Talk about a piece of "Work"...

It's Thursday -- time to dissect and snark about Bravo's new reality show "Work of Art." A weekly dose of art world crazy. 
I love the opening credits... clever of them to use light signatures and paint on the (plexiglass in front of the) camera lens to introduce each contestant.  Bravo also gets a few points for including a contestant who isn't fashionably skinny, and a few who are over the age of 25.
And because this is a reality show, Bravo very early on established the artist you're going to love to hate.
Her name is pronounced "NAY-oh" but I read it as "NOW." As in "go home NOW. You're breathtakingly arrogant, and it's not even 5 minutes into the show." She walks through the gallery of the contestants' self-portraits, dismissing each piece with a wave of her hand. Here's a quote: "I feel like I've already won... and so I think that I could be really generous with my criticism."

Oh, it's on nao! Now. Whatever.

First challenge is for each artist to do a portrait of another artist in the group. Here's where you see each artist's style, but more importantly who fits which characterization. Besides the Arrogant B!@#$ mentioned above, there's the Tortured Artist...
two Starving Artists... The Goofball... the Hotness...
The Newb... The Old Lady... The Black Guy (aka Cartoony Boy)...
The Weird White Girl... The Christian... The Effin' Hipster...
Hilary Swank's Double... and The Black Girl/The Undercover Misfit. (We'll talk about the judges when we get to know them better.)

You've also seen the host formula on other shows. Here, you get China Chow, Simon de Pury, and Sarah Jessica Parker. SJP apparently will make a 30-second cameo in each episode, because she's exec producer. China plays the Heidi Klum role -- no, "Switzerland" because she's icy and allegedly neutral -- and de Pury is the Designated Expert.

Surprisingly, I did actually like the art created in this first episode. Usually the color orange sets my teeth on edge, but Abdi's portrait was so vibrant that I actually liked the orange background. Miles' concept of a modern funeral portrait was captivating, and also made a nod to Nao's self-portrait. But someone had to go home because as Switzerland put it, "your Work of Art didn't work for us."
Yup, The Black Girl. Which wasn't a surprise... she landed in the bottom three level with The Newb and Nao/Now. But The Newb wasn't going to be offed because it would be like kicking a puppy. And Nao/Now had to stay because she's a reliable source of drama.

I could go on, but I want to hear what you thought about it! Which "Work of Art didn't work for you?" Comment and I'll put your name in the hat to receive a copy of a book in which my art appears, "Good Mail Day"!
Posted on June 10, 2010 and filed under "\"Work of Art\"".