Work of Art: Next Great Artist - A must see TV show for art students


                                           (title card) image from Wikipedia page - Work of Art: Next Great Artist 
Sarah Jessica Parker executive producer? Reality show? Contemporary art? All these together? Wait a minute! You're kidding, right? Is this an extended episode of Sex and the City featuring Marina Abramovic? Is it about fancy art world and MoMA wannabes(not that there would be something wrong with that)? Relax, it's just a show about people who went to art school and now are faced with the limitations and challenges of doing art as creative labor. Or maybe you can take it as just the next level video tutorial on how to be an artist in today's world. Of course, from a singular point of view.

After some months of pretending to be too smart and savvy to watch this potentially low-level American Idol style show, with a conceivable commercial success, we stopped being picky and decided to give it a try. Watching 2 seasons of Work of Art: Next Great Artist is just as time consuming as 5 or 6 average movies. A couple of layers need to be ignored here: the cash prize at stake, the Brooklyn Museum solo-show promised to the winner, the cash prize, the judges' extremely subjective evaluation criteria, the cash prize, that macho man gallery owner in the jury and, of course, the cash prize. Ah, and the American drama! A lot of contestants burst into tears when their art gets tough critique. But once you get rid of this televised masquerade, a great distribution of artist facing the art world situations comes along.



Just like this reality show, an art school is about challenges. About the challenge of taking an assignment to its end, about seeing other people's work process and not giving up when you realize you weren't born to be an artist, but most of all, it is about going from nothing to something along a path full of provocative demands. These can come either from school, from society, from your neighborhood, or simply from yourself. How you respond to these demands is a matter of great artistry, and mostly now, when semesters end up before you realized school has started, you ought to be a true ignorant not to watch and learn from these guys. It is not the pursue of success that you need to follow in these episodes, but the seriousness in approaching the making of art, the traps you can fall into when wanting to be better than the other, the honesty in admitting your faults and the responsibility of making an argument about your decisions.

It is a great challenge to understand that what wins is not what sells or what looks better, but what stands better for itself. So when you are able to stand up for your works, to bring valid arguments for why your ideas and projects are relevant for the local art scene and for the world, you'll be on the right track. Mostly if you study in a state financed university and are not exposed to this kind of self reflection and dialogue during your studies.

We highly recommend this Bravo TV reality show to all art students. Of course, you'll say: I'm not watching a silly talent contest with standardized scripts and fancy pants hosts and judges. China Chow is pretty cute though in all those art work inspired dresses, you could test your knowledge and see if you recognize any of the references, while Simon de Purry is an extraordinary charismatic and serious man for whom you would even draw unicorns in glitter if he'd say it sells. Added to this, Richard Phillips, Andres Serrano and David LaChapelle are not something to ignore when it comes to hearing their evaluation on art pieces from their position of guest judges.

"The only rule in art is WHAT works," - they say every episode. So either you watch this or not, it's time to get yourself up and start doing some great works of art! And when you do that, remember that you've chosen the coolest field of study in the world, so make it worth!

And here's one of our favorite contestants' advice for watching this show and taking it as it is. Art benefactors exist today just as they were in Renaissance times, so watching a TV show sponsoring artists to make good art, in their respective terms, means taking part in the art history in the making.




If you want to read more about Work of Art: Next Great Artist check out their official page or watch this playlist with all episodes from Season 1 (aired in 2010) on youtube here. Work of Art: The Next Great Artist is an American reality competition show that aired on the cable television network Bravo, in which up-and-coming artists competed for a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and a cash prize of $100,000. The series premiered on June 9, 2010. It was renewed for a second season which began on October 12, 2011. 

Citeste in limba romana aici.


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