Work of Art on Bravo - fascinating

June 21, 2010

Bravo's new reality show Work of Art:  The Next Great Artist is riveting to me.  I have to admit I had my doubts about a reality show to find the next great artist.  Don't great artists have to pay their dues?  Struggle?  Is visual art something that can be handled like aural art ie.  American Idol?  (Is aural art a real term?!)

Of course I think the name of the show is a bit over the top.  Although there are some great artists that probably really would've rocked this format:  Pollock and Calder come to mind, the limited time and materials out of one's comfort zone seemed like a difficult thing to surmount.  What happens though is with less time to edit you're forced to go with first instincts and gut feel.

First episode the artists were paired off and told to create a portrait of their partner.  MIles, this cute quirky (some due to his OCD) guy, almost throws up his hands in defeat when the bulb breaks in his screen printing machine but then improvises and comes up with what I thought was not only an interesting portrait of his opinionated, non-sensoring partner, but due to its surreal qualities it had you viewing it from all angles.  I'd want it on my wall.

Second episode the challenge was to take electronic and appliance garbage and create a 3 dimensional work of art.  I felt bad for a couple of the artists who had never worked in 3D, let alone found objects.  For those that can catch up I won't say any more.  Some surprises in this episode for sure.I think Miles is clearly the one to watch.  His personality is almost stereotypical to the genius artist persona.  Unlike with any other show I've ever watched, I've been saving the episodes and know I'll be watching them again.  They're inspirational and fascinating to me to watch these artists perform their process.  The challenges are something I think would be fun to try.  Anyone else think it might be a good exercise and fun to see what folks come up with?  I'll be happy to collect the photos and post on my blog.