The guest judges who every week lend their experience to the contestants are an important element in the success of this show. So it was great for instance last week to have Rob Pruitt being one of the judges for the pop art challenge. I had first come across his work back in the early '90s when I saw a pyramid of drink cans covered with great logos that Rob had done with his then artistic partner under the name of Pruitt and Early. It was exhibited in the museum that Asher Edelman had opened in Lausanne, Switzerland. On November 7 in New York, I will have the privilege to conduct an auction of contemporary art to benefit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. A number of artists have generously offered fine works for that sale. The auction actually kicks off with a work by Rob Pruitt done in 2009 entitled 'Ladies and Gentleman…(Art Awards Penguins).' It is very pop in flavor, and I love its humor. The same sale will also include the works of other great Work of Art guest judges for forthcoming episodes of Season 2, such as Richard Phillips and Adam McEwen.
In this week's episode the guest judge is none other than Sarah Jessica Parker, co-producer of Work of Art. The minute she appeared, her sizzling charisma nearly set my TV screen on fire. Seeing China Chow with an entirely new hair style must also have contributed to the joy of the contestants that morning. It was wonderful to observe the artists meeting their much younger counter parts. Children's drawings are always imbued with a wonderful freshness, directness, and positive energy. Two junior artists struck me as being particularly talented. The work done by Kei was very sophisticated and would in my view have earned the victory for its author in case there also had been a competition amongst the junior artists. Dusty clearly rose to the challenge and used this work as the point of departure for his best work in this competition so far. The complete change of scale had a lot to do with the success of his piece.
This was an interesting challenge, and it did seem to get several of the artists out of their boxes. I actually thought the child's word piece was better than some of last week's pop art pieces, too... it must have been hard to rise up to, in some ways, but the scale, at least, could have been more equal.
I actually thought this was the first interesting piece by Tewz, though I have no problem with him going home, since he seemed to be in over his head. I wish his explanation for his piece had been better. He explained it as literal, but I liked the idea of connecting it to growing up in the city. It might have been more interesting if the things 'growing' out of the concrete had the color and shape of the things in the painting. I think Bayete has been as awful as the Sucklord and Tewz, but he's rarely called on it. Twice now he's made simplistic videos and actually won with one of them. He had the most accomplished piece by the children and managed to make something nowhere near as engrossing. He does the most obvious things with film and seems to skate right under the radar.
I love you Simon! I love the way you say "sucklord"! You are the main reason I watch the show! Thank you for your mentorship to the artists!
Art is constantly changing and evolving. I am so curious how you stay up to date with everything going on in the art world Simon. Would love to read a blog about this from you (and the judges). As an artist, it is a constant struggle for balancing all that needs to be done from a practical standpoint and create. I love that the show included artworks by children--art has no age limits!