This week, we commence with some shots of our artistes at home, followed by another Bravo tradition: an absurdly early wake-up! This is a classic Bravo tradition in which the host/mentor, in our case, Simon, comes over to whatever West Elm palace the reality show competitors happen to be staying in, and awaken them obscenely early to take them to their next hellish challenge.
They go to the New York Times factory. This is actually really cool. Lola says her mom always made her read the paper as a kid, so I’m sure Lola’s brain is much larger than mine.
China Chow! She looks like a freshly wrapped Christmas present. She gives the artistes their challenge: to create a piece inspired by a headline from The New York Times, and incorporate the newspaper into the piece. Bravo standby take two: no more immunity. Bravo standby take three: $20,000 AND an exhibition of the winning piece at the NYT headquarters. This prize is CRAY!
Kymia picks a headline about the Long Island Serial Killer. Hell yeah, Kymia. Young Sun Han goes with an article on Ai Weiwei, because he is a Serious Artist who cares about Issues. Michelle chooses an article on a personal injury case, which affects her on a personal level due to being hit by a car in a horrible accident last year. Lola gets emotional, and Sara J. comments that she’s sick of her “suffering artist” persona. Nice one, Sara. Talk to me when you haven’t spent an entire episode crying over your traumatizing childhood.
The artists go to the workroom. There is dramatic music. There is creation of art. Simon comes by. He is concerned about the Sucklord, yet again, who is being too literal. He is concerned about Young Sun Han. He is concerned about Bayeté. He is concerned about a lot of people. He seems to enjoy Michelle, Lola and Dusty.
Sucklord, after hearing a less than positive response from Simon, asks the other artists if he can change his headline. No one cares, except for Michelle, and “Suck” says she’s being petty. But she was totally right! It would have been changing all of the rules of the challenge!
In more bitchy artist news, the Sucklord goes after Young Sun Han and says his piece kind of sucks. Lola says she feels like she is in competition with Kymia. Battle of the winged eyeliner!
There is a montage of Sarah K. laughing! It’s pretty adorable.
Kymia makes a coffin sculpture based on her headline about the Long Island Serial Killer. And the Sucklord was too literal? Dusty and Sucklord end up having to help Kymia lift up her giant million-ton plaster coffin. She should write them and their backs a thank you note.
Gallery show! Adam McEwen is the guest judge, and Michelle is right, he totally rules. China Chow looks like a sea anenome? Maybe crashing waves? Something overly dramatic involving the sea. Bayeté, in a comment on his own piece, says, “Since it’s so bad, is it good?” This could be the new tagline of the show.
Crit time! Michelle’s moving realistic painting about her own experience with injury is cruelly ignored, and Dusty, Young Sun Han, and Lola are up for the win. Jerry Saltz was right in that Dusty’s giant newspaper sculpture of the United States with it’s darkened silhouettes was “graphically striking.” It was a successful design, and it clearly (maybe too clearly) evoked his headline on moods darkening across America. I actually really liked Lola’s piece this week. Her editorialized drawings were charming. I don’t know how I feel about the paper sculptures, but they did deal with her headline about Libyan rebels using useless weapons.
Young Sun Han’s headline was about the disappearance of Ai Weiwei post-arrest. Watching Jerry Saltz vigorously bob his head up and down as Young Sun Han (clearly forced by producers) explained who Ai Weiwei was. You could basically see him thinking, “I know, BITCH.”
Young’s piece, a series of blocks of newspaper painted black with his headline atop them, won the day and the $20k. Maybe I’ve stopped being able to pay close attention to this show, but I didn’t really get it? But whatever. Young Sun Han said he was going to use the money to pay for his mother’s cancer treatment, so this win is nothing but a good thing.
Onto the losers. Oh, my beloved Sucklord. Your piece this week did kind of suck. You didn’t know what you wanted to say! Your voice did not shine through! You needed some Han Solo, goddamit. I did appreciate the turtleneck-suit combo.
Sarah K.’s piece looked like it had fallen off the wall. The cutouts were cool, but I didn’t get how they had anything to do with her super cool article about “descending into madness.” But it was Bayeté who got the boot, with his sloppily made gold doors that were somehow meant to evoke hatred for organized religion. He was pretty gracious on the way out. I will miss him and his adorable baby photos.
Join us next week, when the artistes do some graffitti. It looks like there are going to be some pretty sweet girl fights. Rawr.
Work of Art: Season Two appears on the Bravo TV network every Wednesday at 9/8c.
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As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Tahnee Ahtone presents an email exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
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