Thursday, July 01, 2010

Work of Art

Without Project Runway, my TV watching is pretty much limited to cooking shows. That is, unless Bravo launched Work of Art -- PR for artists, complete with an avuncular mentor (Simon de Pury of Phillips de Pury) and a well dressed host (China Chow, whose wardrobe.... well, I want her wardrobe, and it blows Heidi's out of the water. My god, this woman can dress.) The contestants are competing in weekly artsy challenges, and the composition of contestants is suspiciously similar to PR -- there are the weird, the conceptual weird, the obviously talented, the earnest, and the defensively self-taught. Oh, and a college professor.

The overall hipster quotient is somewhat higher than the PR, somewhat tempered by the fact that the artists are openly grateful for the free food. The winner of the first and second challenges, by turns charmingly neurotic and disturbingly callous Miles, thoughtfully said that as long as they give him free food, he'd stick around. Miles also won me over by reading an entire novel (Frankenstein) before tackling the cover challenge; as you know, those challenges are timed, so he basically sacrificed half of his creative time because he didn't feel right making a cover for something he hasn't read -- a consideration that clearly didn't stop some other participants, one of whom used a half-naked picture of herself as a cover for Pride and Prejudice.

Other current faves besides Miles are Abdi and Nicole. Those three are among the youngest and yet seem to have the strongest points of view. The rest are not terribly interesting, from either art or personality angle.

Compared to PR, there's also a lot more open cattiness and bickering. In similarities, there's an excessive use of 'tranny' and an overwhelming sense of self-importance from those for whom it is least warranted. It also appears that when challenged to be edgy, artists turn to sex, in the same way as designers turn to high asymmetrical neck ruffles and aspiring chefs turn to deconstruction.

All in all, this should hold me over until Project Runway returns (July 29th) or they start making good scripted TV again (your guess is as good as mine).

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