WOA: Cherry Pop

Posted on October 27, 2011

Y’know, they couldn’t have made things any easier for these airheads.

This was a “high school art class” level of introduction to Pop Art. So why…

… after they were literally walked right up to the definition and most famous example of Pop Art, did these artists all have such a serious problem with the concept? Almost all of the entries could have been produced by the artists for any other type of challenge. They all just did what they normally do and tacked on some sort of vague reference to Pop Art.

Ew.

We shouldn’t be so snotty about it – and we more than understand the vast differences between this game show and the art world – but having someone who interviews starlets on Oscars red carpets involved in the process is a serious step away from the “credibility” side of things. You might as well have a “We picked YOUR piece to sell our new flavor of toothpaste!” challenge.

And hey, we love actresses on Oscars red carpets. It’s a huge part of our lives. But advertising-based entertainment journalism and the art world are such a ridiculous melding that we’re a little disappointed none of these so-called badass artists really had the balls to comment on the absurdity of artists competing on television for the prize of being featured in a glossy entertainment magazine. We hate to state the obvious, but Warhol at the height of his creativity would have found this whole scenario ripe for exploring. Maybe that was the point of including this guy; to challenge the artists on the absurdity of the situa– oh, who are we kidding? The point was to have some cross promotion and product placement.



At least Rob had his bona fides. We tend to think he argued a little too strenuously for a TV friendly, “personal storytelling” form of pop art, but that’s just us.

 

Young


We thought this was good, but overpraised. It was the most “pop” of the pieces offered, so it probably would have won no matter what. We think it sort of lacks a message, though. It just says “PROP 8″ in a really pretty way. What gave the work power was the audience participation and we tend to think it was a bad idea to encourage people to write on the back. He should have asked them to mark up the front.

 

Kymia

This was a fairly decent entry and deserved its runner-up status but we think she stumbled upon something that the judges happened to like. She didn’t have an idea more developed than “advertising uses sex” and “advertising lies.” Fair enough. But we think the quality of the picture, which does look like it could be an ad, was a happy accident for her.

One thing’s for sure, the offerings on the lower end of the scale were so bad, they picked a good week to choose to send two of them home. Ironically, several of them were pretty faithful to the ideas of Pop Art.

 

Dusty

We were shocked that Dusty managed to squeak by again this week. We were sure he was going home. His work hasn’t been anything but weak and he seems so uncomfortable being there. This piece actually might have worked if he’d managed to come up with any sort of message or idea justifying it. A punchline, if you will. That “How could you?” is just irritatingly vague and doesn’t elevate the piece past simply being a trash can with writing on it.

 

Michelle

She’s lucky she managed to impress the judges enough before this challenge because this would have sent a weaker contestant home. It’s ridiculously derivative. The cell phone camera angle didn’t modernize it as much as she hoped it would.

 

Jazz-Minh

This was one of the ones, as it was unfolding over the course of the episode, that had us yelling “What are you TALKING about? This isn’t Pop Art!” There were more than a few others that had us yelling, but this was the worst of the lot. What’s “Pop” about pictures of yourself making faces? And the paint splatter episode only illustrated how completely without concept her piece was. “I like it!” Well, if spilled paint improves your piece, you might want to take a step back and ask why that is. Eliminating her was the right decision.

 

Leon


But we have to admit, we were really surprised to see them send Leon home. We absolutely agreed with the judges that this was a bunch of cliches with no ideas behind it – but you could have easily said that about half the entries this week. And the OTHER half would have been examples of things that AREN’T Pop Art in any way. At least this demonstrated an understanding of the term. We guess what annoyed us about his elimination was Bill’s comment of surprise that he didn’t bring his deafness into the piece, which strikes us as a really odd, and shockingly limiting, thing to criticize him for. He’s not required to reference his deafness all the time and he probably thought a Pop Art piece wasn’t the time to do it. Sure, it could have been interesting to get his perspective on mass-mediated culture as a deaf person, but we thought the expectation that he was supposed to was a little narrow-minded.

And like we said, there were plenty of bad entries to choose from.

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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  • Anonymous

    This was an oddly depressing challenge. Even the winning piece was so trite and unimaginative. Begs the question though – is it valid to ask artists to adopt someone else’s style? I think not. Imagine if Picasso was asked to do Pop Art (yes I realize that none of the contestants are on the same level as Picasso). I don’t think there would be any point to that.  

    • http://profiles.google.com/singingraisin ali meowmeow

      That is a really good point, and one I admit didn’t even occur to me. For purposes of having anything to judge or compare, it certainly seems more valid to dictate the general subject or theme or the medium or audience or even the inspiration of the work, rather than enforce a style. I rather hope they learn from this.

  • Anonymous

    Simon’s enthusiasm is the most hilarious thing in the world. I just love every moment he has on the show. Everything is so…punctuated with joy. “Your work sucks, but you are brilliant! Keep at it!”

    • Anonymous

      I love him too–and I love your “punctuated with joy” example.  He loves art so much, and he’s trying to whip these artists into a frenzy of creativity.  He is completely endearing.

      • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

        He lights up the screen and, as tignor said, his enthusiasm is a hoot. I wonder what goes through his head when he looks into the dead, dead eyes of some of the artists.

    • Anonymous

      He is adorable. He’s my new Tim, because I’m pretty much over Tim now.

  • Joe J

    It really says something about the quality of contestants this season where the winning piece uses the same idea of a non-winning piece from the earlier season (Jaclyn’s photos of herself from the “shock art” challenge) with the whole “audience participation” angle.

    • Anonymous

      I certainly wouldn’t describe “audience participation” as Jaclyn’s idea.   It’s not at all uncommon in the art world these days for works to have a participatory angle, and it’s no surprise that artists in both seasons would draw on the concept.    The fact that one won and the other didn’t says nothing about the quality of the artists.  It’s how you use an idea that matters.

  • Pennymac

    It stikes me as odd that these contestants seem to have some kind of disconnect when it comes to understanding the basics of these challanges. Are they that self serving and narrow minded that they can’t embrace the integration of the challange into they’re particular point of view, or are they just amazingly ignorant? They couldn’t figure out “motion” last week, and this week, very few of them seemed to even know what Pop Art is. I am by no means an artist, but I do understand definitions. Likewise with PR, I am not a designer, but I know what avant-gard is. As a reality show contestant, with $100000.00 as the prize,wouldn’t I make it my business to know some of this stuff? 

    • Lori

      While I think the parkour challenge should have been more specific (economy of motion vs. just motion) I also think this group needs the challenges explained in three-letter words.

      • Scott Hester-Johnson

        Agreed. Even a high schooler with a rudimentary art education would have a better handle on these genres than these supposed “artists” do. I am flabbergasted by their continued inability to listen and understand.

  • Anonymous

    What I always find dismaying is when I, as a non-artist, can come up with ideas that fit the challenge, while the contestants wallow in confusion. Jazz-minh started out clearly referencing the Shot Marilyns, which makes sense, as it’s highly recognizable Pop art. Personally, if I wanted to do a riff on his Marilyns, I would have gone with the Golden Retriever, the iconic All-American dog of the moment, done in the same style, and called it Fido 1, Fido 2, Fido 3 and Fido 4. Because people are fricking cloning their pets! And the idea of animals as a mass produced product just… it’s kinda mind-blowing.

    Is it the most amazing idea ever? Hardly. I’m not an artist, beyond a couple high school classes. But it certainly fits the challenge more than some of the entries.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      What I’ve seen a lot of is novelty breeding- Shi-poos, chi-weenies, etc. I like your idea. But to take it a different way, how about showing the morphing &/or mutation of the breeds in the panels? I’m not an artist either, though…
      Either idea sure as hell beats either of her incarnations of Britney.

    • Anonymous

      I would have done something with Michael Jackson and his drug overdose. Maybe staged it and photographed it. Bam. Pop art.

  • scottyf

    T&Lo said…
    “We guess what annoyed us about his elimination was Bill’s comment of surprise that he didn’t bring his deafness into the piece…”

    I cannot tell you how incensed I was by that prejudiced comment. First off, an artist–simply through osmosis–always bring a bit of who they are into their work. Second, as is true with many statements from people with unconscious biases, I don’t think he had a clue as to how blatantly bigoted and hearing-based it sounded.

    • http://twitter.com/ILikeShiny Cindi Williams

      I was surprised the deafness comment didn’t come from Jerry’s mouth. He’s my go-to guy for being an asshole.

      I would have done a mock-up of Marilyn Monroe’s pose from Seven Year Itch: one normal, and one spray-tan orange. Or Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s…something like that.

      • Anonymous

        As confused as I was by Jazz-Minh’s idea at the end, I think there was the root of something great there — if she had done Britney, bald and crazy and pathetic, in the Marilyn mold — I think that would have been quite affecting.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Spray-tan orange. Love it!

    • Anonymous

      He just uttered that remark so casually, while I was gasping. So I don’t think he had a clue either. It was a terrible comment!  Is every artist supposed to impose whatever unique quality s/he possesses onto every work of art s/he produces? Whether it fits or not?
      “Why didn’t you reference your breast cancer in this?”
      “I was looking forward to an African American/Latin/Asian take on pop art. I was disappointed.”
      “You’re dyslexic. So how come you didn’t spell one of the words backwards?”
      “You have hammer toes. Why weren’t they visible in your piece?”

      Please.  Ridiculous.  And insulting.

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        Imagine pulling that shit on PR. 
        Michael sez, “Anthony, I just don’t see how this dress reflects that you have one testicle.”

        • BuffaloBarbara

          Long pause on runway.

          [AR]Er… I’m not sure what you mean, sir…

          • Anonymous

            As opposed to the other shit they’re saying on Project Runway?

      • Rachel Ward

        I had a friend in college who was a brilliant artist, and who was female and black. She got totally fed up with gallery shows because people kept coming up to her and asking her “How does this piece relate to your experience as a black woman?” Last I heard, she was planning on shortening her name to a gender-neutral form and hiring a white guy to pose as the artist at shows.

        • Pam Winters

          My husband likes to quote some old episode of All in the Family…Mike is asking Lionel’s opinion, as a black man, on some issue, and Lionel gets testy that he’s always being characterized that way and wonders why no one asks him about the weather: “Black people have weather, too!”

    • Anonymous

      Not just one person failed to realize how bigoted that was. That had to survive a lot of editors and producers getting a look at it, and no one thought, “Holy shit, this makes one of our main judges look like a bigoted asshole. Let’s not put this in the show.”

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GQIN74TNNQROY5JFPOWWBGJWEM andy

        Or, that’s exactly why they left it in.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      I’m glad to see everyone in agreement on that.  I mean, yes, it might be an interesting piece if that had been the piece Leon had chosen to do.  But it wasn’t.  The man is allowed to think about things other than being deaf.  He’s not there to be  their pet “deaf artist” and give the “deaf point of view” on every issue.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363731332 Gerry Coleman

        Clearly he IS there to be their deaf artist.  And Bayete is the black one.  And Jazz Minh (do you really think her parents spelled it that way?), the hippie one (they had one of those last year, too, right?).  Not sure what The Suckolord is supposed to be.  I bet they were thrilled to get a “handicap” this season.  It’s a real score. None of the other reality shows has a deaf contestant.  Few are from Malaysia, either, but that is beside the point, of course.  Disgusting!

        • BuffaloBarbara

          Ah, true.  I forget these things.  Sucklord is clearly there to be their pet representative from the lowbrow world.  “What do those quaint little scifi fans think?  Aren’t they funny?”

          I suspect Jazz Minh’s parents did name her that way–I see a lot of weird-spelled names for toddlers (check out Baby’s Named A Bad, Bad Thing if you want a good Halloween scare)–but she didn’t change it.

    • http://profiles.google.com/singingraisin ali meowmeow

      There are two things that bug me a lot about this:
      1) You just know that if the description of all his work started “As a deaf person…” they would have raked him over the coals for it.
      2) The whole “it’s almost like you think you’re people!” implication is sickening.

      I was intrigued by that guy and his entry doesn’t seem that bad. I hope they bring him back.

    • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

      This is exactly what I was thinking and I was going to write my own comment and then I saw yours and thought I would just join right in. Scottyf, you are spot on. I was so offended by that comment I was literally looking around my living room thinking, ‘oh my god, did he really just SAY that?’ oy.
      The rest of the episode was comedy gold though. My god, some of the things these people say. And of course, the person who should have really won couldn’t possibly be featured in ET so….

    • Anonymous

      Not only was he supposed to bring his deafness into the piece, but Facebook was supposed to have changed his life!  What with there being absolutely no other outlet of communication for hearing impaired people prior to Facebook?  Maybe the stuff Bill smoked that night came from Mark Zuckerberg’s stash? 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363731332 Gerry Coleman

        Yeah.  WTF?  “But the coffee at Starbucks is really quite delicious.  You haven’t tried it?”

    • Anonymous

      Especially because they, without fail, will say to every single artist of color that “everything is not about race.”  

      “You are not fully-able-bodied, white and male!   Reference this tragic fact to suit our shallow privilege guilt, but NO MORE THAN THAT!”

  • http://twitter.com/thedogsmother thedogsmother

    Kymia should have changed her piece as soon as they found out about the EW twist. We were surprised they actually showed it. They didn’t last year.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Good for her for not changing. Maybe that’s one reason they liked it, because she *didn’t* sell out? Of course she never would have won, but still. Or maybe I am giving the judges too much credit…
      Also, it is my understanding that last season, Jaclyn put the stars on her nipples to censor herself. Someone correct me if I am wrong…

      • Anonymous

        it’s kind of funny that jaclyn would show herself with her hand in the honey pot, but censored her nipples.  but the former was earlier in the season, perhaps she was “liberated” by her association with miles (irony intended)

  • Anonymous

    Jazzzzz-minnnhhhh’s was stupid, but I kept thinking about how much a lip tattoo would hurt.  OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lori

    The absence of irony in any of the work was…ironic.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

    This is the first episode I’ve seen this season. I’m not sure I feel like watching again. These people are idiots, and the Sucklord is a grade-A asshole.

  • Sabrina Sorich

    my problem with this episode is that is wholly focused on Warhol.  There were no other references to other big Pop Artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauchenberg they could have pulled inspiration from and would have stood out so much more.  It makes me question these artist’s understanding of Pop Art, but of course the “high school introduction” to Pop Art the show provided (as TLo mentioned) didn’t help either.

    • Anonymous

      I like Lichtenstein so much more than Warhol. But I worry that references to him would have been even more derivative than what we got. 

    • Anonymous

      I honestly thought that this was a much better challenge than last
      week’s, much riper for exploration. But you are right, it really was
      *Pop Art Lite* in terms of the brief the show provided, and the pale
      imitations that the participants produced. I’m also disappointed that Leon went home, and Dusty stayed. Once again a reality show where we are missing something that the judges are evidently seeing.

      I didn’t particularly like Leon’s work of art, but thought he had a great concept, and also that he obviously was familiar with Jasper Johns, another great contemporary artist, though I don’t know if he falls under Pop Art. Dusty’s was ill-conceived and referenced nothing that felt like Pop Art.

      lol. I thought Sucklord’s would win, not should, but would. Young’s worked for me, but I agree with TLo: He should have asked them to mark up the front.

    • Anonymous

      I think that was the fault of the artists more than the challenge. They used Warhol to set it up, but they just said pop art. Unfortunately, the artists were completely unable to discern that there was more to pop art than having similar images lined up near each other, so that’s what we got.

      • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

        Yep, and it makes me ask the same question I asked about this season’s crop of PR designers: do they create in a vacuum? How can you be an artist in the 21st century and not have a clue about pop art? I’m dumbfounded. And flabbergasted. And befuddled. What a bunch of nimrods.

    • Anonymous

      Or the much-lamented-last-episode Keith Haring.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve lowered my expectations of the game show-cum-art show.  Now I’m just looking for a phrase–any phrase–on par with last year’s “unborn fawn.”  But I doubt it’ll happen with this crew.

  • http://profiles.google.com/trashilove { edi } ilovetrash

    this is exactly who they should have judging this thing.

    someone who’s my age & thinks he is a pop artist. meaning: someone who was born a little after pop art was created, & when it was at its most relevant. someone whose current work is as creative & relevant as a reality program.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

    I’m surprised that everything had to come laden with a heavy message

  • Anonymous

    It was a fairly disappointing showing, and I was surprised and sad that Leon went home.  I liked him and felt he had skills and confidence. Jazz Minh, on the other hand, so deserved the door she got.

    I didn’t get a sense that the artists didn’t *know* what pop art is–more that there were different definitions (as there will be in any art history text), and when that become apparent, some of them seemed to panic. But I too wished that Young had encouraged people to put their comments on the front, not the back.

    ADORED China’s tunic top!  I love seeing what she wears!

    • Pennymac

      CHINA CHOW! I so look forward to seeing her clothes. And in the picture of her and Simon standing side by side with the Warhol in the middle, his suit is absolutely immaculate. Not a wrinkle or a pull anywhere, just an amazing (and probably insanely expensive) suit with a fantastic fit. He is my favorite thing about this show.

  • MilaXX

    What is with the contestants this season over thinking every, simple challenge? Young’s piece was okay and I could see it being something EW liked, but I would have given the win to Sarah K. Sadly when Leon said he wasn’t interested in pleasing the judges, I knew he was going.

    • Anonymous

      I liked Sarah K’s as well, and I was surprised that it didn’t get top recognition.  The style was right and the message was timely.  I think she could be one to watch throughout this whole thing, but she’s likely to not get as much air time as others because she doesn’t try to hard to be a reality tv personality (cough LOLA cough).

      • BuffaloBarbara

        That’s who I was forgetting!  Yes, that definitely would have been in the top for me, if not the winner.

  • http://twitter.com/keen23 Kara Keenan

    I watched this with my kids last night, and my 3rd grader turns to me and says “hey, we’re doing Pop Art in art class too!” Yeah, so Top Artist, you’ve just managed to do projects similar to what the kids do in elementary school (minus the nudity, because that’s frowned upon and probably would be child porn).

  • Anonymous

    i’d hoped that leon would stick around for a while, he seemed to bring some dignity to this show that is sorely needed. i enjoyed the first season of this show, but it seems as that may have been due more to the casting than anything else (why are 1st season casts of reality shows usually the best?). thanks for watching this show, i’d much rather read about it than watch it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3JSTXMWWVZN2QNP2UEKJMTWD7U Isabel

      Why did the judges take into account that Leon is not even from the USA? In his country, this work would be Pop (maybe)?

    • Anonymous

      I really liked him too, and am sorry to see him go. His piece last week was my favorite, and although this week’s piece was a failure, he had a lot of potential.

  • Anonymous

    I agree completely about Leon. It was ugly and derivative and unoriginal — but it was recognizably POP ART.

    With that said, I hated the Prop 8 piece. I thought the design on front was boring, and letting people write on the back was an asinine way to cover his ass, on the same level as what’s his face from last season taking a nap in the middle of the gallery. I knew the judges would love it but I couldn’t stand it.

    And I can’t believe you didn’t call him out on “not wanting to take a side” on Prop 8. Seriously? A gay man in California “not wanting to take a side” on Prop 8? That’s disgusting. Man the fuck up. How devoid of intelligence and self-worth are you if you can’t even form an opinion when it comes to someone taking away your own goddamned rights?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, that annoyed me, too.  Here’s the thing:  if he had chosen not to take a side in the expectation that the “audience participation” would create a dialogue, that would be one thing.  But no one with any sense would have expected anything other than a unanimous “No on 8″ from the crowd in that room.  So it falls completely flat. 

      • BuffaloBarbara

        He also knew in context that the side would be assumed by everyone present.

        • Anonymous

          Sort of like: Cat juggling, for or against?

          • Anonymous

            Wait, are the cats the ones doing the juggling , or is it people juggling cats? Because it makes a difference.

          • Anonymous
          • Anonymous

            My kitten, Tesla, really likes to juggle mice.  If this is the meaning we’re talking about here, I am definitely pro-cat juggling.

    • Anonymous

      God, I hated that piece too. What a piece of nothing, really. Letting people write on the artwork is entry-level.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4AZYKFDGYZTFQJML25GU4RJBUQ Anh-Thu

      It’s not that HE (Young) didn’t take a side on Prop 8, of course he’d take a side, it’s that he didn’t want his WORK to. That’s what I liked about his piece, that it makes no comment one way or the other, UNTIL the viewer creates the meaning, hence the writing on the back (although I agree, he should’ve allowed them to scrawl on the front).

  • Anonymous

    Where do they dig up these people that have no concept of things like pop art?  So much of it was just heavy-handed political messages.  I am also surprised that Leon was eliminated.  They seem to be slowly but surely eliminating all the entertaining people.  No more f-bomb sign language, and no chanting on the rooftop.  Sad.

    I am glad to see them add a short bit about their trip to Utrecht and the $150 limit.  I found it curious in previous weeks that there was no mention of any limitations.  

    Of course Kymia wouldn’t win because EW isn’t going to put breastages on display in their rag, art or no.  Truth be told, none of this stuff warranted a spread, even in such a harmless glossy.

    The challenges have actually been pretty good, but the artists seem a bit clueless about how to adapt to anything other than their own impulses.  Here’s hoping at least some of them get it together!

    • Anonymous

      I’ve decided that “I’m going to go to the roof, and I’m going to chant and get my head on straight,” is what I’m going to say in response to every single even remotely stressful situation I may face for the rest of my life.

      Boyfriend: Instant Karma, we need to have a talk about our relationship.
      Instant Karma: NO!  I’m going to go to the roof, and I’m going to chant and get my head on straight.

      Friend: Instant Karma, what are you going to wear to other friend’s party tonight?
      Instant Karma: NOTHING!  I’m going to go to the roof, and I’m going to CHANT, goddamnit.

      I’m sure it works in every possible scenario — especially at work.

  • Scott Hester-Johnson

    I found it interesting that most of them got hung up on the celebrity angle of “pop culture” rather than Pop Art.

    I also found it fascinating that we can’t be exposed to video of boobs (blurring) but close-up stills are A-OK. Weird.

    These kids really need to take a step back from the “I’m creating a statement on the socio-economic plight of red-headed women in the developing world” art school bullshit. I went to Parsons and this kind of inflating of crap work with lengthy exposition made me crazy. Your work should not require an explanation. It should have impact and import at face value.

    • Anonymous

      Video of boobs: boobs.
      Still of boobs: art.
      Welcome to the weird word of obscenity censorship.

  • Anonymous

    I was so irritated by this show from beginning to end. Pop art is a genre that has been so played out already, it’s very hard to bring anything fresh to it, and they should not have even asked. The winning piece was so banal, it was like something an art educator brings to a high school assembly. The obvious winning entry, by Sucklord (he even referenced it as he winner on the piece!) was not in the top.  Jazz-Minh’s had a lot more to it than the dolt judges saw (but no, I guess I wouldn’t call it pop art). Leon’s was bad, but no worse than Dusty’s or that stupid “Sorry we are closed” thing they seemed to like.

    What is interesting is how much of a fail the street artist brought to it. While his piece was not anywhere among the worst, by virtue of being a street artist, he should have nailed that fucker. This is where the best and most relevant pop art is happening today, on the streets. I can go outside right now, walk for 10 minutes, and find 20 works of street art at least that clever.

  • Anonymous

    I have a hard time getting invested in this show. I can’t really see much difference in the quality of work from one artist to another so I really don’t care who wins/loses.

  • Anonymous

    great idea!  what i love most about this show is the chance to imagine my own response to the challenges.  i actually am a professional artist, and a part of me yearns to go back to art school to be challenged by guidelines laid down by another creative artist.  and tobe mentored by someone like simon!  what an opportunity.  they say education is wasted on the young, and in my case it was so true.  i had to me!  i had to make art in my own style, to prove i was smarter than the teachers.  to express my anguished young soul.
    part of the problem was that i was totally wasted myself (berkeley 1968-70).

    in recent years a friend quit her practice as a pediatrician and went to art school.  what a bold move!  one of her assignments was to do fifty different black and white drawings of the same still life.  that would be a real growth experience.  bravo’s work of art is my vicarious art school experience.  and the youth of most of the artists is very apparent. 

    • http://beautyforrealgirls.blogspot.com/ accidental housewife

      It’s probably not your computer. Discus can be really wonky re: replies to other comments.

      The youth of some of the artists is indeed apparent, and their self-involvement is kind of a given. But Jazz-mihn is 32. The Sucklord is 42. Bayete is, I think, in his mid-30s. Dusty only looks 45, but I don’t think he’s a kid either. I expected more from all of them. I’m really puzzled by how much most of the artists stumbled in this challenge.

  • Anonymous

    “So why…after they were literally walked right up to the definition and most famous example of Pop Art, did these artists all have such a serious problem with the concept?”

    For the same reason they saw parkour practitioners and came up with “poop”: they’re idiots.

  • Anonymous

    “So why…after they were literally walked right up to the definition and most famous example of Pop Art, did these artists all have such a serious problem with the concept?”

    For the same reason they saw parkour practitioners and came up with “poop”: they’re idiots.

  • Anonymous

    At one point I wondered if the concept Pop Art was chosen just to see if the contestants could grasp a concept.

  • Anonymous

    At one point I wondered if the concept Pop Art was chosen just to see if the contestants could grasp a concept.

  • Anonymous

    yes.  everyone seemed to think that pop art meant comment on the awful situation of the world today.  actually, i think pop art is more about using and enjoying the slick images of the dominant culture.  i don’t see it as being particularly political.  sucklord is one of the few that didn’t feel the need to make a huge statement about the crisis of current life.  it remains to be seen if these artists will continue to make these grandiose but tired comments in every challenge.

    edit: again! this was in reply to eric scheirer stott below. i guess i will have to contact disqus. my first reply was ok, but then…

  • Anonymous

    yes.  everyone seemed to think that pop art meant comment on the awful situation of the world today.  actually, i think pop art is more about using and enjoying the slick images of the dominant culture.  i don’t see it as being particularly political.  sucklord is one of the few that didn’t feel the need to make a huge statement about the crisis of current life.  it remains to be seen if these artists will continue to make these grandiose but tired comments in every challenge.

    edit: again! this was in reply to eric scheirer stott below. i guess i will have to contact disqus. my first reply was ok, but then…

    • Anonymous

      disqus seems to be a buggy program. It has posted my replies as comments and not posted my comments at all – and yes, I’m sure I hit the Post button. Once it even removed a reply it published as a post. I seriously was almost in tears, so appalled that Tom & Lorenzo would so severely disapprove of something I said. Then I remembered all I said was I agreed with the poster and realized there was something off with disqus. I’ve been debating whether or not it’s worth it to contact disqus. Please let us know if/what they reply.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4AZYKFDGYZTFQJML25GU4RJBUQ Anh-Thu

      I think Lichtenstein said it best: “Pop Art is not ‘American’ [art*] but actually industrial [art].”

      *”art” in place of “painting”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506473106 Mori Clark

    so pissed that leon went home. EXCEPTIONALLY pissed that leon went home when dusty stayed. he could’ve at least painted it cyan and magenta. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506473106 Mori Clark

    so pissed that leon went home. EXCEPTIONALLY pissed that leon went home when dusty stayed. he could’ve at least painted it cyan and magenta. 

  • BuffaloBarbara

    This stuff?  Not good.  I also assumed Dusty would be going home.  And the winning piece… hello, obviously giving the win to approve the political message.   Which wasn’t even in the art, just implied by it in context.  It wasn’t any more subtle or thoughtful than Bayete’s low-ranking piece from the first challenge.

    Though, granted, there wasn’t that much of a field to choose from. 

  • BuffaloBarbara

    This stuff?  Not good.  I also assumed Dusty would be going home.  And the winning piece… hello, obviously giving the win to approve the political message.   Which wasn’t even in the art, just implied by it in context.  It wasn’t any more subtle or thoughtful than Bayete’s low-ranking piece from the first challenge.

    Though, granted, there wasn’t that much of a field to choose from. 

  • Logo Girl

    I can’t believe no one did a can of China Chowder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

    I… can’t even. I wish Dusty had made or gotten some fast food trays to stick on top, and painted the garbage can in the dated kitschy colors of a McDs or a BK. Leon’s was boring, but I don’t really get why he went home. Pop art is generally about mass produced and mass consumed culture (as opposed to being a “style”), and so many of these weren’t. I don’t get how they struggled so much to say something – anything – about that topic. 
    Young’s piece just didn’t seem interesting to me. 
    Also, I was a little annoyed about Rob Pruitt’s comments about Warhol’s art being personal to him, mostly because that’s not really the impression I think Warhol was trying to get across from what I’ve read in interviews and criticism. One of Warhol’s most favorite quotes was, “I want to be a machine.” He’s sort of about the opposite – depersonalization of art, the removal of a person from the art object. And I think the construction of the soup cans was TOTALLY off – he mentioned that Warhol said he painted them because he ate them for lunch every day and it was a personalized thing, but that was part of the persona that Warhol cultivated (and also, it’s a statement just begging for you to doubt it, given that Warhol’s lifestyle was generally anything but mainstream, for all that he worked in a “Factory”) and that “personal” touch is not at ALL inherent in the work, since they’re very flat images in mass produced silk screens. I just got frustrated with all the artists involved. I’m sure Rob Pruitt has a more nuanced point of view about Warhol than what we saw on TV, but I was just really facepalming all over the place this episode. Too much bullshit everywhere.

    • Anonymous

      100% correct and a gold star.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1326120071 Gaby Ripoll

        Right? Are we also going to take at face value Warhol saying he recommended investing in the physical cans of soup? Everything is just so shallow. But I watch WoA for the spectacle more than nuanced ideas about art, so whatever. 

  • BuffaloBarbara

    Also, I had the odd thought when they walked into the gallery… given the nature of some modern art and their supposed lack of knowledge about the challenge, why didn’t anyone wonder if those cans were an art installation instead of a path for them to follow?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa-Janes/1307910218 Melissa Janes

    Aw not Leon! He’s so good looking though! :(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4AZYKFDGYZTFQJML25GU4RJBUQ Anh-Thu

    Dusty should have gone home in place of Leon. I couldn’t believe my ears when he was asked why he didn’t use, and his answer was, “I wanted to keep it universal.” Apparently he doesn’t know that the universal colors of fast food are red and yellow (and sometimes blue), the PERFECT Pop Art colors. I can’t believe no one called him out on that.

    • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

      Actually, he should have used woodgrain laminate.

  • Judy_J

    I love China Chow’s pop art dress.

  • Anonymous

    This episode showed how bad this show can be.  

    First, it showed how limited the world of inspiration is for most of these artists.  The producers were so busy getting tele-worthy contestants that they forgot to get people who are good artists. The talent pool is so shallow this season, you could suck it up with an eye-dropper.  

    Second, it showed how pairing the challenge with EW would lead to a winner whose work looked most like an ad that would appear in EW.  What a shocker!  It was pop art only in the sense that pop art and graphic design intersect and the interactivity the judges were raving about couldn’t even be part of it.

    Third, it showed how the art world  and the people who populate it are today’s version of the emperor has no clothes.  I know very little about art, but even I can spot the BS.  The stuff they like seems so lame and random and the explanations they give just sound like nonsense. They liked the winning piece because you can write on the back?  That’s like saying a newspaper article is good because readers can leave their own comments at the end. And the runner-up was chosen, I’m convinced, because these guys like to see the boobs come out.  I’ve always gotten a whiff of the pervy from Bill and Simon which I find a little uncomfortable to watch because they are old enough to be the fathers or grandfathers of most these female contestants.  

    I was also sorry to see Leon go.  His piece, at least, had an idea behind it.  Not perfectly executed, but there was something there to work with.  Plus, he was one of the most entertaining people on the show.  Watching this season, I’m not sure if this show is a WOA or a POS.  

  • http://profiles.google.com/yifatshaik Yifat Shaik

    I really think Jazz-Minh is far more of an illustrator then an “artist”, and kinda think she sould go in that direction. I think she will be quite succesful in that field (at least judging from the few pieces I saw)

  • Anonymous

    This show is a train wreck.  Jazz-Minh was so amused by her ridiculous tattoo that she was unable to focus on art and so failed to make any, so she clearly needed to go.  But my other choice for a fond farewell would have been Sucklord, not because of his art but because he is a pretentious jerk and because I thought if he mentioned anyone’s tits even one more time I would have to put my fist through my television.  When he finally goes home I hope his girlfriend really does cut his balls off.

  • Anonymous

    I completely forgot that this was on, so I didn’t see it. Oh well, I doubt I missed anything.

    But that Andy Warhol statue was up in my neighborhood for a while (I don’t think it’s still there), right across from where The Factory was. People kept leaving cans of soup there.

    –GothamTomato

    • Anonymous

      That’s more interesting than most of the episode.

  • http://www.hilonwheels.blogspot.com hilonwheels

    Oh T Lo, don’t you know us disabled peeps are required to mention our disabilities all the time, it’s kinda a requirement. lol! Seriously, how far off the mark was Bill in expecting that because Leon is deaf he is supposed to speak to that AT ALL in ANY of his pieces.

    Or put another way, were the hearing enabled held to that same standard and asked to include how their ability to hear affects how they consume or make pop art? Of course not. But that’s the ablest viewpoint for you.

    That said, it is not lost on me that they had a deaf person on a competition reality show.  Being that that is such a rare occurrence, I take notice and I’m very disappointed to see him leave.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite part was when the boob/water photo thing was applauded for being “an advertisement about advertising” or something like that.  The poor “artist” didn’t have a clue as to what they were talking about but at least she was smart enough to nod her head and agree.

    I had thought that Leon was going to replace the stars and stripes with corporate logos which, while probably derivative, is very much on point right now, though not really pop art.  Oh well.

  • Anonymous

    OK, I just watched the re-run: Michelle should have been sent home for copying. Period.

    I taught photography at a major university for a few years and whenever a student copied, I automatically flunked them just on principle. Period.

    –GothamTomato

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t believe they sent Leon home and kept Dusty around. As you said, Leon’s piece was at least recognizably pop art. Not sure what Dusty’s was — other than a trash can. It leads me to wonder if the producers didn’t decide at some point that having to deal with the deaf guy and his translator was more trouble than they’d expected.
    As for the winner — I’m willing to bet that Young won over Kymia solely because they couldn’t print nekkid boobies in Entertainment Weekly. Other than the pretty picture, all of the interest in Young’s piece was on the back. Not exactly print-ready. Kymia’s told its story as soon as you looked at it….but you couldn’t look at it in a family-friendly magazine. Which was pretty dumb on Kymia’s part.

    • Mary McClelland

      That’s what I think too! The mag would have to blur out the nips thus ruining the piece. Love producer intervention! 

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I don’t understand Pop Art…but I never thought of it as something that has to be message-heavy.  You shouldn’t have to hit me over the head with what you’re trying to say with your piece…I should be able to draw the message from it myself.  I think this show would annoy the hell out of me if I watched it–but I’m enjoying your recaps!

  • Anonymous

    Jazz-Minh should have gone home just for having the name Jazz-Minh. Come on now…I mean really.

  • Anonymous

    Could have easily been a quadruple elimination, throwing in Dusty and Bayete.  I’m waiting to be blown away.  I’m sure it’s going to happen but right now I feel the urge to snicker more than anything.  There is something incredibly juvenile and immature about the group overall that leads to these wildly indulgent shallow works of “art”.  

    • Mary McClelland

      Bayete’s art bores me in general. I’m surprised he’s on the show, actually. 

  • Pam Winters

    I love this show–it’s got so much more creativity and joy in it than most of these “Top-Whatever” programs–but this episode ignored the elephant in the room: the fact that, no matter how good, a photo of naked breasts or a painting of logos used in a critical way was never going to make it into EW magazine.

    My favorite thing about Young’s piece was that it was so well made. Bright, simple, sharply delineated (literally and figuratively). That also made it, for me, boring. I’d like to have gotten a better look at Lola’s. (<—Yeah, that's what HE said. I know.)

    I wish the offerings had been better overall. I found this whole episode confusing.

    I also wonder how many people actually put trash into Dusty's art.

  • http://twitter.com/ericibid eric

    Bill came off as a gigantic asshole (more so than usual, and I’ve never been a fan of him). Why didn’t he expect Leon to reference his Asian heritage? Or any other number of background/demographic features? Female artists, you must always reference your femininity! Male artists, why aren’t all your pieces about your *pieces if you know what I mean*? What a jackass.

  • Anonymous

    Simon thinking that Kymia’s dirty water was a Pimms Cup #1 was my favorite moment of the episode. 

    • Anonymous

      And her not knowing what it is…

  • vmcdanie

    I agree her piece was lame (and seemed more inspired by the chance to show everyone her lip tattoo) but I did like Jazz-Minh and was kinda bummed out they sent her home. Her piece was wrong on so many levels not the least of which was-you are inspired by Britney Spears?? And I thought that last year’s self-portrait a la Britney’s limo-exiting crotch shot was hopelessly dated.

    I can’t remember the artist’s name for that piece. I just remember calling her Tits McGee.

    I understand this show has to have strictures and rules and can’t just say “Create whatever” each week but clearly not every artist can or should be expected to do every style. I was just relieved they kept Michelle although her explanation to Simone for how her Coke can was different (“Well, this is Coke Zero?”) was an instant classic.

    In defense of EW, I’ve subscribed to it for years and it’s more an entertainment/arts magazine than an interview starlets on the red carpet magazine. Nevertheless, throwing it in the mix guaranteed Kymia’s topless entry would not win and I much preferred it to Young’s which was poppy looking I suppose but said nothing. Speaking of topless, can anyone else remember seeing bare breasts on commercial TV before? Isn’t this a milestone? (the only other time I can think of was the Meredith Baxter made for TV movie about breast cancer.)
     

  • http://twitter.com/ShelfAfterlife Shelf Afterlife

    I didn’t think Leon deserved to go.  Boring man with garbage can did.  It was stupid.

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  I was thinking that someone from the PR judging panel passed the crack pipe to the WoA judging panel when Dusty, of all people, stayed on and Leon was dismissed.  What the hell?

  • Anonymous

    I kinda liked the “FadEx” truck by TEWZ or TWOS or TOOS or however you spell it.  It was witty, was a common object “rethought” ala the iconic soup can, and even had a bit of a deeper meaning.  Do I just have bad taste?  Maybe *I* could be a guest judge…

    • Mary McClelland

      I liked it too. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/youngsunhan Young Sun Han

    Love the recap, and love all the comments – good, bad and ugly! So rare for an artist to get unfiltered feedback. Keep it coming!

    Thoughts on Prop 8 & DoMA - 
    http://jetlaglover.blogspot.com/

  • Anonymous

    Incredibly lengthy comment, yet again:
    I’ve just now seen this episode (people who upload shows are so inconsiderate in their slowness), so it’s a bit late, but here are my thoughts.

    Firstly, this was a terrible challenge. I know from Jerry’s blog on the subject that he’s disappointed with the challenges (and that the producers ignore any suggestions for better ones), so I have little hope for improvement in the future. There were two basic problems with this one, a, Pop Art is dead, and more importantly b, the same problem with the avant-garde challenges in Project Runway – to wit, that it wasn’t a challenge to which the artists could adapt their art, it was a challenge which dictates what kind of artists they be.

    The winner appearing in EW prize was also fundamentally flawed (warning: may contain understatement) – I’ll admit when they were talking about how it would mean exposure to 11 million people, I thought, “… who don’t care about art.” No doubt that is unfair to many subscribers to EW and for that I apologize. Nonetheless, that whole angle was as unseemly, or almost so, as the Audi challenge last season.

    I have mixed feelings about Young’s. I agree that the audience participation aspect of the work should have involved the front, not the back, and that it was the central element of the piece. A comment earlier objected to the neutrality of it on the issue of Prop 8: I have to object to that. The neutrality of it on the issue was fundamental to its purpose of chronicling an event in contemporary culture and presenting it to the audience in isolation. That the audience was inevitably going to be anti-Prop 8 was an issue, though, given the audience participation. My biggest problem with the work was the choice of subjects. The pop-ness of it, to me, was in the technical realm (the colours, the lettering, etc.).

    Kymia’s piece did resemble an advertisement and it was kind of adorable to see her genuine surprise at being in the top, but I agree that she was somewhat unclear about her concept and by luck happened upon something to which the judges responded well. I noticed that her “green” (I hate that term) idea was never mentioned during the critique (side note: I also hate when China calls it a “crit”) – perhaps it came up, but it seemed lost on the judges (and she wisely didn’t pursue it?). Naturally, it couldn’t have won, because it couldn’t be shown in EW. Incidentally, I noticed that they didn’t censor the picture, but it seems to me that they did censor the word “fuck” in the picture of Jazz-Minh’s sister’s tattoo.

    Anyway: Michelle was saved by the weight of past performance, Dusty was saved by… magic?, Jazz-Minh was clearly lost and clearly lost, and while I thought Leon’s piece was shallow in its message, it fit the challenge – so I was surprised he went home. Bill’s comment to Leon about Facebook and deafness was ridiculous and I pray someone has pointed that out to him.

    I think I’ve forgotten something.

    P.S. Rob Pruitt’s hair annoyed me to no end and I found it very distracting. I maintain that focusing on the guest judge’s hair is a perfectly appropriate level of depth.

  • Anonymous

    This was a really STUPID challenge. I can’t imagine how any would come up with strong work from it – Pop Art is a historical movement /current in the cannon of art history and we can’t easily define it the way that the judges and the contestants tried to. If you look up artists associated with pop (Andy Warhol, Roy Liechtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, James Rosenquist, Richard Hamilton). To ask people to update Pop Art or be inspired by it means that there work will not be pop art. The other option is for them to copy these artists from the canon of art history which isn’t good either. 

  • Lauren M.

    As an art student myself, it’s really frustrating when I read comments about how EASY it is to approach these challenges. Even aside from the general reality show pressures of limited time and privacy, the stifled choices of medium AND spatial choice are also played down.

    it is incredibly difficult to create something that relates to a period that is so reproducible like pop art and try to make it current within contemporary art. The assumed idea that everyone knows Warhol and thus would be the simplest to do is what makes it the most troublesome because it is practically a stale topic. It has to be stressed at all times that it’s not like Project Runway, the thought process is more broad and nonlinear.

  • Anonymous

    Michelle’s piece would have taken it had she kept it to the central imagine and eliminated the wall paper background.  It’s odd but this show leaves me cold in large part because I don’t know of any artist-painter-sculptor who works in this manner–or would allow themselves to be taken on this ride.  There’s something about creating works of art–as opposed to garments and dishes–that just doesn’t lend itself to this format.  And I’m not saying that couture and cuisine aren’t art forms–not at all.  Just that I find the premise of this show kind of repulsive.  And the caliber of the so-called artists really really meh.  I also hate Andy and SJP trying to make Sucklord happen. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/grandiva1968 e jerry powell

    Now I know what it is!  This is an entire group of Josh McKinley!

    That said, now I can watch this show purely for giggles.

  • http://twitter.com/susanpcollier Susan Collier

    How awesome would it have been if someone just had framed an issue of Entertainment Weekly. It would have made a powerful statement inside of Entertainment Weekly. And by statement, I mean that I wouldn’t get this cerebral explanation behind the art because it would be, hopefully, somewhat obvious. Duh.