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How ironic that the first challenge on a reality TV show about art attempts to tackle the idea of "poor taste." And what an honor to have Mary Ellen Mark as our first guest judge. I always look forward to seeing her portraits in The New Yorker. Plus, we never have enough female artists on as guest judges.
Congratulations to Michelle for winning week one with her outdoorsy still life. I love the way that the fragility of the paper echoes the fragility of man in her installation. In the past Michelle has assisted two of my favorite artists (Josephine Meckseper and Marilyn Minter), so it was nice to see her in the mix. As Jerry Saltz might respond, "That's the art world, baby." It's a small, small world.
Sara's woman being slow roasted was oddly captivating and reminded me of Baudelaire's famous observation that strangeness is a pre-requisite of beauty. Her palette shares a sensibility with the twin Brazilian street artists Os Gemeos, and I mean that as a compliment.
Lola's deconstruction of a thrift store landscape had a poetic title, but the visuals did little for me personally, and as is my problem with a lot of found object art, it was overly reliant on the viewer's interpretation. I do however respect her vision.
To Ugo, I'm sorry I said I felt like I was looking at elevator music, but I stand by my Picasso paraphrasing about great artists stealing. How cool that even after he got sent home, Ugo was still thinking about ways he could make his painting stronger by eliminating the background noise.
I wish my line to Bayete about his collage looking like Pam Grier in Monopoly jail had made the final edit, but I understand that it's not intended to be a comedy program. I truly entertained the idea of eliminating him for such a weak piece.
Finally, I can't believe no one picked as source material the bear playing a saxophone sculpture?! WTF. It's like a Jeff Koons waiting to happen.