Monday, June 14, 2010

Review: Work of Art

I admit it; I watch a select few reality shows.  I just completed HGTV's Design Star seasons available on Hulu.  May I say I am a David Bromstad fan and was very jazzed to see him win season one.

So a new series entitled Work of Art piqued my curiosity.  Put a bunch of artists working in different media in an open-air work space like the white room competitions on Design Star and let 'er rip.  I watched all the interview clips while awaiting the series premier, something I normally would not have done.  I had some early favorites including Erik, Ryan and Miles who won the first competition.  I wondered how this would work.  Could these artists work under the "do-art-NOW!" style pressure?  I cannot.  Do I want to see that?  It could get ugly.

I was a little uneasy as the series premier began to unfold.  Each artist was paired with another; the task was to create a representative portrait of the other artist.  Remember the word portrait, as in portray.  The first twist was that the artists had not gotten to know each other and had only a half hour to interview each other; a half hour total.  Some got right to the essence of their subject, others not so much.

Temperaments immediately showed as did media choices and working styles.  Mark was paired with Erik.  Erik reminds me of a younger, kinder Russel Crowe and Mark captured that with outstanding photoshop work on a digital portrait.  Really well done and despite my soft spot for Miles, I believe Mark's portrait of Erik was best-in-show.

Miles admits to manageable OCD.  It was evident from the start as Miles methodically constructed a custom work-space first before moving on to his portrait of Nao.  He chose to screen-print an old school death portrait.  Before you "eeeww" that, you have to see his finished piece.  Nothing eeeww about it.  It reflects the dreamy quality of the Pre-Raphaelites and Symbolist in a simple grey-scale on white bust portrait.  The judges correctly evaluated it as being sensual.

Erik chose to portray Mark as a clown confined by art via an artist palette as a platform.  I did not catch whether he was using acrylic or oil but I believe it was acrylic.  I understood what Erik was trying to portray, sadly the portrait ended up being a little creepy.

All in all, I enjoyed the first episode.  I am reserved on the host Ms. China Chow.  I am not sure what qualifies her to be both hostess and judge.  I was put off by a comment she made in her preview clip; however, I am willing to be persuaded.  {you can read my review here}

I look forward to seeing how the artists handle the challenges ahead.
Episode 1: Self Reflexive