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Posts Tagged ‘Miles’

Few episodes of Bravo TV’s latest competition series, “Work of Art”, are hardly worth writing about but last night’s was so fascinating I actually recommend trying to catch a rerun. It was a battle of ego in an episode that exhibited the most fundamental and perhaps centuries-old disagreement between artists: Does art school make you better? The self-trained artist and the art school grad – and their respective emotional baggage – are so familiar in the art world as to become almost archetyped and last night’s show brought those composites to light.

In this episode of WOA, the contestants drew red or blue paint tubes to split them into two groups for a team challenge. Erik, a self-trained artist, winds up on a team with Jaclyn and Miles, both of whom he’s had previous disagreements with. Feeling alienated by his fellow teammates and undervalued, Erik decides to let them all have it. While coming from a place of insecurity, Erik’s feelings about art school grads having their heads stuck up their ass are certainly valid.

It’s interesting to consider how art that’s heavy on concept and light on aesthetics manages to communicate to the average viewer. Art is a reflection of class and appeals to a sense of status. Feeling alienated by the art speak and the heavy concept one learns in art school seems a natural reaction on Erik’s part. In the end though, not being a team player just leaves Erik alone, angry, and eliminated. Watch the video for a glimpse at this age-old battle as interpreted by the present, and for more insightful commentary on this episode,  read Jerry Saltz’s recap here, or Ken Tucker’s lighter review here.

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