I heard that this show was in the makings over a year ago and was anticipating its arrival. I had this sinking feeling that this show was going to be nothing but a disaster, imagining mediocre artists from different backgrounds working in vastly different mediums with different levels of success and education, creating work based on a weak theme and then being judged by some of the art world's "greatest" art critics and gallery owners.
I wanted to begin giving my commentary along with each episode when it first began (but never got around to), which I will begin to now (it's never too late...right?) So, to quickly give an opinion of the remaining contestants, sorting them from favorite to least favorite:
1. Miles - the sort of "rebel" of the group that enjoys taking naps during most of the show because he's ADHD and an insomniac. He is probably the most creative out of the bunch. It is obvious that he's done his homework and that he can think way outside of the box...except the shock art episode. They all did very bad except Abdi.....
2. Abdi - the jovial, high energy guy who doesn't know much about art history (which is one of the essentials of being a great artist. You have to know what's been done to create work that hasn't been done and is compelling based on our time). His works are very thoughtful and creative. His skill comes from his technical abilities, understanding scale, composition, and medium.
3. Nicole - so creative. She knows material very well, seemingly having experimented with a wide variety of media. Her craftsmanship is great. She reminds me of Eva Hesse a bit.
To see the rest of her favorites, just
4. Mark - the photographer who has mad photoshop skills. He is creative and his photographs are beautiful and thoughtful. He should have stuck to his medium when completing the last challenge and creating his dark and depressing variation of Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie.
5. Peregrine - she is wacky and all over the place. An eclectic butterfly. I still do not have a grasp on her style besides knowing the fact that she is quite offbeat, quirky, and colorful.
6. Ryan - he made me laugh last episode laughing about how Miles and Nicole are a "match made in Urban Outfitter heaven." Well, he must be the poster boy for American Apparel. He is a painter, but from what I can see so far, he's not very engaging. He's made it through because his work is very mediocre and there has so far been work that is much worst. He needs to tug much harder on his creativity string.
7. Jaclyn - I have seen work after work after work of women creating work about the male gaze. Jaclyn uses her own nude body in her photography to approach the matter of the gaze, which through her translations translates to me that she had major body issues as a youngster. She definitely thought she was an ugly girl when she was a girl and probably struggled with it. There is nothing wrong with that, but her type of work I have seen time and time again. Boring!
and last AND least...
8. Erik - the self taught artists who really needs to pick up an art book or two, beginning with some theory. His artwork is excruciatingly elementary because he hasn't done his homework. He is too literal and not much of a deep thinker. To create good work, people, you have to know your predecessors...your history!
God bless Work of Art.
Photo courtesy of Bravo