Work of Art

Episode Report Card
DeAnn Welker: A | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Nice Guy Finishes First

Previously: A lot of egos moved into a house and competed to be "The Next Great Artist" -- "Great" being a relative term. Now we're down to three: Peregrine, Miles and Abdi. Each artist had three months and $5,000 to blow the art world away, which should give us a better idea of what these fools can do when they're not making pop-quiz art. Apparently, they didn't have enough to fill an hou-rlong finale, because we get a recap of each of the finalists' seasons. Miles was OCD and slept on his art, but it totally worked for him. Abdi was good and then struggled and then was awesome. Peregrine was boring and then boring and then sort of okay. The winner will get $100,000 and a show at Brooklyn Museum.

Two months after last episode, Simon's traveling to see the finalists. He starts with Peregrine in Kansas City, Missouri. Simon's impressed by her home, and then meets her jazz musician/horn sculptor husband. Peregrine says her marriage is quite traditional. Then it's time to see her art, which she says is a "carnival theme." She took decorative pieces and cast them in beeswax (it looks like a doll head). Then she is casting a horse in various colors. She drew a picture of a girl vomiting. And a bunch of other vomiting drawings. And she has two unborn twin fawns under glass that she bought at a toy store (seriously? There is a toy store that sells unborn animals? Disturbing) and wants to photograph. He thinks she might have too many different things going on, but she says she's not worried about that, since this will all go great in Simon's space. Simon gruffs: "Be bold. Be amazing. Be dazzling. And be phenomenal!"

Next, Simon heads to Dover, Pennsylvania, to check in on Abdi. Abdi's as giddy as a little boy about having Simon in his house. Simon meets Abdi's mom, who is pretty freaking awesome, which explains a lot about Abdi. He takes Simon to the basement, and shows him his art, which he says was inspired by his last piece: He wanted to explore the human figure. He's made some athletic sculptures, and some giant canvases. Simon tells Abdi he needs to dazzle the judges and what he sees here is okay, but not dazzling. He tells Abdi that he's so technically skilled that it's harder for him to come up with the edge. Abdi's disappointed, because he wanted this to go great, but I think he's okay with it.

Finally, Simon hits Minneapolis to see Miles. It's very snowy in Minnesota. Miles and Simon hug, and Miles compliments Simon's coat. Miles shows Simon the first art piece he ever made, in third grade, which is a now-headless sculpture. He says he was very influenced by Teletubbies. Miles says he was never into art, though, until high school, when he got curious about it. They head to the garage, where Miles is working. He's been taking photos of people at a White Castle that are like security-cam shots, and transferring them to a computer, and then to silkscreen. Miles says the whole body of work is all over the place, and Simon wonders if that's what he's going for or if he wants coherence. Miles says he's doing a lot of playing, and just telling his OCD self to fuck off. He knows this will be his undoing or what helps him win. Simon thinks if Miles can convey emotion more, he'll do great. Then Miles takes Simon to his parents' house (he calls them "my mom and my pops," which is cute). They're very whitebread, middle-class America (both are music teachers). They show Simon some of Miles' early art, and everyone is happy and nice.

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Work of Art

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