Work of Art

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DeAnn Welker: A | Grade It Now!
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Portrait of the Other Artists

Before we get started, I should tell you that I know very little about art other than "I love that!" or "That's ugly!" So hopefully you're not here expecting a second opinion other than what the judges on the show give us. I mean, I will have opinions, but they will be worth very little. Anyway, we start out with a "The following program may contain material that is unsuitable for young viewers." Uh-oh. Did I accidentally TiVo an episode of Real Housewives? But nope, because now it's time for the summary: Fourteen artists will be given a unique opportunity to show their talent to America and the top players in the art world. Our host and judge is China Chow, a model and actress. So, I guess I am as qualified as these judges. Except that she's wearing an ugly paint-looking print dress in bright yellow, turquoise and about seven other eye-injuring colors. One artist will win a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum, and $100,000. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. Really? I mean, the Brooklyn Museum? You'd think they could have at least gotten something in Manhattan. No offense, Brooklyn. Okay, maybe a little offense. Anyway, opening credits. There's someone on this show named Jaime Lynn. That can't bode well. (Sarah Jessica Parker is an executive producer on this show, it turns out. Did we know this?) [I did, but I subscribe to her newsletter. - Zach]

Meet the artists: Abdi Farrah, 22, from Dover, Pennsylvania, which he says is "out there." He's a "figurative painter/sculptor," which apparently means he makes comic books starring himself and Obama, judging by what they're showing us. He says the assignment coming in was to create a self-portrait and he created himself as a "space alien." Also, he really needs to win. Nao Bustamante, 46, says she's more known for her video and performance art. We get to see clips of her with her head in a plastic bag full of water and then covered in paint. She says all forms can be used to express an idea. She says that maybe she's too established for this show, but she's a team player. And she feels like she's already won. Ryan Schultz, 26, thinks being an artist is the best thing, because he wakes up at noon. Not exactly why most people do it, but whatever makes him happy, I guess. He says he's broke, but lives to create and creates to live. Nao checks out his self-portrait in the gallery and tells him he's "got some skills."

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Work of Art

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