Thursday, December 22, 2011

Art Blog: GAMES Artists Play

I hate game shows. I can’t click the remote fast enough when any kind of “win megabucks” idiocy comes on the screen. I will admit. The other day I did watch a few minutes of the new “Who’s Still Standing” quiz show. I just wanted to see someone drop through the floor after losing. That is sophomoric, but funny. It was. I have been known to watch Jeopardy, but that is a different kind of animal. At least it keeps my brain cells moving.

A couple of years ago when Bravo announced the new show “Work of Art”, I was really interested. I thought it would be so exciting and informative to see artists work. I thought it would be a great chance for the public to really see artists in action. I thought it would be a true inside view of what it means to be an artist and how the art world works. I was wrong. That first season kept my attention for less than half the season. I ended up watching it in the same way I watch Biggest Loser. I watch the first episode or two and then watch the last ten minute of the finale show. I just wanted to see who wins. I didn’t care about all the stuff in between.

This is exactly how I approached Work of Art season 2. I would start to watch and accidentlly fall asleep (literally) or I would get so frustrated with the “blah, blah, blah of the artists or the yadda, yadda, yadda of the judges, I would just turn the channel. There would be times I couldn’t stand the stupidity of it. I mean ALL of it.

This isn’t good. I mean, I have been an artist all my life. I keep up with the art world machine. I worship other artists. Yet, I found Work of Art not only boring, but it pulled my understanding of art and artists off the pedestal. In fact, when I watched the season finale last night I realized this is a game show. If you think about it everything is the same with minor adjustments. Instead of giving a “final answer” to win the bucks, you have to make some pile of junk and then explain why it isn’t a pile of junk. I guess that is their final answer. LOL

Think about how similar Work of Art is to other reality, quiz, or competition shows. Instead of running to the train station ala Amazing Race contestants, the artists run around Manhattan looking for just the right art supplies or suckers to buy their instantaneously created crap. Work of Art always has their golden girls or boys. Each would have a lucky night to be the star of the show for that given episode. There were moments while watching WoA, I expected Drew Carey to pop out from behind one of the gallery walls and announce YOU ARE THE NEXT CONTESTANT ON PRICE IS RIGHT! I can’t compare WoA to “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”. I think we all know the answer to that question. However, there is a kinship with the Wheel of Fortune. I mean isn’t that what being the next GREAT ARTIST is really about in the art world. The WoA artists stand in line for days, sit through interviews, and have their art scrutinized, poked, and prodded. Then some of them get picked to spin that wheel. They laugh, they cry, there are good sports and bad. Then in the end there is the million dollar winner (or in this case, $100K).
Oh boy, oh boy. Hip hip hooray and a pocket full of bologna.

During the final “crit”, I watched the three artists left on the show. I had a flashback to when I checked out the “Who’s Still Standing” show. I was kind of hoping the floor would give out from under them and they would all disappear. I don’t mean just the artists either. LOL


namastenancy said...

I was disgusted at turning art into a reality show, three-ring- circus. I never managed to make it through any episode because what these artists were turning out was so inane and boring. I feel like sending Bravo a letter, pointing out that they are contributing to the further debasement of art and artists but I doubt if they care. It's not much better than Hollywood Housewives.

Sheree Rensel said...