Week Fifty Two

Work of Art: The Next Great Artist episode five

Posted in Art review by sarahbakerhansen on 7 July 2010

This week’s challenge is inspired by the artists’ drive around New York in a fleet of cars. They all end up at the Audi Forum, where they learn the drive wasn’t just relaxing, it’s a source of inspiration. They need to create a piece about their experience.

The teaser about romance this week paid off, and Miles starts to woo Nicole. Marc, ever the optimist, complains that he thinks Miles is more of an actor than an artist .The rest of the group get down to the challenge.

Ryan is making a portrait of himself, like he’s done for the past two challenges. Simon points this out and asks him if he’s “narcissistic.” Before the break we see Jaclyn throwing paint balls and one contestant call another’s work “hotel art.” ouch.


Jaime Lynn is working on another cartoony piece and Simon isn’t feeling it. Again this week she decides not to heed his advice.

Simon tells Mark his piece (the aforementioned “hotel art”) is a real departure from his previous work. Simon compares the piece to Mondrian: is Mark going for the 21st Century Mondrian? He says no. Simon says its brave to go in a new direction.

Miles is working on a piece inspired by the simple quiet moments of the city and Simon likes it. He thinks the police barricade in front of his photograph of an open space will have a great effect.

Simon tells the girls that they will all have to live together now and there’s some tension between Brian and Jaclyn. Marc is still bitching about Jaclyn, though it seems at this point more out of the fact that he actually likes her. At the end of the night, all of the artists seem to be pressed for time.


The next day, Erik continues to bitch about Miles, saying he’s a bad artist. Eric also tells Ryan that he ought to use the “Bob Ross Technique” of creating movement in his self-portrait by using a dry brush.

We see a lot of spliced together footage of artists moving fast, and then Simon is there, saying time is up. Some of the artists are feeling nervous as they prepare to install the work.

At the openings, we see the wide array of drive-inspired pieces. China Chow re-introduces the judges, including  the hyper-realist painter Richard Phillips.

Peregine’s piece “Raudi” that plays with language and the Audi name seem to be a hit with the judges. Nicole’s “piece, Suspension,” is one of the only sculptures. Ryan’s third self-portrait doesn’t seem to be a hit, though the judges like the simplicity of Miles’ drawing and street signs.

Jaclyn delves into more self-portraits and splices in mirrors. The judges surmise that the men in all the photos might be men looking at her.

Miles, Jaclyn, Mark, Ryan and Jaime Lynn get called to the critique. Everyone else is safe.

First up, Mark’s Mondrian piece. He said the piece is a stylized version of a map. The judges ask him if he thought of using photography and he said no, that he wanted a handmade piece. They say it’s too generic, and the hotel room comment comes from one of them, too. Yikes. The painting doesn’t take any risks and doesn’t make a statement.

Ryan’s piece, a self-portrait of himself driving, is supposed to be a fantasy of him enjoying himself. The judges say the piece is too literal. They don’t get the chance to fill in any blanks.

Jaclyn’s piece was in fact about the men staring at her. The mirrors make the viewer self-aware. The judges like the triangle between the viewer, the artist and the people in the images. They are encouraged by the growth in her work. They like the pressure of the gaze and the reflection – like that of the city.

Jaime Lynn said she was struck by the energy of the city. Se said she wanted to car dance, and that’s what her piece is about. The judges think again it’s too literal: dancing, a car tire and images of New York. It gets confusing and it’s all over the place. It has no sex, speed or status, one judge says. There’s an attempt at exuberance but it doesn’t have any rhythm. Jaime says it makes sense to her.

Miles said his piece is all about simplicity. The judges like that it’s not over-stimulating, but they remember what he did in challenge two – where he played with the same ideas – but he says he likes to make work about comfort and they like that. It’s simple, direct and it involves the world, the viewer and the artist.


The judges say the standouts were the artists who looked for magic in small moments. They like Miles’ simple sculpture and photography piece, and they think the work stands on its own. They can see him in the piece.

Jaclyn put herself in the work and pushed herself forward again this week. They find it encouraging. They thought her work was powerful.

Jaime’s piece: not so much. There is no saving grace for the work, they say. They also say it could be the work of a 17-year-old girl.

Mark’s work is too boring. Ryan’s piece is too superficial and boring; it also doesn’t fit his “rebellious” persona. It’s too obvious.


Miles and Jaclyn are the top two artists this week. Jaclyn ends up winning this week and wins immunity next week. She said it felt good to know her work was acknowledged and her ideas are good. She said she will continue to push herself.

Jaime Lynn, Ryan and Mark are the bottom three. Their work was dull, immature, cluttered and one-dimensional. Jaime Lynn – who was in the bottom for the second week – went home.

She said she wished she’d have done something to push the limits and that she was sad to go.

Up next week: the challenge looks like a public art piece, and it looks like everyone is going to be creating sculpture. Erik continues to lash out at every person on the show. He’s clearly defining himself, but it’s not as a great artist.

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2 Responses

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  1. lindsey said, on 7 July 2010 at 10:39 pm

    This show is so strange to watch. It’s one thing to see someone crank out a dress with limited resources and stylistic constraints in a short period of time, but for me, the idea is not jiving with the creation of a piece of visual art (it actually makes the most sense to me in terms of writing–free writing or timed writing with a theme or set of arbitrary rules isn’t a new idea, but would probably make for boring TV).

    Maybe I have a skewed perception of fashion as art, or art as art, or the exploitation of the creative process that goes into both. I do believe fashion is art, of course, and that it can be high art…still, I don’t put Consuelo Castiglioni, say, in the same category as Matthew Barney, even if I could easily see wearing Marni to a Barney opening.

    It’s an interesting concept.

  2. Arty said, on 8 July 2010 at 7:27 am

    really interesting, thanks

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