Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Work of Art: Premiere Review

Posted by CJ Cregg on June 9, 2010

Artists being Artsy

So this one is from the creators of Top Chef and producer Sarah Jessica Parker.  Basically just Project Runway but for artists.  I’m skeptical from the get go that even Bravo will be able to pull this off.

I missed the first 20 minutes of the show, so I’m not really sure what is going on, but apparently they were all given a challenge.  They had to make a portrait about one of the other competitors.  I don’t know whether they were assigned a medium or whether they got to pick.  To get to know our artists, read about the judges and competitors here.

So we see them making some art.  And then it’s time for the runway, er… gallery show.  The gallery is open and the judges and public wander through and see the artwork.  Then, the judges call some artists to explain their art while other competitors are safe.  Some artists get super defensive, others whine about how they are untrained.  The biggest criticism is that ‘this isn’t a portrait’ and ‘you didn’t capture the subject.’  OK.  Great.  This isn’t that interesting.  Also, the judges are super mean and judgy.  There’s no funny, quirky, Heidi or harsh but sweet Michael Kors.

Just like in Project Runway, the winner receives immunity for next week.  Miles wins this week for what I thought was an interesting and compelling print.  But like I know anything about art.  I enjoyed looking at this piece, but only for about 3 minutes and not enough to watch the entire process of making it.  Amanda is sent home for something I’m pretty sure I painted in sixth grade.

The coolest part of the show?  The transitions between shots.  They’re mod artsy shots of New York.

OK, Bravo.  Hate to break it to you.  You can’t make Project Runway for everything (cooking, hair styling, interior design, art).  The reason Project Runway and Top Chef were so successful is because people feel differently about fashion and food than they do about these other things.  We (ok, most people) live vicariously through fashion and seeing other people wear expensive clothes.  Looking at fancy food is fun.  And cooking and designing itself are fun things to experience.  We don’t get off on thinking about the pieces of art we can’t wait to afford.  Also, watching people paint isn’t that fun.  Clothes take shape on a mannequin in a way that’s fun to watch.

The other problem with this show is there’s no sense of something important being at stake.  In Project Runway we have Bryant Park and a cutthroat industry for our young designers to attempt to break into.  I’m sure the winner will get a gallery show, but there’s no excitement here.  A reality show needs to build this drama from the beginning.

Don’t let any of this make it sound like I’m on board with the last few seasons of Project Runway on Lifetime.  Those sucked.  I’m speaking more about the Project Runway franchise and the other competition shows that it has spawned.

Sorry Bravo.  Work of Art just isn’t working.

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