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Art Reality, Take Two
by Trong Gia Nguyen



I had fun being on Work of Art for like, all of two episodes. After several months of immersion watching the series and reading all the love-hate (okay, it was mostly hate) commentary and criticism in the blogosphere, Twitterdom, Facebook, and seemingly everywhere else, it's come to the conclusion that despite Bravo's distorted editing job brought on by producers who are less than well-versed in art (sorry, SJP), the art world can't seem to get enough of this stuff. And that says plenty in and of itself.

Hence, here comes the casting call for Season Two later this month in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. My prediction is, since artists know what to expect from the show now, there will be a host of performance-based artists trying out for the gig, posing as representational painters or whatever else is easily digestible to a mainstream American audience, in the hope of making meta art and playing out their subversion to adoring fans.

Then again, maybe Bravo will surprise us. Maybe they will overhaul the challenges, judges, and mentors along with the artists. Maybe there will just be one challenge, to make a single great work of art over the course of an entire season. Perhaps this will more accurately portray the artistic process, and result in a better chance at finding a few great works as oppose to one "next great artist."

The art reality tv show I'd really like to see, however, is one similar to Trading Places that is made for the economic times. Take two artists, one well-known who is used to a massive budget (Jeff Koons, Ai Wei Wei, etc), and a second relatively unknown, poor but talented artist. Swap their budgets and see how the creative process might operate and unfold under these terms over the course of a season, as they both work toward realizing an exhibition under funding extremes.

Someone can steal this idea if they want, just give me credit, okay? I'm talking to you Damien Hirst. Okay. Enough. Don't get me started.

--Trong Nguyen

(Image: Courtesy Bravo TV)

Posted by Trong Gia Nguyen on 9/6/10

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trading places?? That is an absolutely INSPIRED idea. Brilliant. I would love to see that!

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