Friday, June 11, 2010

Work of Art is a Work in Progress

Heard what turned out to be basically a bizarre advertisement on National Public Radio.  I suppose they'd call it a review, but it had the effect of me trying out the "product".  It was for Bravo TV's new reality show Work of Art.  It's a cookie cutter copy of their two prior shows Project Runway and Top Chef, neither of which I can stomach for more than a few seconds before flipping onward. 
But I was curious about the artists, and how the time pressure would work out; I generally think time pressure is both anathema and pretty necessary to the artistic process. And that part of the show was cool, seeing the artists get into their work, struggle with it, shift it and eventually become attached to it.  To the last one they ended up reasonably content with their "piece". 
Then there were the judges -- too much drama and negativity just for the sake of conflict and controversy.  They provided some useful insights, but Art is soooo subjective and here was everything from minimalist abstraction to realism.  I'm no art expert, but I did recently read Looking at Paintings: An Introduction to Fine Art for Young People after it was recommended by Cory Doctorow, so I'm aware of techniques and types and the "eye of the beholder" and that the artist cannot be held fully responsible for my experience of her art.  So how do you eliminate someone based on the "quality" of their work of art? That part is worse than watching iceskating competition... don't know if I'll stick around, but maybe, since I agree with Amanda Palmer: "...some artists try to do everything, which is impossible, I think those people are brave."

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