Work of Art' season finale review: As inevitable as death and horses?

There was so much self-conscious irony, art-world-insider chattiness, and reality-TV posturing during this energetic first season of Work of Art: The Next Great Artist that it was almost inevitable that the show would end by striking one of its rarest poses: sincerity.

The hour began with the Project Runway-style gimmick that's always better than a gimmick: visits to the finalists' homes. That meant Kansas City, MO, for Peregrine, who lives with her jazz artist husband in a large living/working space that would be the envy of any creative person. Placed in her context, it was now easy to see why Peregrine often came across as an art-addled sprite: She's created her own little self-contained art world, and had filled it with sculptures and paintings in various media of horses, children, and in her most striking and what she described as 'creepy' image - unborn twin fawns.

Then it was on to Dover, PA, where Abdi seemed to live in his mom's basement, furiously busy making art below while, above, his utterly charming mother kept an immaculate suburban home. It was tempting to make a connection between Abdi's impeccable technique (realistic drawing, portraiture, and sculpture) and the middle-class orderliness in which he was raised.

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