Do You Believe in Magic?

Episode 7:'s Assistant Editor thinks Lola should have cast a spell to keep anyone from being eliminated this week.

Ooo, ooo, witchy woman, see how high she flies! Sorry I couldn't help it. So besides growing up with Al Pacino, we now also learn that Lola is a witch? I honestly can't imagine what else we'll learn about her before the end of the season. Is she also the lost Olsen triplet? Did she once go to a champagne brunch with Gina Davis, Anne Rice, and Tweet? The possibilities are endless at this point.

And at least Kymia can breathe easy, because as Lola specified, she's a good witch. So I guess we won't see rogue tiger penis stickers affixing themselves magically to other people's work. work-of-art-season-2-gallery-rate-the-wo

This week's challenge was to create a work of art using the pieces from a Fiat 500 (embodied quite well by Young's Frankenstein-esque robot creature). It was an interesting challenge in that all of the artists started off really stoked and full of really strong ideas right from the get-go. But once Simon came in to share some mentor wisdom, three of the seven remaining artists scrapped their projects completely and created entirely new pieces (to varying, but mostly not-so-great results). work-of-art-season-2-gallery-rate-the-wo

I have to say I was feeling like Michelle's sad car when she was sent home. Those paper sculptures she does are so cool! And she had two other pieces that she could have gone with! I thought both the fetishistic window licker and the fogged-up car windows were so cool. I would have been interested to see how either of them would have held up in the gallery. Alas, hindsight is 20/20. We've definitely reached the point of the competition where it's hard to see anyone go home at all.

P.S. Why didn't Lola use some of her witchy ways and have no one be eliminated? Perhaps she left her spell book at home.Next week the artists are takin' it to the streets... again! Only this time they're selling their art.

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!