Rant of the Week (and maybe the Decade)

August 17, 2010 · Print This Article

You gotta read this. William Powhida on Bravo’s Work of Art. I’m no fawning Powhida fan, but reading this gave me a little faith (in what exactly, I don’t know). Made me feel glad I never watched an episode of that show, and stupid for having felt a little guilty about that fact. A small excerpt below; the entire lengthy diatribe found in full on the artist’s website.

“As the summer wore on I wished I could just say, “fuck it. It’s the Jersey Shore of the art world,” and watch the show. The problem is, I can’t. It’s not really the show I’m pissed about. I’m pissed off by it’s very existence and the promise it offers its contestants. I’m sure you all understand the basic fucking premise of the show; respond to an assignment, win, and get a 100k and a museum show. Sweet. All you have to do is crank out some art that is marginally less terrible than what everyone else is making. It’s not that you actually have to make anything good. My friend Letha used to explain that meeting the hottest guy in a bar is always a relative proposition. Sometimes, she would take home the hottest guy in the bar and still be making out with an ugly motherfucker. Despite this, and unlike the broader market where critics can ignore mediocre and bad work and collectors can chose not to buy it, someone had to win the show by default. It would have been way riskier and far more interesting if there was no guarantee anyone could win if the work wasn’t good enough. I think this one of the most obvious flaws in comparing the show to life. In fact, even the losers on the show are still winners if we count recognition as a form of payment.”




Auditions for Bravo’s new art-oriented reality show to be held in Chicago this month

July 1, 2009 · Print This Article

Forget all the news about Chicago city arts grants, potentially major boosts to NEA funding, and all that other boring crap. I would be remiss were I not to inform Chicago artists about this fabulous opportunity, no? Bravo is launching a new counterpart to its Top Chef, Top Designer, put-12-aspiring-whatevers-into-a-weekly competitive-lineup-and-get-them-to-cry franchise, but this time it’s devoted to makers of contemporary art. Finally, artists are getting their due!

The L.A. Times reports that, “according to the application instructions for potential contestants, the show’s producers are looking for ‘emerging or mid-career’ artists who work in any number of the following fields: painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography and mixed-media.”

Everybody thinks this show’s gonna suck, but I actually have very high hopes for SJP’s (that’s Sarah Jessica Parker to those of you not in the celeb gossip loop) newest television venture. I didn’t know she was into contemporary art, but I’m not interested in that angle of celebrity worship, Brad Pitt notwithstanding. Top Chef looked like it wouldn’t work (who wants to watch a reality show about food, we all thought) and we were wrong, wrong, wrong. Hopefully, the naysayers will be disproved once again and we’ll get some great television out of this.

Art Fag City is speculating that Matthew Higgs might be one of the judges (or maybe even the Top guy, a la Tom Colicchio?) but I truly hope this is not the case. Higgs is all wrong for this. Please God, let it be Schimmel instead. He’s probably looking for a job right now, and he would be absolutely perfect. Now, who should they pick for his junior underlings? I can think of so many possibilities…but perhaps it would be mean to hazard any further guesses? Up here, anyway–but feel free to do so in the comments.

Paul Schimmel

Paul Schimmel

Now, getting back to the critical business at hand: the Chicago audition information is as follows:

Thursday, July 16, 10 AM – 2 PM, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sullivan Galleries, 33 State Street (www.saic.edu).

See you on the small screen.