That's right! The competition reality TV show the art world loves to hate is back! I don't know about you but I can't wait. Maybe it's because I don't dedicate much time to making my own work anymore, nor have I ever felt comfortable with the title artist (and certainly wouldn't call myself that lately) but I have spent a little time in the art world - paying a few dues, at least, on both sides of the easel, I might add - and I just don't see what's not to love! This quote from Jerry Saltz from this interview sums it up for me:
"I often spend time on the show thinking, 'I wish the art was better.' But I spend a lot of time walking around Chelsea thinking, 'I wish the art was better.'"Don't think, precious artists, that because you're not applying to be on this show (and you know you've at least thought about it), that your work is any better than any of the work produced in response to the challenges the producers create (which, I might add, is not all that different from art school). And if you're making work in response to the show (get a grip, indeed), you're participating in this particular, low, low corner of culture.
Seriously, though, I thoroughly enjoyed last season and absolutely intend to watch this season, which starts tonight, on Bravo, at 9 pm. In a nutshell, like any good competition based reality television show, Work of Art inspired me. When I watch Amazing Race I picture myself zip lining through jungles and not screaming at Neal for reading the map wrong. When I watch So You Think You Can Dance I find myself looking up dance centers that offer classes for adults who are clearly beyond their prime. And when I watch Work of Art, I feel excited about the Art World again and want to spend more time in the studio. Heck, I don't get that feeling from most art I see in galleries and museums. So which is the low art again? Because, forgive me, but sometimes I get a little confused.
Will you be watching?