Value (just watched it) awed me. All the other works, Abdi's excepted, were so amateurish and obvious and confused. I can't believe Mark wasn't top 2 or 3. Jaclyn's was great too...and I suspect Erik wasn't eliminated for his role as collaborator in that one (a win for both Jaclyn and Erik!). Still thinking about Mark's makes me want to cry. It just struck a nerve...can't explain why. He's quite masterful and I am rooting for him!

Cooterpond
Cooterpond

I was so thrilled when this show began and so appalled at the "Shock Art" show this week. It was disgusting to me and humiliating for the artists. I can't believe anyone considers what the contestants were asked to do was art. I recommended this show to my artist friends and to my grandchildren and now I am embrassassed that they may have seen the filth shown this week. I'm also sorry to see these good artists asked to abandon their mediums, their character and spirit, and work on things that don't appeal to them. Art comes from something inside the artist and their view of the world. Draw on that rather than making them turn out junk! As much as I was thrilled when the first show came on, Im deeply disappointed now.

Ocean Jack
Ocean Jack

I am writing to express, in the strongest possible terms, my outrage and discust at the Bravo Network for spewing forth the filth that was Work of Art last night.

MY family have been loyal and constant viewers of almost all your reality 'contest' shows...design, food, etc., and were looking forward to equally enjoying a contest bases on strugglying artists creativity.

Surely the network, and the shows producers, could have found a better way of staging a compeition than simply seeing who could be the most vulgar. Shame on all of you...I am embarrassed to be a supporter of the arts, and surely, will no longer, view your debased network. Again, shame for such trash when there is infinite opportunities in art to be glorious!

Viewer99
Viewer99

Don't you get the feeling that Simon has to urgently go take a shower after he comes in contact w/ the contestants?

JimMNselftaught
JimMNselftaught

Thank you all. I do like Miles a lot, however i did not see anything from the junk pile in his piece either. I fear that they have already chose who They want to win and that person is Miles. However it is reality TV and we all must accept that it is what it is. As an artist myself i just like seeing the artwork. I don't really give a hoot who wins at this point. It is obvious as they let him win that challenge when he did not play by the rules. I have to admit i will still watch.

Chad Pollpeter
Chad Pollpeter

I thought tonight's episode about "Shock Art" displayed a bunch of artists that can not do anything but be cliche. All of them chose very obvious cliche themes. One of the issues that I had was that noe of the artists displayed work with a sense of controversy. The reason Andres Serrano is so successful is that he creates "shock" through controversy. To be controversial, you have to display a sense of duality. You have to create a situation in which people will debate over the work. For example: Serrano's "Piss Christ" can evoke a sense of blasphemy or a sense of genuine concern about religion. Now compare that with the concept of priests sleeping with children. Yes everyone may be disgusted, but it is not shocking because EVERYONE IS DISGUSTED. Ther is not "opposition" to this concept, other than the members of NAMBLA. Now if you created a pieces about NAMBLA in a some sort of positive light, then that would be shocking.

I am learning a lot from the critics involved in this show, but the artist, though talented, are not doing anything mind blowing.

Andre S Charles
Andre S Charles

How does one qualify for this artistic dream..I am a up and coming abstract artist..and would love to be given a chance to display some great pieces..Please advice..Thanks ..Regards Andre.

Joy Baer-fresco artist
Joy Baer-fresco artist

I wanted to go up to sleeping Miles - so vulnerable in his slumber - and curl protectively around him. Great art that I cannot stop thinking about.

hydroclastic
hydroclastic

Simon. You need to project more, vocally. Have audio beef up your voice. Maybe you could exchange vocal chords with Tim Gunn.

James Totulis Viewer
James Totulis Viewer

The person with the least amount of art knowledge may be a crafter and the person with the most amount of art knowledge may become A Critic and the person that can make with these 2 things in mind may be an artist But to what degree? -----------James Totulis

CatherineRoark
CatherineRoark

Love love love this show!!!! Clearly Abdi, Ryan, and Jamie have well-developed talent. The others on this show clearly have talent, however, they need more development. So many of the works in the contestants' galleries are high-school-ish. Next season, I would like to see more artists who are already of professional caliber. The challenges are fun and I'm looking forward to the "most shocking" challenge.

melmel
melmel

I'm excited about this show, and knew it was only a matter of time...I have enjoyed the judges and wish everyone got some critique that could be shared, not just the low 3 and the higher 3--I want to hear more about all the works...come on Jerry Saltz, let's hear more from you...the voice of reason for sure. Miles reminds me of an art student stand out genius -- and the fact that he won the first contest with PRINTMAKING ! yea!! printmakers rejoice and academia take notice-- how many printmaking departments in colleges and universities exist anymore???? give me some etchings, Miles... It did seem like Nao was made out as a villian in the first show, and somebody in wardrobe should have clued her in on that dress!!! girl, that was so what not to wear... I think everyone has been able to enlighten and engage the viewer...at least for me...too bad the women artists haven't been as interesting as some of the men...maybe next week -- It looks like alot of fun, and I agree with Miles that free beer, food, art studio and materials are a damn good reason to work hard! plus, everyone seems like an interesting person, just like art school...good luck with the show everyone.

Jasmaine Grayson
Jasmaine Grayson

I think it’s ironic that Miles got Frankenstein for his penguin project. The way how he’s always using some kind of mad scientist technique to make his art is so awesome! Mile’s is always trying to think outside the box instead of just doing the traditional thing and that’s inspiring to me.

Fern
Fern

First of all...what artist worth his salt do you know of EVER SLEEPS?? Especially when you only have a very limited amount of time to complete a project..the reality of the entire art industry as a whole. Second, I thought Jaime Lynn's work was unfairly trashed. I saw what she was saying, and she said it in an eye-catching display of color and continuity..the flow of the painting moving off the canvas, to the lamp, spilling over to the floor, and into the vacuum, only to emerge from the vacuum , to return back to the wall, thus completing the cycle. It "HUMMED" to me! The judges will ultimately make me stop watching the show. I don't see the situation improving since the shows have most likely already been filmed through the end of the season.

Viewer123
Viewer123

While I'm watching the show, its pretty obvious to me that Miles lives, works and creates in a world that is entirely his own. He doesn't seem to give a damn what anyone else thinks about what he does, nor really seems to notice their reactions. I don't think that he's faking it or doing it for attention. And Miles has also never said a sincerely derogatory comment about another competitor or voiced a high opinion ("I'm going to win this one") about his own work.

As for those who pointed out that his work was not "sculpture", it was "installation", one would hope that informed art viewers would recognize that the line between subgenres in contemporary art are becoming increasingly blurred. Yes, Miles turned his piece into installation by taking part in it, but if you removed him from the work, the bed would remain as an object and would still fundamentally qualify as a sculpture.

janniebb
janniebb

This is a great television show. It is wonderful to see/hear/experience an artist's inspiration and how it's transformed into their own personal interpretation. Have enjoyed the challenging tasks each week as well.

Keep this show going!

Jeff Evans
Jeff Evans

ViewerSAY7,

Jerry Saltz says in his blog that Miles stored the junk he'd collected under the bed. Unfortunately, they neglected to show us that in the episode.

davinney
davinney

I think Miles is a bore and therefore boring. I agree that he did not use the found objects and he has a high opinion of himself and feels a need to criticize another artist in the middle of the professional critique. I found that inexcusable since no one asked for his opinion. Obviously, he thinks highly of himself, however, a giant ego isn't ALL there is to a great artist. His attitude is a BIG turnoff and I don't care for his work either. It looked like two giant cow pies. Ugh! Yes, I think the producers have shown favoritism to his dramatics. As an artist, I'm hoping for some solid critiques devoid of personality preferences.

sarcasatire
sarcasatire

Wasn't Miles' work also a jab at Reality TV? Trying to sleep/exist under the harsh light of tv exposure and the judges critism while also surrounded bu a**holes. The light being red to demonstrate when the camera has the record button on. I'm guessing here...I still prefer Abdi's work and he doesn't come of as so "peter keating/originality for originality's sake" (the fountainhead) as Miles does. Abdi is a refreshing Howard Roarke.

Elizabeth Vammen
Elizabeth Vammen

I strongly disagreed with the decision to eliminate Trong. I feel as though his piece was well thought out and had strength in it's simplicity.

Artlover123
Artlover123

I agree with the comment from ViewerSAY7. Miles is pretending to have OCD! I'm quite sure he planned this piece ahead of time (which is quite brilliant) and decided to set it up with his nap antics. Cute as he is, it comes off as cheesy. Peregrine should have one.

Illinois Viewer
Illinois Viewer

Please do something about the background music. It is that computer generated noise and it is the most annoying part of the show. Couldn't watch the show because the "music" was overpowering everything. If I wanted that, I would play a Cd and turn the TV off, which is what I did.

pulgon
pulgon

i must say this show is beyong amazing , the judges have awe-inspiring careers and grand experiences ,and the mentor.. gosh he has an impressive and massive resume not to mention the experience and knowledge he has and the people he's met throught the years..(love the accent by the way) this is something new we had yet to see.!!!!! i'll be a loyal viewer. i like miles he is one of my favorites!

Jea DeVoe
Jea DeVoe

"Sleep where all things are possible and the id has free reign!" no wonder miles work was so inspired! as an installation, performance piece it ranks high, I can appreciate the irony of being surrounded by anuses and his need to escape through sleep, but a performance piece is meant to be temporal, as a sculpture, with out the context of its time and place and his explanation, who would know what the two concrete blobs are meant to represent? it reminds me of a tomb, an altar to allegory. A final resting place! If you think of the monumental sculpture of the past the Sphinx, the lacoon, or even the tiny "Venus of willendorf" Miles piece by comparison, appears vapid! I find more inspiration in the Sculptural works of Mark DeSuvio or Abdi! Kudos to Morpheus and somnambulist where ever you are! keep at it Miles, you will get there, I think you do your best work sleep deprived!

Mjf210z
Mjf210z

Awesome and incredible show! Keep it coming!!

It's clear that Miles is incredibly talented and will win, hands down.

Please pass this along to him: He's mentioned several times that as long as he gets free food, beer and art supplies, that he's happy. As a midwestern family who is absolutely taken with his work, we would GLADLY provide those free things, (AND free room and board, plus large studio space), just to watch him work! So, if ever in need Miles, email us! (A mom, a dad and 4 children between the ages of 19 & 25.)

KimberlyNedo
KimberlyNedo

I have to say that "Work of Art..." is absolutly refreshing television. There is so much reality muck on, that this show really elevates the mind rather than dumb it down. I won't lie, I think that Miles will win. He seems to have the most inspired, original artistic mentality. I personally think Nao should of gotten eliminated in the first challenge. Her work had "concept", but the execution was so banal, simplistic and an insult to everyone who viewed it. Simon, I love your accent! Even if you weren't talking about art I would love listening to everything you said.

E. Yolk
E. Yolk

Where can I see Episode 2? My TV is in a junk pile of its own, and I was counting on viewing episode 2 online, but it is not here. Shoot. I really like this show.

dahveed
dahveed

Please help me understand this. As I respect Miles as an artist and he really has a handle on creating relevant and intelligent art, I don't feel he really followed the guidelines to the "junkyard" challenge. The artists were supposed to create a sculpture piece from the objects collected at the junkyard. I saw nothing from the junkyard in his work. How did the judges not acknowledge this aspect of his piece and then went on to consider his work a success to the challenge? What am I missing?

ViewerSAY7
ViewerSAY7

Miles didn't use the found objects at all and yet he was allowed to win. It's clear he is the one the producers are shoving down our throats but it's not working for me and will probably cause me to stop watching the show. His alleged OCD is even coming off fake. He's not a good actor! Kicking Trong off just because he made a comment about reality tv in his piece was way too obviously punitive. Furthermore, there is not enough talent on the panel to determine who the "the next great artist" will truly be.

Isabella862
Isabella862

I love this show..and Miles and Abdi and all of the aspiring talent. It is such a great concept and we finally, thankfully, have a spotlight on the arts. I think of you as the Tim Gunn(Project Runway mentor)of the show and I mean that as a grand compliment.

I so appreciate your point of view so thanks for the blog.

thelakeeffect
thelakeeffect

Saw a great arch (made of about 15-16 TV sets) at a May 1980s Navy Pier art show in Chicago...

So I agree...lots of possibility with the dead appliance challenge...

Miles' work left me cold...(Too much of "Look at me - the young genius Artiste!) Judges were silly for "buying" it!

Reminded me of an old "Genius Artiste" - (Salvador Dali). Definitely he did some good stuff...(saw his Florida museum) But betcha that Dali's acting the part of "Eccentric Artiste" ratcheted up his art prices...

Wonder how much his long, skinny moustaches (alone) added to his prices???

James Johns
James Johns

One of the best participants, Trong, was voted off the show! He brought a sophisticated level of art that the others lack. Miles project was not a sculpture, but an installation. The judges should have caught this. His work was not original. A sleeping person, real or fake, is being done all over the place these days. Look on the internet at Ron Mueck's work for example. Miles also did not use recycled materials as an important element of his work. Follow the rules! His comments during judging about Trong's work being boring was uncalled for and should not have been allowed. The producers must be going for some melodrama to boost ratings. His being allowed to cross over the line and help judge a fellow competitors piece makes the real judges look weak. Speaking of judges needing help - The male judge who did not get Trong's "wwtfd" reference made an artistically ignorant comment. He said that Trong was referencing a contemporary artist who he and the viewers do not know. The tf in wwtfd is Tom Freidman an important assemblage artist the the judge should be familiar with. And any artistically educated person knows that viewers do not have to understand everything about art for it to be successful. Art is mysterious and make us ask questions. This was a poor comment about art values. I am not sure that the judges know their stuff enough to choose the best original pieces based on a depth of knowledge. Maybe the next episode will go better. Too bad about Trong. You lost a diamond who could have added an important contemporary sophistication to your show.