Monday, August 23
My Opinion: Work of Art, The Next Great Artist
Oops, I did it again. That is, I’m blogging about the reality art TV show--Work of Art, The Next Great Artist, which I had previously said twice that I wouldn’t (blog about, that is). Sometimes you just change your mind.
I DVR’d the entire series and was consistently a week (or two) behind in watching it. Well, I finally watched the final episode this morning.
In case you don’t have a clue as to what I’m talking about, you should go Google ‘Work of Art’ and ‘Bravo TV’ and read up on what this is all about if you’re interested.
The last show aired on August 11, so I don’t think I’m giving anything away, but just in case you haven't seen it—Spoiler Alert, stop reading now if you don’t want to know who won.
In my previous blog on this subject on June 14, and in which I first said I wouldn’t blog, I talked about art not being a competition. I believe artists are not in completion with each other. Art is not a sport. After watching the whole series, I still believe that.
I was not at all surprised at who won. I had pegged Abdi Farah as the ‘winner’ on the next to last show or 'competition' as they called it. In that episode, Abdi's work was head and shoulders above the other contestants, and I just knew then he was going to win the whole thing. His artwork for that show was a larger than life profile image of himself lying flat that seemed to levitate above water. It was high contrast in what looked mostly black and white. I couldn’t tell, and the show did not provide, exactly what the medium was. It looked like charcoal and acrylic, maybe, but not sure. Whatever, it was thought-provoking, and the judges thought so, too.
The other contestants deserved to be in the final, but in the end Peregrine and Miles didn’t make the grade.
Since watching the final episode, I looked online for more information about Abdi. On the Bravo TV site it provides his bio, which I had not read. Turns out he’s a University of Pennsylvania art graduate and has previously been awarded several notable art prizes and scholarship studies, one in the South of France.
So, he wasn’t exactly a completely unknown young artist.
The show was more entertaining than I thought it would be although much of the art was self-serving and amateur-ish in my artistic opinion, for whatever that's worth.
I don’t know if Abdi actually will be the Next Great Artist, but it should be interesting to follow to see if it happens.
Most of the online reviews of the show are pretty snarky, mostly along the lines that the art world is too good for such a reality show. However, all in all, I think it was not a bad summer diversion.
Until next blog…
Posted by Byrne Smith