I have been meaning to write about this for a while. In June of 2010, I was flicking channels and happened to come upon Bravo’s “Work of Art, The Next Great Artist.” At first, I was somewhat skeptical about the show, then I was hooked. I’ll admit there are a couple of other reality shows that caught my attention for a while, but I promise that I am not a reality show junky. If you hate reality shows, then you most likely would not have enjoyed this show.
Here is the premise of the show from the Bravo website: “The Next Great Artist, an hour long creative competition series among contemporary artists. Work of Art: The Next Great Artist will bring together fourteen aspiring artists to compete for a solo show at the prestigious Brooklyn Museum and a generous cash prize.
Hosting this colorful new series is art enthusiast China Chow. She will serve on the judging panel alongside art luminaries Bill Powers, a New York Gallery owner and literary art contributor, Jerry Saltz, current art critic for New York Magazine, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, esteemed curator and owner of Salon94 gallery. World-renowned art auctioneer Simon de Pury adds his voice of experience as a mentor to the contestants.
In each episode, contestants are faced with the challenge of creating unique pieces in a variety of mediums 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 our panel of top art world figures alongside a new celebrated guest judge every week. Through a gallery showing at the end of each challenge, these industry select dictate which artists have successfully mastered the subject matter and creation of their piece, as well as whose concept leaves the greatest impact.”
Of course all the typical reality show things happened; backstabbing, fighting, flirting, brief nudity etc…. but in the meantime, I got to see artists talk about inspiration and see how they worked through mental blocks and deadlines. All of the artists seemed to have a different background so I really enjoyed seeing the creative process at work, which to me, is the real magic. I also got to see a glimpse of today’s well-known contemporary artist. In the end, the good managed to out weigh the poor aspects of reality TV. Will the winner really become the “next great artist?” I doubt it, art is way too subjective and does not have the voting (and potential) buying public like “American Idol.”
I did like the artwork of the winner ,Abdi Faran, and runner-up, Peregrine Honig and I truly hope they both go on to great success.
I read that they were casting for a second season, hope it comes to fruition.