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Posts Tagged ‘Work of Art: The Next Great Artist’

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Bravo TV just announced the forthcoming launch of its new competition series, “Work of Art”, that aims to test the talents of 14 artists vying for the grand prize of a solo show at a nationally recognized museum and a cash sum. Among the judges will be Jerry Saltz – my all-time favorite art critic, and Jeanne Greenburg Rohatyn, curator and owner of Salon94 gallery in New York.

The critics responses are rolling in and they aren’t sounding too favorable. I personally appreciate what Brian Moylan writes for The Gawker: “Do you really think Charles Saatchi is going to have Jeff Koons over for margaritas to watch this show to discuss latching on to some undiscovered talent? Lots of art people don’t even own televisions, and if they do it’s so that they can look down on it and never turn it on.”

I question whether the art world at large will take such a show, or its “winner”, very seriously in the long run. The same standards will hold true of the “Work of Art” winner as hold true for working artists everywhere: the work must first be good, and it must continue that way for as long as you intend to have a career. Are these legitimate artists? Maybe. If they’re any good overall, do they need a television show to prove it? Doubtful. Is this show written for the art establishment and its gatekeepers? Certainly not.

It’s important to remember that this is just another television show. This form of media as a whole is faced with the threat of extinction as audience members switch to internet viewing in ever-increasing numbers. In order to compete with new media, the antiquated entertainment outlet opts for programming that shocks, stirs up drama, and portrays a deceitful caricature of reality. Basically, watch it if you find it entertaining. If it annoys you to no end, forget about it – it’s insignificance is obvious and its obsolescence is inevitable. The art world will go on.

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