Making Art On Demand A Competition?

So while flicking through my sky planner I noticed a new tv show on Anytime, an american show called “Work of Art the Next Great Artist”. Curious, i decided to give it a shot and watch it. The show is based on 14 up and coming artist with different practical skills and professions competing to win a cash prize of $100.000 and their very own solo show in Brooklyn Museum. At first I found this a bit daunting, as a practising designer myself I can only image the stress of deadlines and competing your final outcomes in such a short space of time. Yes there are deadlines when working but this is too far! You can’t cram creativity into a jar and sell it.

Here are the contestants,

The artists were introduced to each other in a gallery space exhibiting their own self portraits which they used when applying. The first challenge was to successfully create a portrait of another contestant. With only half an hour to meet and greet their subject, the artist were given until midnight and a few sparing hours the next morning to create a final piece. Their portraits would then be shown to the public and judged by some art world elites, no pressure then. One of the judges grew up around Andy Warhol or something so that is definitely why her opinion of artwork is concrete. Are they serious? The show has the same vibes as “Master Chef “and “Project Runway”, consisting of cut clips of angst and drama when a contestants screen doesn’t expose for printing and “The out there pretentious one” criticising others work because quite frankly she doesn’t give a damn. Is this really suitable as viewing entertainment? If so this happens to me almost everyday and I’m still waiting for my ten minutes.

But what I just can’t understand is how you can be expected to find Americas next new greatest artist in the space of a few weeks? What ever happened to art takes time, a piece must be meaningful,prepared and thought through. How can a meaningful art piece be created in the time it takes me  to do my fake tan? I was shocked at how every trending subject is seemingly tacked by the new phase of turning everything into a reality show, can you brand making art a competition? I don’t think so, this may be why I only liked one final piece. It was from the OCD contestant Miles,

The portrait of Nao was finished with a plastic sheet protruding from around the edges of his framed screen print.I thought his idea was quite interesting. Naos previous self-portrait showed her cover her head with a plastic bag full of water in a sequence of photographs to which she then rips the plastic gasping for air. Miles looked at historical death portraits used in the Victorian era and decided to create one for Nao, charming. Although I did like the photography and print outcome, I get the felling she doesn’t look dead, her face is far to posed, but still I somehow like the euphoric image. The other images were somewhat dire, from a badly painted clown impersonation to a grey sad figure complimented by a lovely fluorescent background. One of the things I like about art is there is not definitive answer, yes there is indeed good and bad art but that is only in the eyes of the beholder, there is no definitive answer only an opinion. Who’s to say someone opinion is the opinion of the greater general public? Which is why the concept of this show baffles me, not to mention Sarah Jessica Parker is an executive producer… Don’t get me started.

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