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.