All the Art That's Fit to Paint

Tearing Up

The Drama's Done

An Alternate Universe


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

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

The Final Crit

All the Art That's Fit to Paint

Episode 5:'s Assistant Editor applauds Bayete's work for its use of 'Sister Act' (but not for its "whackness").

I don't know what it is, but I've recently become obsessed with the Extended Judges' Table for two reasons. One, because it's always enlightening to hear more deliberation. Two, because the little intro sections are hysterical. Last week we learned all about Bill and Jerry's excellent shopping adventure for toggle sweaters. This week Bill jokes with guest judge Adam McEwen that he's actually on Top Chef and should discuss the meal they just ate upstairs. To which China responds alarmingly earnestly, "Mashed potatoes?" You have to watch to understand the brilliance. work-of-art-season-2-gallery-rate-the-wo

Lola's piece lent itself fairly well to summing up this week's challenge. The artists are battling it out this week using newspaper headlines ripped from the New York Times. Many of the artists came out guns blazing and bursting with ideas until it came to the actual execution. Young's first idea to use bleach on the newspaper to erase the text didn't quite pan out. Wisely he scrapped that and took a completely different route.

Bayete on the other hand also had some construction issues with his door piece, but he stuck with it (which unfortunately didn't work out for him in the end).

And oh the Sucklord... He just can't seem to find his way. Simon was skeptical about his piece so he tossed it and came up with something completely different. His heart just didn't seem to be in this one, and I couldn't help thinking that if he had found a headline that jived with him a little better (why didn't he hit the arts and entertainment section?!) he would have produced a better's weighty coffin captured the bottom three artists this week. But before we get into that, yay for Young! He's really cleaning up recently, so I've got my eye on him.

But back to the less successful pieces. Sarah's had some visual interest in the small text part at the top right, so it really came down to the Sucklord and Bayete. Neither of them could completely get behind their piece to defend it, which is the kiss of death. But after Bayete himself admitted the "whackness" of his work, it was pretty clear that he would be the one to go. But major props for bringing Sister Act into the mix, Bayete! Deloris van Cartier salutes you for your valiant effort.Next week the artists are taking it to the streets! Literally.

An Alternate Universe

Bill loved that Kymia's exhibit brought viewers to a new world.

I remember last year questioning why rock stars receive standing ovations. Athletes, ballet dancers, and actors, too, but where is the applause for artists? Now I know this might sound hypocritical coming from a guy who told Sucklord that Mr. Brainwash after a lobotomy would have made more compelling street art, but I really do mean it. I could never withstand the pressure cooker these artists subjected themselves to by participating on Work of Art, and I commend each of them on their bravery. 

I told Young during the finale crits that his installation reminded me how we all live three lives: our public life, our private life, and our secret life. His projected biography interweaving Korean family traditions with his first generation experience as a proud gay man was about as all American as it gets. Seeing him pay tribute to his late father echoed a famous quote from Ayn Rand about our mortality when she said, "It's not I who shall die, but the world which will end." Now that I think about it, the same sentiment probably applies to reality TV competitions. In Young's case, he mined his father's death for all the material he could get, and it rang out as personal, political, and (like Kymia's show) semi-mythological. It's a tough tightrope to tread on the path to universal appeal and the abyss of the generic is a bottomless pit. 

Sara hinted at some of her personal struggles with the mattress full of hypodermic needles of which KAWS remarked, "It kind of makes bedbugs seem inviting." She also constructed a barrier of handwritten fears hung on a makeshift clothesline blocking your entrance into her show, a limbo stick of self-doubt every gallery viewer was forced to overcome. I had hoped Sara would embrace her mesmerizing approach to watercolors, which garnered so much attention during the season from her very first gallery show of the woman being slow-roasted to the sellout challenge where her portraits did gangbusters. In my head I envisioned Sarah painting massive canvases highlighting her signature style. 

When Kymia followed that impulse for her finale show, look at the results. Wow! Aliens, twins, ancient Egyptians -- Kymia created a whole alternate universe with its own unknowable history. I urge everyone to go check out her exhibition in person when it opens at The Brooklyn Museum. How cool that her work will be hanging in the same building as Eva Hesse and Alice Neel.

As for Season 3? We will have to see if our Work of Art worked for Bravo. Otherwise I hope we might be remembered as the Arrested Development of reality TV. I'll miss you guys!