Work of Art' premiere review: Not just 'Project Runway' with paint?

You'd think we were overdue for a reality-TV show about the art world. Watching people create art, must be fascinating, right? Or have we just been lulled into thinking that after seeing Hans Namuth's hypnotic films of Jackson Pollock at work?

Bravo stepped into that void - if indeed it exists - last night, offering us Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. When it comes to splattering emotions like, Work of Art is like Top Chef in an exploding kitchen: controlled chaos. To be sure, each of 14 contestants arrived labeled for example, there was Abdi, the figurative artist; Nao, the performance artist; Jaime Lynn the illustrator; and Erik, who gave us a clown painting that would be shoddy even by the standards of John Wayne Gacy. The egos roamed free: Jaclyn, a former studio assistant for the superlative hype-master Jeff Koons, said people assume someone like me couldn't be an artist (why? because she's hot-looking, one is left to assume) and then I always surprise them with my work. (That would be work which included a self-portrait of Jaclyn getting out of a car with a red star placed over her exposed vagina, a painting so poor that it was impossible whether she or Bravo placed the star over the private-part.) Assigned to do portraits of each other, Jaclyn has trouble rendering 60-something Judith, because she's a lot older than myself. Ageism knows no artistic boundaries.

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