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.
It was a close call between saying good-bye to Abdi, Nicole or Mark. At this stage the judges perhaps turned to previous works to make their final call, and we all had urged Mark to go a bit beyond the stereotype. Mark showed some vulnerability, but then, China cried. We hope he will enjoy a career as an artist - certainly his Photoshop skills, humor and quick reflexes can be honed and well-managed in a commercial art world. So, get out of the kitchen, Mark.