Work of Art: The Next Great Artist

The other night, I caught the finale of Work of Art, The Next Great Artist, a reality competition produced by Bravo TV pitting 14 young artists against each other for a chance to have a show at the Brooklyn Museum and a shot at a $100,000 purse. I wasn’t able to follow this show religiously but I must admit that I liked the episodes that I did catch.

The show is hosted by China Chow (I really don’t know who she is but she is a great host) and judged by powerhouses in the art industry Bill Powers, an owner of a New York gallery and literary art contributor; Jerry Saltz, art critic for New York Magazine, and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, curator and owner of Salon94 gallery. Serving as the Tim Gunn of the show is art auctioneer Simon de Pury.

What I really liked about the show is that it gives viewers an in depth look into the working process of the artists, and how they interact with each other during this process. I don’t think that they air everything that goes on in the house but its interesting to see how they use different mediums to get their message across. I, for one, am not very creative or artsy, but the show inspires me to try my hand at scribbles and doodles and the occasional art project.

Personally, I wanted 23-year-old Miles Mendelhall to win. I like his style and his dedication to his art, and I liked that he had direction. He knew his strengths and used them throughout the competition landing him in the Top 3. Unfortunately though, his last show missed the mark entirely, failing to convey his message about death. The abstract of the black hole was a nice touch though. I was sad to see him go.

Peregrine is no doubt a great artist, and I loved her take on death with the photo of twin baby fawns, as well as her wax horse. I thought her work was whimsical and inspires people to revisit their childhoods, but I didn’t think that it was fitting for a venue such as the Brooklyn Museum.

I think Abdi deserved to win. He was very open and well liked by his fellow competitors, and he is such a great sculptor. His message was clearly depicted by his artwork, which was dark but relatable, which is the primary objective of having the show in the first place. It was also very cool in the sense that it could appeal to the young and to art afficionados at the same time. His show was right up the alley of the Brooklyn Museum and showed depths to his skills, that was just the tip of the iceberg of what he is still able to accomplish.

All in all, Work of Art is a great show. It’s cool and its fresh. Its the Project Runway for the art set. As soon as its out on DVD, I’m scheduling a marathon. I recommend that you do so as well. 🙂

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