What, you don’t read Reality TV World? That’s what I’m here for.
Not usually, of course, but when I learned that it published a long article on Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, which is of course the show produced by Sarah Jessica Parker debuting tomorrow night, I succumbed. The show features 14 “aspiring artists as they compete in art-themed challenges from a range of disciplines — including sculpture, painting, photography and industrial design.”
I haven’t seen the show, or a preview, but I think some of the hand-wringing commentary in the art world about it is rather silly. If it introduces some people to how artists work, great. If it’s a total bore or a silly mess, who cares? It can’t damage the art world, imho. Many people who’ll be watching already think their children can make better art than much that’s on display anyway, so what’s the loss?
Were Parker not the executive producer, the show would not be getting air time at all, even on Bravo, the erstwhile arts network.
Funny thing about it, people already interested in visual art may tune in, only to be disillusioned. Or bored. Yet it’s not made for us — as Parker knows. As the article puts it, quoting judge and host China Chow:
We’re trying to reach a mainstream audience with this…I feel like it’s a gift more to mainstream America to be able to witness art — artists making their work and having a dialogue about it.
Pretentious? No more than one hears every day in galleries.
Aside from Chow, the article quotes only New York Gallery owner Bill Powers and Simon de Pury, ”auctioneer” – ID theirs, not mine. We do not hear from Jerry Saltz, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, Andres Serrano or Jon Kessler.
Nor do we hear from the Brooklyn Museum, which has agreed to give the winner an exhibition. (The jury is still out on its participation, but we’ll decide after we see the show and learn more.)
But there’s much more to tell, so here’s the link. Some artist’s life is about to change.
And if you’d like to know what some members of the public think of the art work, try this, from Salon, of all places — that educated, liberal bastion, which says in part:
“My approach to art is purely phys-ee-cal,” offers de Pury. “I normally know in the first split second if it’s a great work or not.” Oh sweet Jesus. Have you ever heard anything so deliciously pompous in your entire life? This guy is my new TV hero. But what is he doing on TV?
I rather like what guest judge Richard Phillips, “a realistic painter,” reportedly said in Reality TV World:
You know, reality television is here to stay whether you like it or not. And so rather than just condemn the whole genre while not trying to find a new level, a new way to maybe elevate or differentiate the genre.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Bravo