This is not new news, but we're creeping ever-closer to the premiere of "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist", and I have yet to hear a real uproar in the art world. I think the protocol over the past year (or ever since the rumor of this show began) was to simply roll one's eyes, but now that it's upon us, I think it's time to get serious: My main question being, "how on earth will this kind of contest work?"
I'm already seeing slip-ups with this program. For a show that's supposed to be about visual art, and surely seeks to be a voice of what makes something visually "good", they probably should have paid more attention to the visuals of the hosts themselves--yup, I'm trying not to dwell on the fact that in the above picture you can clearly see China Chow's SPANX. oops. It might have been a smart idea to pair this show up with that other one about stylists.
So let's discuss the hosts first. China Chow, Simon De Pury, Bill Powers, Jerry Saltz, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn. Hmm...Artdaily.org provided bios for China, Simon, and Bill, but not for Jerry and Jeanne (perhaps of the 5, Jerry and Jeanne need no introduction?) I'm a little shocked by the lack of curators on this panel of judges. China is an "art enthusiast" and Simon is an auctioneer/auction owner. These are generally the types of people in the art market that are not even acquainted with an art work until it has passed through the rungs of (1st) curators, (2nd) gallerists, and (3rd) critics, no? Actually, INITIALLY, I suppose it might first come into contact with a fine arts instructor--none of these on the panel...just sayin'...
The description of the judging process:
In each episode, contestants are faced with the challenge of creating unique pieces in a variety of media such as painting, sculpture, photography, collage and industrial design. The weekly assignments are exciting, original and will challenge the artists to push the limits of their technical skills and creative boundaries. Completed works of art will be appraised by the panel of top art world figures alongside a new celebrated guest judge every week. Through a gallery showing at the end of each challenge, the industry luminaries dictate which artists have successfully mastered the subject matter and creation of their piece, as well as whose concept leaves the greatest impact.
If this show asks the contestants to produce their artwork within a limited amount of time (think Project Runway) I don't see how it will work. You can place a time limit on sewing a dress because it is a set thing. It has parameters--it needs to fit on a body. How do you define parameters for fine art?
Obviously I have my doubts about this show. The dates are supposed to be announced soon (I'm guessing it will be this summer's newest Bravo show), so we'll see what comes of it then. In the meantime I'll just fret over the fact that artists will more than likely be asked to "sculpt something abstract using only leftover recyclable materials in under 2 hours". Oy.