Art in 60 Seconds, or Your Money Back

Oh Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, I love you. We’ve seen something like 7 episodes now, and the battle royale between artists competing to be, well, the next great artist is hotting up. Each week they get some kind of challenge, like “make an artwork that will shock us” or “make a portrait of another contestant” and so on. And off they go, working away.

And here we find one rather fascinating feature of the show: they do their thing in something like 24 hours (at least according to the show, who knows what really goes on). Thus, the realist painters paint their realistic paintings and the photographers photograph in a day. Then they exhibit their work, get judged, and either eliminated or kept on.

24 hours. I find myself wondering how many practicing artists get works done, from conception to completion, in that period of time. Can I say, “not many”? Seems like that would be likely. And yet the Next Great Artists are honing exactly that skill – speed running art, so to speak.

Which is all pretty hilarious, really, but it’s intriguing that, while they moan about being under time pressure as they make their things, no one ever really seems to think, “hey, what the fuck? Why am I making this piece of art to show the judges and the viewers in such a short space of time?”

The secret sauce? Work of Art is really quite demeaning.

(The elimination phrase is great: “Your work of art didn’t work for us.”)

27 July 2010
← next words previous words →