Work of Art on Bravo: The Next Great Project Runway?

Abdi Farah and his portrait of Ryan on Bravo's Work of Art

Yesterday I watched Bravo’s new reality series, Work of Art: the Next Great Artist. First off, I hate the name.  The “work of art” part is fine, but “the next great artist”? Whatever, I digress.

The show is pretty much set-up exactly like Project Runway (which I like for the most part), and I love that they had each artist come in with a self-portrait.  The first challenge was to then do a portrait of a randomly matched participant, and there were a lot of good first projects.  I totally agreed with the top three and the bottom three made sense as well. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here.)

As far as the contestants, there were a few who were picked for the drama they would bring.  Nao came off as arrogant and ultra critical of everyone else’s work.  I’m not sure that she will stay this way as the show progresses, but I was immediately turned off by her attitude.  I think that the one artist, Erik, is a plant.  He claims that he’s never had his work outside his home, he’s never been critiqued, and everyone else on the show talks about how immature his work is.  I didn’t like his portrait at all and it stood out as being just as immature as the other contestants said.  If he never showed his work, was self-taught, and has no contact with the outside art world, how did he end up being picked for this show?  I saw the huge lines at the casting calls and there had to be someone with more talent that could’ve been picked.  He’s there just to create drama among the other participants.

Overall I’m interested in seeing more work and the different challenges they come up with on the show.  I like that the judges are gallerists, a critic, and a collector, and that their “Tim Gunn”, Simon de Pury, is a well known art auctioneer and over all art world officiando.  I think that the show definitely has some potential and will hopefully help to show the world how hard it is to make art.

Aside (caution, semi-spoiler):  I love that one of the top three artists for this week was Abdi Farah, who hails from Dover, PA, just the next county over from me.  Central PA represent!

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