Cast Blog: #WORKOFART

A Healthy Shock

Tearing Up

The Drama's Done

An Alternate Universe

Enchanted

Tiny Coincidences

Portrait of an Artist

The Town

Main Street Meets Mean Street

The Secret

On Getting Naked and Hitting the Streets

Selling Out or Buying In?

A Difficult Choice

Do You Believe in Magic?

Elimination Heartbreak

Figure Eights and Fast Lanes

Art Girls (and Boys) Gone Wild!

Eye of the Tiger Penis

The Temptation of Simon

Art (and Defeat) in the Streets

Night Owl

All the Art That's Fit to Paint

Riddle of the Spanx

The Gray Lady isn't Just for Men

Bangs, Toggle Sweaters, and Kids

The Fame

Child's Play

Kids' Stuff

How Could You?

Sex is in the Air

The Essence of the Competition

Pop Touched Me, Too

One Enchanted Evening

What's Poop Got to Do with It?

For Your Entertainment

Scat-Art-Logical Humor

When Simon Met Sucklord

It's Baaaa-aaaack!

Back to School

Isn't It Ironic?

Art History

A Healthy Shock

Bill comments on Abdi's political piece, Jaclyn's tagged self-portraits, and the Pope's take on 'Piss Christ.'

 

Surprisingly, Abdi's piece was the first socially aware sculpture we've really seen on the show. It reminded me of what Kara Walker once said, "People would rather be ambivalent, because of this suspicion that of all the things that fail, political art is one of them." And yet we are fighting two wars abroad and have a national drop-out rate among urban black youth over 50% or something hovering around that figure. In the gallery, Abdi had his shrunken heads lit and to see them smoking added another level of menace and urgency to his IEDs.

The whole back and forth over who gave Jaclyn the idea to leave out a jar of Sharpies is irrelevant. A friend had to tell Andy Warhol to paint soup cans and I'd say he did OK with that advice in the end. Jaclyn's tagged up self-portraits echo a lot of what you see online where given a semi-anonymous platform, people's venom bleeds out in web postings and Tweets. I thought it might be fun to rewrite a passage from that Kipling poem "If" to read: "If you can trust yourself when all blogs doubt you, yet make allowance for their comment (strings), too."

Serrano was a perfect fit for this episode and his feedback to Nao was dead-on. Her parting words about failure recall William Kentridge's line, "I was reduced to being an artist." Meaning that his failure as an actor and as a set designer lead him to the success he enjoys now. What an important lesson to remember.

Lastly, I want to leave you with a quote from Pope Benedict XVI, who (when he was still a Cardinal) remarked, "An essential function of genuine beauty, as emphasized by Plato, is that it gives man a healthy 'shock,' it draws him out of himself..." I might be wrong, but something tells me he wasn't referring to Piss Christ.