Simon de Pury with on the reality show contestants (all images via

Simon comes to visit the home of the bonding couch. He sends the artistes on a train ride! They head up to idyllic Cold Springs, New York, where China greets them in a rather fetching trench coat/dress combo. We expect so much from her.

It’s a double elimination! Oh shit! The challenge is to travel around Main Street, USA, and find someone’s portrait to do. And then do it in some interesting way. And then display it.

Dusty, of course, bonds with a child. He decides to do her portrait in candy. The child’s mother has no objection. She is not a responsible parent.

It is fun to see les artistes interact with the small town folks. Kymia picks a couple that owns a creepy store. The guy has a crazy beard. Lola goes for adorable old men who own a coin shop. They are my favorites. Young interacts with a hilariously creepy real estate lady, who acts like a Stepford wife whilst giving him a tour of a home.

Sara J. meets some firefighters! Damn girl. Young continues to search. And then he finds an artist! How very meta. He gives the guy $200 to paint a portrait of him in 20 minutes, and Young paints a portrait of the artist painting a picture of him. He can certainly afford it.

Back to the city that never sleeps! Everyone squeezes onto the bonding couch and talks about their nerves. And then the studio! Work, work, work.

Simon visits. His accent on the word “finale!” is quite exquisite. He is concerned about Dusyt’s M & M portrait. He likes Sara J.’s metal fireman portrait, which to me looks like something I made at summer camp when I was nine. Young’s is pretty cool. Simon enjoys it. He thinks Kymia’s creepy portrait of a creepy couple is “too conventional.” Lola is working on a piece that does not incorporate any actual imagery of her subject. It’s interesting, and Simon approves.

Works by (left to right)Dusty, Sara and Kymia.

Dusty tries out a better idea, which is to cover the portrait in little paper fortune teller things, to “predict what the girl will be like.” It’s better than the candy. Yet a piece does not emerge.

The artistes then bond on their bonding roof, which I do not recall being previously utilized for bonding. Lola offers to cast a spell saying that the judges will take all five of them to the Brooklyn Museum. I really wish she would bust out some more Wiccan stuff.

There is a dance party break. It looks enjoyable. Of course it makes Kymia cry.

Last gallery show! China looks like a beautiful chiffon muppet. The guest judge is Richard Phillips, who failed to bring Lindsay Lohan. The humble folk of Cold Spring are the guests!

Judgment day hath arrived.

Sara J. gets praise for her sculpture. I found the metal tags to be aesthetically displeasing, and the smiling, hammered metal portrait of a firefighter to be juvenile. Which brings us to Dusty. Who gets praise for the M & M’s falling off of his portrait. From the shots in the studio, it didn’t seem intentional. Lola and Kymia bring this up, which makes them seem like assholes, but also makes them correct.

I liked Lola’s abstract portrait a lot, and not just because I adore her and her witchy ways. She was genuinely interested in her subjects, and chose to represent them by showing what they were truly passionate in. The judges were total assholes to her. Young’s piece was very polished, but a clever way to represent a person he only got a brief glimpse of. Kymia’s super creepy portrait really captured her super creepy subjects. I enjoyed it very much.

Kymia and Young are victorious! The final judgments await Lola, Sara J. and Dusty. They let Dusty go gently, which he deserved. I will miss him and his accent! His sweetness and light! His mullett.

Sara is chosen over Lola, and it totally blows. Even China was in tears! My beloved crazy Lola is done. Good for Sara, but Lola’s piece was better! Jerry Saltz even admitted it in his recap for NY Mag. Whatever. She’ll cast a spell on him.

Stay tuned for next week’s finale, in which Kymia will cry and China will dress like a milk maid.

Work of Art: Season Two appears on the Bravo TV network every Wednesday at 9/8c.

Jocelyn Silver is a 2011 Hyperallergic summer intern originally from San Diego, California.