If you have to create "shocking art" on demand, then aren't you just making a faux-edgy ad campaign?
In last night's ep, Switzerland minced in, wearing heels with a six-year-old's party dress, and told the "Work of Art" contestants they'd have to create "a shocking piece of art." And to judge the shock value:
Andres Serrano (on the right), the creator of "Piss Christ." You remember that, don't you?
Obviously "shocking" means different things to different people, which gave Bravo a chance to highlight the Christian.
She drew a cartoon version of the Last Supper, with the "apostles" holding weapons and generally sinning all around a horrified Jesus. The Christian's piece was a commentary on hypocrisy in the evangelical community (she's from Oklahoma). But ya know... most people raised outside of the Bible Belt just aren't really shocked by that. Really, there aren't many inside the Bible Belt shocked by it either.
And how many of you are shocked by Designated Hotness' never-ending quest to exploit her nudity? The photos only became interesting when the Newb suggested giving viewers Sharpies to scrawl graffiti on the photos. Here's a shocker: DH took credit for the Newb's idea.
Once again, Tortured Artist and Cartoony Boy had attention-getting pieces. Tortured... added something of himself to a piece inspired by his first erection. Watching Disney's "The Little Mermaid."
But finally -- finally! -- 'Toony Boy's talent elbowed aside Tortured's personal drama. He created "I.E.D": a piece depicting young black men raised in chaotic homes as "improvised explosive devices" ready to go off in a 'post-racial' society. The judges loved how the piece became more disturbing the more they thought about its story.
'Toony makes some amazing stuff for someone who's barely 23. But youth was also the underlying problem with most of the pieces. Something that shocks a 24-year-old (at least, one who's had a childhood free of serious abuse and neglect) will barely nudge the sensibilities of 50-something art critics.
Which was why this challenge was really difficult for The Only Gay in the Village.
But the judges thought TOGV's sexuality should've been part of the discussion. They said his piece would have been shocking only if he'd photographed himself in the position he chose to paint. Considering the position (see it on Bravo's site), they had a point.
But there was no discernible point Nao/Now's performance art. It was just a literal and figurative mess. And she can't be excused by her youth: she's twice as old as 'Toony Boy. So in ep 4's double-elimination, the judges sent home Nao/Now... and TOGV. Totally deserved on her part, not so much for TOGV. The Christian should've been sent packing instead.
Come on -- you know Americans are satire-impaired! How are we going to recognize earnest religious commentary without lots of signposts?! Post your thoughts on this ep in the comments section.