WOA: Come on Baby, do the Loco-Motion

Posted on October 20, 2011

Boy, did the wheels come off the bus rather quickly this season or what? We realize that the thought processes of artists – especially in the throes of creativity – can seem obtuse and bizarre to outsiders, but we sat through this entire episode saying “What…the…fuck?” over and over again.

This seemed about as straightforward a challenge as one could think of for a game show centered around art. Here’s your inspiration, artists: motion. Go and do something with this very basic, and easily interpreted concept. But as soon as the parkour stopped, everything went crashing off the rails. Like, immediately. Before they even left the park. Suddenly, and for no reason that made any sense to us whatsoever, the concept of “motion” veered off into discussions of poop and playgrounds.

Poop and playgrounds? We’re not artists, but could someone explain to us how they got there?

We felt somewhat vindicated when Simon, a person who clearly does not have a hard time getting a handle on art and the creative process, was completely befuddled by the artists’ explanations. And can we just say? We almost shed a tear when Simon called them all together and basically said, “Look, this shit has to STOP. Everything you are doing is crap. Start over; right now.” Remember when Tim Gunn was allowed to have moments like that? That is, after all, what a mentor is for. A mentor doesn’t just stand there and say “I’m concerned. Make it work!” Oh, Tim. What have they done to you?

Anyway, the teams all regrouped and decided on new ideas that still had nothing to do with the concept of motion.

So congrats to Bayeté. Yours was the least sucky of all the pieces this week!

To be honest, we thought his piece was fairly simple and pedestrian. Certainly nothing that hasn’t been seen a hundred times before. We think the judges gave the win to him because he was the only artist with a piece that related to the concept of motion. In fact, simple as it was, it was all about motion. We agree, however, with the judges’ point that the simplistic nature was actually a point in its favor because it highlighted the child-like joy of simply moving without purpose. Moving because you can; because it’s fun. Maybe not the deepest thought or most original idea in the world, but it met the challenge head on, unlike most of the rest of the entries.

Michelle was the runner-up and truth be told, we have no idea why. In another instance, we would have considered this a crude, but cheeky idea with very creepy undertones. When the point of inspiration is supposed to be motion, then we have no idea why this piece was considered for the win. Yes, it was moveable art, but nothing about this piece, even when it’s moving, pays any sort of deference to the idea of motion. It’s creepiness masquerading as depth, as far as we’re concerned.

As for the bottom 3, any one of them could have or should have gone home. In fact, not only was it difficult for us to agree on who should go home among the bottom 3; it was difficult for us to even come up with the three worst out of all the pieces. THAT’S how bad everyone did with this challenge.


Both motionless AND meaningless. This is a parody of every negative idea the public has about modern art.


For a second there, we were worried they were going to send the second-cutest guy home right after sending the number one cutest guy home. Still, we wouldn’t have blamed them. This was just plain silly and meaningless. It didn’t help that he couldn’t defend it but still defiantly maintained that it had value. Take a page from The Sucklord and admit when you’ve produced crap, Tewes. The judges respond well to that sort of thing.


We look forward to seeing Kathryn’s absolutely HIGHLARIOUS outburst turned into an animated gif and scattered all over the internet. We shouldn’t laugh at people crumbling under the weight of criticism but we couldn’t help it. That was one of the funniest reactions to a reality TV competition judging we’ve ever seen. And for the most part, we agree with her elimination. She was definitely among the worst of the entries, and the fact that she stubbornly stuck with her obsession with viscera when it clearly had nothing to do with the point of the challenge, was reason enough to send her packing. She clearly wasn’t going to blossom under the constraints of the competition.

We’ll have the rest of the extremely puzzling entries in a later post, including one or two that we felt should have been considered for the win.

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  • Anonymous

    The whole episode looked like it could have been assembled by a group of  1st graders.

    I’m trying to wrap my head around this epic failure….I think partly it was due to making the artists “dumpster dive” as part of their creative process.  And when Simon poo-poo-ed what they had “created” they were left with the resources of the studio.  Most of last year’s challenges involved a trip to an art’s supply store with a minimal budget.  So far, this season, no trip.  Are they editing that out or did they just think that they had stocked the studio with ample materials?

    • Anonymous

      I managed not to see the portion of the show where the artists assembled their materials, so I didn’t realize that they were operating under that constraint.  Still, I think my assessment stands.

    • Anonymous

      I thought the “walk back to the studio through the NY city streets” was to gain inspiration of movement on and in the streets, not to TAKE physical items from trash cans (which is what they did) to use in their art?

      • Anonymous

        It was. The artists just decided that they needed to gather garbage.

        • Anonymous

          Because in garbage is movement….

          I know.  I was confused too.

    • Anonymous

       “The whole episode looked like it could have been assembled by a group of
       1st graders.”
      well, indeed! my 6-year-old daughter’s reaction to the “poop” idea was: “I knew somebody was going to say that!!!!” so, there you have it…. 🙂

      • There actually is a work of art I immediately thought of then they went from movement to poo. It’s called “Cloaca” and its a 39′ long machine that gets fed real food and then in two days it… wait for it… makes poo. But it actually moves. And replicates “movement” … so I see what they were going with. But none of their shit (pun intended) was going to come even close to something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdlLBWymnUA

  • Anonymous

    S2 Episode 1 was engaging and quite engrossing.  This one, a lot heavier on the gross, so I’m glad guts-girl got the heave-ho.  Far less sense of “art,” more desperation, but the Play Team at least was “cohesive” to borrow from a show whose name I’m almost tempted to ban from my vocabulary going forward. 

    This episode prompted me to wonder whether artists are not good candidates for having to perform tricks for the trainers in order to be rewarded with treats.  Then again, centuries ago patrons of the arts commissioned the talented to produce works of art, but the artists had time to think and create.  This episode made me think “game show.”  And that seems to be the antithesis of “art.”

    • Anonymous

      Not only do I agree with what you said, I love the way you said it. You DO have a way with words!

      • Anonymous

        Thank you, Crash, for your kind remarks.  As an attorney of a certain age who’s spent decades and decades devoted to my specialty, writing is what I do for most of my waking hours.  At least here it’s fun, if not remunerative!  And now, back to billables here at IP Central!

        All the best,


        • Anonymous

          I also agree with your assessment and find your eloquence and vocabulary quite sexy. I really enjoy reading the comments on this blog. There are so many thoughtful and well spoken minions.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks, Celandine!  I’m waaaaay past sexy, but as a Minion of A Certain Age, I learned to write a long time ago (those cuneiform lessons have come in handy), and I read “30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary” as a sprout, too.  Lots of foreign (Latin, Japanese, French, Irish…) language study and many decades of immersion in good literature are powerful influences, too.  You can bet your sweet bippy that our Boys Tom and Lorenzo have those skills in spades, too.

      • Now I am The Bee


  • Anonymous

    I too was befuddled by what the two groups came up with.  The journey from motion to poop seemed odd, but not provocative as I think they were hoping.  The talent seems to be pretty thin this season, or at least fairly one-note to use a Nina Garcia term.  Bayete winning highlights the shallowness of talent, that’s for sure.  His video was about motion, but it’s been done a zillion times before.  Kathryn leaving was a welcome step though.  Her Crohn’s disease infuses everything she does and her art was repetitive after only two episodes.        

    I’m still trying to erase from my brain the vision of Simon coming into the apartment and saying “Wakey, wakey.”   

    • Anonymous

      I loved Simone saying “wakey, wakey!” Bravo should market an alarm clock.

      I also love how he seems to say, in the same breath, “Your work sucks but I believe in you and you will make it brilliant!” That’s freaking hilarious.

      Some of these things seem so rather disturbing to me–as if, outside the art world, these people would be arrested for even talking about it much less glamorizing it (or maybe I’m looking at it all wrong). A predator in a park that gets an erection is art? WTF? Who the HELL would want to own that? Put it in their hallway with subtle art lighting? Yikes!

  • jeneria

    I had no idea what was going on in this episode.  I’m surprised the playground team won just because I could see the judges deciding it was too literal.   I almost wish they had gone with poo and digestion just to see what could have been.

    • Anonymous

      Well, is there anything more literal than “we decided on circular motion, so there are circles”?

      • jeneria

        No, I suppose not.  But then again, the judges loved Bayete’s “I’m spinning and that’s motion” piece which I thought was a massive cop-out.  Of course, I thought his piece last week was a massive cop-out and that he should have been sent home.

  • Annegret

    This week’s show caused me to say “What the FUCK?!” more times than with last week’s “Fringe”. That’s quite an accomplishment.

    I liked Bayete’s piece a lot, followed by Jazz-Mihn’s. They were the only two I can immediately recall that seemed to capture motion the best, specifically the exuberant, frenetic movement of the Parkour peeps. My art history knowledge only extends up to WWI. Can anyone explain to me when exactly it became mandatory that all art must always be infused with deep, complicated Meaning? Is this all Duchamp’s fault? I actually felt bad for The Sucklord. He kept saying, “It’s supposed to be about movement.” and his voice kept getting lost amidst all the serious boolshitting.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      I also liked Bayete’s, genuinely.  I think with a better venue and projection, it would have been even more effective (imagine a huge circle of oversized screens, maybe with a smaller concentric circle in the middle, with spinning Bayetes all around.  It’d be neat, but it’s way outside the bounds of what they could do here.)

      And yeah, guys… when someone who is called “The Sucklord” is the sanest and most rational person in the room, it’s time to rethink.

      • Anonymous

        I liked Bayete’s too.  One of the judges said that when you looked at it, you became mesmerized. Which is exactly what happened to me.

        • BuffaloBarbara

          Yeah… for me, that’s particularly odd, because I’m normally left cold by any art involving a video camera and no plot.  Most video installations… I wait for the intro to be over so they get to something artistic, and it never comes.  But I probably would have watched that one until I’d gotten dizzy.

    • ferdinanda

      “Concept” in art can be interpreted differently, depending on the period of art history.  For Renaissance artists, they were applying the concepts of illusionistic representation–while dealing with rather complex philosophical ideas, borrowed from the Greeks and updated with a Catholic Christian worldview.  That’s a lot of deep, complicated meaning–but you don’t need to know the concepts to understand what’s happening in the “picture.”  When the “picture” is gone, it liberates the artist from having to use a particular story (that the viewer may or may not recognize) to evoke a feeling or experience.  In the case of an artist like Robert Irwin, the experience of seeing, in itself, is the concept.  The burden (or the liberty, depending on your point of view!) is then transfered to  the viewer, to have his/her own experience.   This isn’t a new idea, as you pointed out.  Certianly Duchamp pushed the envelope with his readymades — but at the same time you have Kasemir Malevich in Russia, creating concept-heavy  Suprematist paintings that are visually just squares and rectangles on a white canvas.  You have a whole manifesto-full of concept with those babies. 

  • Anonymous

    Oh interwebs, why hast thou failed me? Since none of my myrmidons has provided me with the episode yet, I’m left contemplating these pictures and scratching my head. None of the bottom three pieces provoked an emotional rection, I obviously can’t judge Bayeté’s effort, I guess Michelle’s at least has some visual interest.

    Could anyone explain to me Lola’s thoughts behind her piece? Is it about the texture? Cocoon? Spinning yarn? I’m at a bit of a loss here.

    • Anonymous

      she rambled. no real sound explanation except to make a circle/circular object. she had to toss her original concept when they re-started

    • Anonymous

      Sadly I think no one could explain her thoughts.  It had to do with fascination with a ball of shreds.  You didn’t miss much.

    • She literally had no thoughts behind her piece. She said something along the lines of “Well, I’m not sure what this could mean but I’m sure I’ll come up with something”

      • Anonymous

        So the obsever has to do the spinning for her? Tsk. Girl should know better. Thanks anyhow!

      • Anonymous

        That’s what she did for the first challenge too — she just made a bunch of sh*t, went to sleep, then woke up the next morning and said some of it looks like it goes together and voila! A top three piece! She came up with the explanation for it after the fact. And slapped a ridiculously long title on it too, if I remember correctly. 

    • Annegret

      Her work process seems to be “make a whole bunch of shit and shoehorn it into a convoluted art concept”. I don’t know if the time constraints are causing this or she really does approach all her artistic output this way. She’ll probably be on the chopping block soon enough if this continues. Lord, I hope so, because that baby-voice she pulls out whenever The Sucklord comes near is highly annoying.

      • Anonymous

        The final step in Lola’s process appears to be “give the work a pretentiously obtuse title in the hopes that people think I’m deep”.  The ball of shreds was called, and I quote, “Mend (We Had a Terrible Time So I Tried to Forget It)”


        And I agree with you about her weird baby-voice crap.  Her trying-too-hard imitation of Simon’s accent (while referring to the wake-up call) grated too.  

        • Annegret

          That’s what the episode should have been called.

      • Anonymous

        She was in the top 3 (and rightly so) for Episode 1. I do agree this left a TON to be desired, though. Maybe nothing came to her? Maybe she’ll be one of these who is brilliant every other episode?

    • Lori

      FYI, Lola’s yawn was made from a pile of shredded medical records she found on the street.  This was supposed to add some sort of meaning which seemed to elude even Lola herself.

    • Now I am The Bee

      I think Lola just thought the bag full of shredded paper was kind of fascinating–and then had to attached some deep meaning to it in the context of the challenge.  I wonder how often that happens in the art world?  A deep meaning is given to an art piece when the artist just did it because it looked cool? 

  • scottyf

    Okay…wait for it…

    I guess Kathryn figured. No guts. No glory.

    • Anonymous

      …or better yet, make a painting that shows movement. (Look at a Van Gogh painting: A simple vase of flowers exhibits more movement than all of their recycled whirligigs put together.)

      But they can’t because they don’t have the skills of talent to do that so they just make the trash-picker assemblages.–GothamTomato

      • Anonymous

        You are 100% right about the Van Gogh paintings.  Nicely done!

    • MilaXX

      I wish she had the self awareness to realize that she was basically processing her feelings about her illness in her art work instead of saying that it’s just something I’m obsessed with right now. Obviously she wasn’t at a point where it was anything but repetitive so why even try out? Did she really think she could shoe horn the same thing into every challenge?

      • Anonymous

        The real question is how did she get picked for the show. The judges thought an obsession with her intestines was ‘art’? Seems as if it would come complete with some self-limiting constraints.

        • Heather Hayes

          Both of the artists that have gone home have caused me to ask the same question.  Both had portfolios that showed a narrow vision, no range, and little flexibility.  They were then sent home for creating pieces exactly like their portfolio.  I don’t even understand why they were included in the first place – there had to be entrants who displayed more range.

          What gets me about Kathryn is that she has been making this kind of work for years, and still seemingly hasn’t made the connection that the reason she’s making it is to cope with her disease.  She seems baffled by her obsession with it.  It amazes me how little self-awareness people can demonstrate.  She needs an art therapist to push her into that connection – maybe then she could move past it.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      Thank you–“masturbatory” is exactly the word for most of it.  It makes no effort to include anyone else.  (And as far as the feces go, it’s not revolutionary anymore to use them, and even when it was… if all you have is a gross material, what does that say about the concept?)

      “Motion” isn’t a bad concept for inspiration.  I could have lived without the added, “And walk home through magical New York City motion” element, but whatever.  It could go in a lot of different directions, but here, they seemed to be thinking, “How can I make the same piece I was planning to make anyway but explain it away as motion?”  That seems exactly most wrong-headed approach you can take.

      It seems to me that one of the good things about a game like this–to take it from Bert, actually–is that it absolutely forces you out of your self-imposed rut.  Instead of fighting with the challenges, why not revel in the sudden newness as inspiration in itself?  They’ve all been pulled out of their comfort zones.  Shouldn’t that be stimulating experience for the imagination?  Put it in a new place as well?  But that’s not what we’re getting here.  I’m re-evaluating my dislike of Sucklord from last week, just because he’s one of the only ones who seemed to understand that the point of a challenge is to be inspired by the challenge, the point of being somewhere new is to do something new.

      Is the game show format itself artistic?  No, of course not.  It’s pure entertainment, from the audience perspective.  But if you’re an artist, that very shake-up, that forced re-viewing of your perspective, should be energizing, even if the stress of the time table isn’t.  By the end of the season, I’d expect a little more “I’m tired and this is in my wheelhouse” thinking, but at the beginning?

  • Anonymous

    Sad.  I was really looking forward to the implementation of the poop art.  A sculpture?  How do you harvest the materials?  What tools would you use?  Who would buy it?  Where would they display it?  What if you stepped in it?  You see – art is thought-provoking.  In this case it gives a deeper meaning to the word “crap”.

    They definitely sent the right person home.  

    • Anonymous

      What the …?! Now I’m relly angry about missing out on that one!

    • Anonymous

      I think she was thinking about the infamous Chris Offili  painting that got all that publicity when (then) media-whore mayor Giuliani saw an opportunity to use it to get national press by threatening to evict the Brooklyn Museum from their city-owned building, but (wrongly) claiming it was an insult to Catholics. That painting had a reason to be sitting on two elephant dung balls. Poop girl is just a dumbass. She probably read wikipedia before coming to the show and saw that.


      • Anonymous

        Now, see I figured she was just constipated . . .

        • Anonymous

          You know, maybe it was product placement for Activia.


  • Anonymous

    I would love to see Kathryn nominated for an Academy Award and then lose because that would be some awesome teevee right there. None of this “it was such a learning experience” crap, just full on melt down like a dingo ate her baby. 

    • Annegret

      She might even lapse into chant again.

      • Anonymous

        Dug the chant.  Wish she’d been around longer just for more of that.

  • TLo, you are thinking linearly. You have to let the mind wander….over here…over there…etc etc

    I think that they wanted to explore inner motion – the reason for the obsession with gastrointestinal ideas..

  • Anonymous

    I dozed off for a few minutes in the middle of this episode, and when I woke up, Digestion and Migration had disappeared and been replaced with Playgrounds and Loop. I felt like I’d awakened in another dimension.  What the…?

    I didn’t understand either why every single one of the artists (except Sucklord, who seemed to get the idea from the get-go, as it were) took the simple theme–motion–and tried to bend and twist it into some overly intellectualized concept of motion.  As opposed to motion. You know, kinetics. Or the illusion thereof. I wanted to holler at them, as the wonderful Simon apparently did while I snoozed, “It’s MOTION, you guys!  Make something that MOVES or SEEMS TO BE MOVING!  Or might have just moved and is now at rest after clearly HAVING MOVED!”

    It was just plain weird. Lola’s bag of shredded medical records.  Really?  You opened a plastic bag that you got out of a Dumpster, plopped the contents onto a shelf, and strung a little bit of it onto a wall. Wow. Tewz’s “taxicab” and moving wheel that didn’t move? And, the clear loser in a sea of losers, Kathryn’s video of faux innards splatting and then returning to their source and then splatting again.

    What on earth happened?  It was like group psychosis. 

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, and I do wonder about using those medical records.   I know they were trash and shredded and she found them on the street…but I’d think HIPAA would somehow frown upon using them for art on reality tv shows…

    • Anonymous

      I like that explanation as well as any other.  They weren’t that bad last week, but whew.

      Though Jazz-Minh figured it out–grabbed photo op and then just declared that it somehow fit the Loop theme.

    • Anonymous

      Lola didn’t just plop the contents onto a shelf and string a bit onto a wall.  First she put a lot of hot glue on it.  Therefore it was … yeah, I still got noting. 

  • Jerry Saltz commented on his Bravo blog that one of the problems he noticed was the disparity in the translation from real life to TV. He said what looked great on TV looked bad in real life, and what looked great in real life (like Bayete’s work) didn’t translate at all to television.

    I think this might be some of the problem that we have with the judging, and with the works in general. Personally, cubism did NOTHING for me until I saw La Guernica in real life. Looking at a picture of a work of art in a book (or on even a high-def TV) is nothing like the experience of actually seeing and experiencing the work first-hand.

    Kudos to Simon for setting them all straight — I LOVED that part! THAT is what a great mentor does — lets you know when you’ve derailed, and holds you accountable to the meaning you’ve assigned to your work. And I agree that it’s too bad we can’t see the same from Tim.  🙁

    Second to Top Chef (because they always end up making cookbooks with some of the coolest entries!) this is quickly becoming my favorite “reality” competition.

    • Anonymous

      I read Saltz blog post too and I think it explains a lot. 

  • icky, ugly, sad.

  • Anonymous

    Last night was the first time I watched this trainwreck er… show, and while I thought the “art” was horrible for the most part, I’m going to stay tuned because there’s just enough of delightful weirdness to offset the stupid, boring weirdness.

  • Anonymous

    Bayete’s piece was terrible. He spun around looking confused in different clothing without a real context for either the city or the environment he was moving within. It was pedestrian, but it was also just sloppy work. His speaking about the piece was more informed than the actual piece was and really the whole thing fell apart. It was a pity that they picked a work only from the ‘winning’ team.

    Michelle’s piece /was/ creepy. It was also narrative and engaged the voyeurism of the wooden man with the voyeurism that the viewer experienced in seeing people interact with the piece. Puppetary masturbation? Perhaps a little. It not only moved but forced you to move it and interact with its crepuscular overtones. Your motion was the motion of the piece as well.

  • Anonymous

    The one artist with the pic of her doing front handsprings at least had the right idea of commenting on motion. I also like the idea of the rollercoaster sculpture. The art didn’t move but it force your eyes/mind to

  • I can imagine the poop art defense: “It’s a Movement- a Bowel Movement”

    • Anonymous

      And done well or right, that could have worked.

    • Anonymous

      I think that this was exactly the thought process that led them to that idiotic idea.  

  • MilaXX

    I like Bayates piece. In fact as he described it I could actually recall that feeling as a child of just letting go and spinning till I got dizzy and fell. There were 3 of us so we’d go careening wildly into each other. Simple, yes but I got it as it related to the excitement and action of the parkpour guys. The others I felt should have been in the top were Dusty’s seesaw and the artist who flipped with the parkour guys and took pictures of it.

    That poop idea was soooo incredibly bad. I also felt a bit of nostalgia for old Tim Gunn when Simone stepped in and pulled the brakes on all that nonsense.

    I’m glad Katherine was sent home. Not only did it save us from an entire season of blood & guts art, but she honestly appeared to be in  pain. During the crit she’s the only one sitting and she appears to be double over a little when she returns to the workroom to await the judges deliberation.

  • Joyce VG

    I’ve actually forgotten what the other art pieces were.  Oh yeah, flick a rat and circling light bulb and….uh.  This was a weird episode.  But I’m sure everyone caught on to the budding romance between Lola and Sucklord.  Ah reality TV.  

  • Anonymous

    Yep, not sure how they were told ‘motion’, and heard ‘bowel movement’, but it seems like the deaf guy is the only one who can hear.  Most 2 year olds aren’t as obsessed with body functions as these nitwits are. As for what they produced; overall I am sick of seeing these bullshitty assemblages they come up with (same as last year). Sorry, but it’s NOT art – I don’t care what dumbass/faux-deep narrative you try to give it. This stuff was ALL first year art school garbage.

    Maybe I nodded off but did they tell the contestants that they couldn’t paint? Or can they just not paint?

    I don’t see any talent in this group at all.–GothamTomato

    • Anonymous

      In my (admittedly woozy) recollection, the team Michelle was on began talking about how to work with the idea of “movement,” and she piped right up and said, “I want to do poop!” (She had immunity.)

      And it went downhill from there.

      • Anonymous

        Sad how the Poop moment was the high point of the episode.

    • Now I am The Bee

      I don’t think they were told not to paint, but the poop group decided in their walk through the streets that they would dumpster dive and use those materials for their entry.  Thus all the scuplture/assemblage.  I guess. 

    • I believe there was a painting. Wasn’t the piece that began as a photo of the artist and parkour guy flipping eventually a painting? At least part of it was a painting.

  • I don’t have the right channels to see this show, is there somewhere online I can see this outburst mentioned in the last write up?

  • “Playground” wasn’t even one of the original concepts. The original concepts were “poop/digestion” and “migration”. I was flabbergasted. I mean, okay, one group is bound to take the concept of motion to some weird extreme, but BOTH of them??? The whole show was just weird. Weird.

  • Lori

    We were practically screaming at the tv, “Have none of you heard of ‘The Human Centipede'”?   Or at least South Park’s “Human CentIpod”?

    I’m not a fan of parkour but it seems to me it was the wrong choice of inspiration.  There are so many other ways they could have framed a challenge about motion without referencing parkour.

    I thou

    • Anonymous

      Hah, I was thinking Human Centipede too…now THAT shows poop and movement in a whole new way.

  • siena Mystic

    I could get the idea of digestion from the theme of motion – peristaltic wave, and all that – but it doesn’t seem like any of them were going in that direction. And an artist has already done a machine that digests food and excretes waste products out, a review of which gave my sister and I the hilarious phrase frequently dropped into conversation, “I gotta go empty my bucket.” 

  • Anonymous

    even though the artists seem so confused along with the viewers.  i still wish it was me that could paint, sculpt, draw, etc.  so i always am forgiving to the artist even if i think it stinks.

    • scottyf

      You CAN paint, sculpt, draw. It may not look like the vision you have in your head at first, but if you are expressing something important and doing it passionately then, in MY eye it is just as valid as the most revered Picasso.

      One of the things that I admire about this show is embodied in the wording of the phrase China uses to send folks home: “Your work of art didn’t work for us.” She doesn’t invalidate the piece itself, she simply says the judges liked it the least.

      I think we too often let the world define what “works” in the realm of art when it really is such a subjective thing. It keeps wonderful people like you from exploring life in a bold and vibrant way. Trust me, from the way you express yourself on this board, not only are you a true artist, but I’m betting a dynamic visual one at that. Grab some watercolors and get cracking!

      • Anonymous

        thank you scotty & i love you for that 🙂  i know i am creative in my own right sometimes the perfectionist thing gets in the way.  
        glad you pointed out china chow’s expression of ‘your work of art didnt work for us”  to be honest i didnt pay attention to the true meaning. 

  • Anonymous

    I think it is odd and hilarious that when faced with the word “movement” over half the artists decided “poop” was a good idea. (All of that one team, plus Kathryn “visceral tableau” girl. ) I think the last time I heard someone call defecating, “having a movement” was ex-nurse, senior citizen lady I used to visit. It was unsettling to me. Thank goodness Simon was there.

  • Anonymous

    The name of this show should be changed from ‘Work of Art’ to ‘Piece of Work’.


  • Anonymous

    Sorry. Just. Can’t. Watch. This.

  • J Dreesen

    we created our own animated Kathryn Breakdown gif last night by just re-cuing and replaying the “event” over and over again until we peed.  quite…moving. *ba-DUM bum!*

  • Anonymous

    I missed this episode. Thank goodness TLo was able to give me the…. wait for it… poop.

    (I couldn’t help myself.)

  • Anonymous

    I loved the plaster tongue.

    • Anonymous

      Plastering your tongue is so disgusting, I was sort of impressed.

      • Anonymous

        Technically, I’m assuming it was alginate, like a dental cast – definitely not actual plaster – but still, I imagine, not the most enjoyable of experiences.

  • Anonymous

    These folks totally confused me this week, too, and I can lay small claim to the artist label (wins at art shows, some work in museums, etc.)  It was like they went to the park and witnessed those people doing fantastic motion and then turned to each other and said “okay, that was cool, but moving on now.  What do you think about poop?  Shall we focus on poop?”  I can honestly say that in even my most bipolar and/or fantastical musings about what to do for a project did I never consider poop as either subject or medium.  How hard could it possibly be to wrap your head around the idea of movement and making something that moves that would be intriguing?  I could think of a dozen different projects that didn’t involve poop, creepy playground erections or static blobs of trash sitting around looking like static blobs of trash. 

    The playground people won by default simply by incorporating actual moving pieces in their work.  And thank a deity for Simon for stepping in and telling them that their first impulses were stupid.  The second impulses weren’t much better, but at least they weren’t made out of poop.

  • Anonymous

    My jaw was on the ground when Michelle wanted to do a piece on poop. And her group indulged the notion! Why?!? Because she had just won a challenge? Every artistic types I know is opinionated and would have at least said something — and more likely, would have been hotheaded and stubborn-as-hell in fighting for a better idea. I mean … motion. MOTION! Can you be blessed with a better theme for all sorts of artistic creative possibilities? And the first thing that comes to her mind is TURD.

  • Anonymous

    I think the poop idea could have caught on because they were pulled out of bed at the crack of dawn and perhaps had not had a chance to take care of usual “routines” yet?  So it might have been on their mind to start? 

  • Anonymous

    So … what is it that makes Bayete’s video any different from all the video shot of him making the video? Does he call it “art” because he can’t make it as a filmmaker? And yes, possibly the saddest thing of all is that his piece was the best.

  • An entire room of SUCK.  OMG this was all shit.  How were they not all laughed out of the gallery?

  • BuffaloBarbara

    This is a parody of every negative idea the public has about modern art.
    I think it’s because modern art does not articulate itself well in education, which means people who do it often don’t have the ability to explain themselves to students, leaving students seeing the artifacts and not really understanding them any more than laypeople do.  I used to spend a lot of time trolling around Albright-Knox in Buffalo, and while I got some idea of what I like to look at–some of the great color field stuff, some technically really interesting things–I rarely got an idea of why a good color field painting is not the same thing as a well-painted wall.  I could feel it, but I couldn’t explain it, and that makes it very hard to teach.  So we have a lot of people whose education consisted of, “This is what I feel, can’t you feel it?” 

    The other issue is art that exists to be “provocative” for no good reason.  That’s where the poop art came in.  It’s been done.  A lot.  But there’s still a feeling that because it’s taboo to handle feces, it must be great art to use them… a very foolish concept.  (Though I was curious.  I’ve never seen human feces on television, and I wondered if there were blue laws about it and how they would get around it.  Somehow, blurring the poop didn’t seem like it would be an effective strategy.  But I’m just as glad the question was left unanswered.)

    Art should be provocative in the sense that it should provoke emotion and reaction, but somehow, that’s gotten mixed up for some artists with provoking disgust, which isn’t the world’s most complex emotion.  Grossing people out is easy.  Stephen King talks about that in the three levels of horror–terror, which is the finest, and invokes a sense of dread without ever showing the bogeyman and leaves you feeling unsettled and frightened; horror, which is the middle ground, where you show the monster and few bits of the grossness–you see the physical result of the scary thing; then, at the lowest level, the gross-out, which is where you go for simple identification by doing something like having a woman unknowingly drink a pureed spider for breakfast.  (He also says he uses all three–the line is something like, “If I can’t terrify, I’ll  horrify.  And if I can’t horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out.  I’m not proud.”)  It seems like all the viscera and excrement seem to be stopping there at that low level.  Me, I like the surrealists… they go for the terror, and I am often left feeling quite unsettled.  And not like I’ve just been lectured about an artist’s opinion… just shown a vision.

  • Anonymous

    I love you guys, but the deaf guy is far cuter than the street artist.

    And on a more serious note: I think you were off-base about Kathryn’s breakdown. It sounded like she was crying mostly because she was in extreme pain, with the addition of having to receive negative criticism while in pain.

    Also, Kathryn’s and Ugo’s eliminations have left me wondering: Do the judges not see a portfolio of the artist’s work before allowing them on? Because clearly that kind of stuff is what they do, and to eliminate them for, presumably, the same thing you accepted them for, seems silly. It’s true–some artists work within a very closed sphere of work for quite a while. If that means they won’t be a good fit for the show, don’t let them on the show in the first place!

  • Kathryn’s aesthetic made SOOOOO much more sense after her Crohn’s disease was brought up.  She’s using her art to process her disease. China asked about if her breakdown was from the pain her Crohn’s was causing her, and she said it was.  She even said at the end something about them making the decision for her, as if she were thinking of quitting the show because of the pain.  

    The moment she revealed she had Crohn’s, I worried that reality TV stress would cause her to flare up.  Looks like that might have been the case.

  • Anonymous

    That was one clueless bunch of twinks. Maybe they need interpreters to explain concepts like “motion”? I consider myself a craftsman rather than an artist and I could have done better than almost any of them.
    Can’t blame you for having a hard time picking the loser, there were so many candidates. Too bad this wasn’t the multiple elimination challenge.

  • Joshua

    Ugh, I was so bothered by the lack of imagination with this challenge. I think working in groups must have really inhibited their individual imaginations. I did roll my eyes a bit when they showed what Bayete was doing, but I was surprised by how much I liked the finished piece. I did also like the roller coaster and shattered glass works, but on the whole there was so much more to dislike this week. The shredded paper and viscera were easily my least favorites, but I thought the judges were suffering a little cranial flatulence with their praise of the dirty playground. But hooray for Simon! That was brilliant.

  • Anonymous

    If you want to see better mentoring in a fashion context, watch PR Australia. I’m serious. That show blows American PR out of the water.

    • This last season of PR Australia had way better design talent than the last few of PR USA, too.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, most definitely. I could have been happy with a win for any of the top four.

  • Anonymous

    Motion? A bowel movement is, technically speaking, motion.

    • They could have stuck with the poop theme, added a full-on fire hose, called it Montezuma’s Peristalsis and won.  

  • Judy_J

    I think they sent Poop-Girl home because they were tired of her meltdowns and endless complaints.  Her reaction to the critique and expulsion was priceless; one of the most memorable moments ever on reality TV.  I look forward to seeing what Joel McHale does with it on The Soup.  That bag o’trash was really bad, too.  I think they both should have gotten eliminated.

  • I don’t. Get it.

    Motion is Design 101. Literally, learning how to design pieces with elements that invoke motion was one of the first things I learned in school. I just watched this whole episode going, “Reeeallyyyyyy?”

    Michelle’s had potential. Lines, diagonal lines particularly are probably the easiest way to invoke the idea of motion, but the literal back-bone and structure of it focused on that horizontal explicit line (the “thighs”) and vertical implied line (the “spine”).

    Lola’s was an imbalanced piece of trash. HAH! Get it? Because it literally was trash!


    So glad to see Kathryn go home. As soon as she gave her, “I’ve been doing this work I’ve been OBSESSED with doing years!” speech my eyes were a-rollin’.

    • Now I am The Bee

      Agreed about  Kathryn.  If one is obsessed with entrails for years–how constipted is that?  (Ha–couldn’t resist…) 

    • I think the problem was that it was so 101. They all were like, “How can we make ourselves DIFFERENT.” Think of people who do things just to be different, and how similar those people can be sometimes. Failure of creative ideas to do different things, so a lot of them defaulted to, “BOWEL MOVEMENTS. YEAH, THAT’S A MOVEMENT. THAT’LL SHOW EM.”

  • Gotta comment on Katherine’s breakdown too.  Just FYI.  I don’t have Crohn’s – but I’m saddled with something similar.  I cannot tell you how severe the pain is.  Bad enough to pass out from.  I know.  I’ve been there.  Pain can incapacitate for days at a time.  Its horrible.  Still – you have to try and live your life.  Honestly….she perhaps shouldn’t have put herself in a stress situation, as stress is a prime trigger…but I can understand her wanting to try it.  That said, I really didn’t like her work.  And she deserved to go home for it.  I just feel sorry for her.  I hope she was able to get a handle on her flare-up.    

  • Ok, I was rather entertained by this show the first time around. But this time I hadn’t been able to catch it yet. Until last night.
    OMG! What a craptastic train wreck. WTF indeed? I’m never going to miss this show again. It’s the funniest thing on TV. And I love and appreciate modern, abstract art. I really do.! But who are these positively charming crazies and where did they find them? Who cares. Gives me something to watch. That girl’s reaction when they auf’d her? OMG. I am getting myself in hysterics again just thinking about it. ooohhhh. deep breaths AKA. Just too funny.

  • I’m not sure Kathryn’s was less worthy in context of the challenge than the lonely teeter totterer. Even in the grip of her literal inner demon, she attempted to rethink her hanging viscera idea and pushed herself to turn it into something with motion. That she ended up with a video plopfest was testament at least to her willingness to push herself technically. And though she seems in thrall to a particular  subject matter, it’s obviously intensely personal, related to her condition; still, she could shake free at some point and look back on the experience as part of her early offal period. She has passion going for her and not a little torment. 

    And bless her for chanting instead of whining. 

    • I don’t know what you mean by “she pushed herself.” She took her original idea and said “How can I put motion to this? Oh, I know. I’ll make it move!” And didn’t one of her teammates suggest the idea in the first place? Sounds more like she begrudgingly assented as opposed to pushed herself.

  • My favorite part was when they bleeped out the deaf guy’s curse word AND censored his gesture.

    I think the challenge partly flummoxed them because they were given a relatively simple directive (motion) but then made to feel they had to come up with a separate theme. If this had been a non-team challenge where they just had to individually do stuff inspired by “motion” I think there would have been some better stuff. My favorite piece was the photo piece with the flipping, which was conceived really before any theme stuff bogged everyone down.

    I actually liked Michelle’s a lot. I thought the connection to motion/movement was very tenuous but I thought the piece worked for me as a piece of art better than the others on her team. My instant reaction to it was to laugh out loud, because it was funny even though it was a creepy subject matter. I like stuff like that, that causes a reaction that sort of forces you to pause and think about it. But what was most interesting was the different reactions that men and women had to it. Women were easily able to have fun with the piece and laugh at it but it made men much more uncomfortable and they didn’t even want to touch it. It was a really interesting effect and I think all of this stuff basically made it worthy of recognition (assuming they are picking winners only from the winning team, which I did) even though it didn’t embody the theme as much as other pieces.

  • Anonymous

    did you see the judge try, somewhat in vain, to hide his giggle when she started her outburst? hilarious. and maybe her upset was genuine, but she made a LOT more noise than tears, and either way i was glad to see her go. one-note at best.

  • Anonymous

    also, here’s that gif LOL.  you’re welcome:

  • Anonymous

    Michelle got her wish and made her teams exhibit into a big steaming pile. Watching that conversation was embarrassing. The judging is so arbitrary I can’t get too worked up about it, except Jazz-mih should have won. Her photo and/or painting was the most on point and visually interesting. Thank GOD Chrohns is gone, this was too much stress for her and her very limited artistic abilities.

    • Anonymous

      I can accept Jazz-Minh not winning because her team was more ass than free donkey day at the proctologist’s office, and one of them clearly had to go. Not her though, obviously.

  • Anonymous

    I’m so glad I wasn’t alone when I laughed hysterically at Kathryn’s outburst.  She was determined to show goop one way or another and backed herself into an ugly corner in doing so.  Overall, I personally wanted to slap Michelle for suggesting poop.  She had immunity and seemed determined to use it to do what the hell she wanted, challenge criteria be damned.  Her nonsense explanation seems to be the trend this season (early as it is).  Make up some boolsheet narrative behind the piece and hope you convince the judges that you’re thoughtful and introspective.  Tewks nearly got the axe, not because his piece sucked, which it did, but because he failed to make up a compelling story behind the bucket.  

  • I can see how someone obsessed with poop would automatically associate “movement” with a bowel movement, but why was the Sucklord the only person on the team who could see that the theme of digestion made no sense? It’s kind of hilarious that he’s the voice of reason on the show.

    I thought the winning look was going to be on the bottom. It was certainly appropriate for the challenge and maybe the judges did actually enjoying looking at it, but boy was that a boring concept. 

  • Anonymous

    Kathryn got on my nerves from her trendy glasses to her shitty “art”. Glad she’s gone.

  • John Manson

    Gentlemen, I love y’all but the playground idea definitely has to do with motion. The moving objects that people play on, and the people playing (and how can the parkour people not call up motion?). A lot of the actual pieces didn’t exactly meet that idea, but the concept was so much better than digestion (which also had to do with motion but nothing to do with the parkour). 

  • Anonymous

    So, at last, I managed to watch this episode (why don’t people who illegally post videos of TV shows online think about my needs?) and, yes, it went off the rails in record time.

    When Michelle first mentioned bodily functions, I assumed she was just relying on her immunity (or even sabotaging her team because she couldn’t take the fall for it). Given what she made, I’m not sure if that was the case. Whichever, it would not have been in the top for me. Why the team, except The Sucklord (apparently playing the role of the Only Sane Man), were willing to go along with her idea until Simon put a stop to that nonsense, I haven’t a clue.

    Speaking of Simon to the rescue: it’s kind of funny to me, because the other team’s original idea actually was more about motion than their final idea or any of the other team’s ideas: the biggest problem was that it was about 6 or 7 ideas vaguely related to motion.

    I did not hate all of their work, though – just most of it.

    Bayete’s was about motion and there was something fascinating about it, but it reminded me of nothing so much as a TV commercial – one of those pretentious ones that links the product to some fundamental aspect of life. I’m thinking some piece of technology, maybe a smartphone. It was not my choice for the win.

    With Kathryn leaving I felt the same as with Ugo: this was her thing, they knew that going in, so, if they weren’t responding to that, why was she there? Why intentionally pad the cast with gallery chaff? I felt bad for her, though, and did not find her breakdown amusing. Leaving was probably for the best for her.

    Lola and Tewz: There is no there there.

    And bless Simon! He said what needed to be said, did what needed to be done – that is true mentorship. I was thinking about this the other day*, and I know it’s all heavily edited and his role is reduced to catch phrases, but it’s been a long time since I felt like Tim was actually helpful rather than just supportive.

    * Because I was watching old episodes of PRs Canada and Australia – I finally found S1 of each, or at least a few episodes of it with regard to the former.

  • Scott

    When Kathryn was talking about “I’m obsessed with guts going splat, I’m feeling depressed, I’m going up to the roof…” both my wife and I shouted “Someone go with her!”. Glad to see someone did.

    I think doing her work as a video was about the worst possible thing she could have done at that time. She already had the judges on her case about being so repetitive, and then the video showed her process so starkly. She could have done it anyway and hidden the process behind paint or a processed photo or whatever, but the video laid it all bare in sharp relief: “I SPLAT STUFF! Just like you just told me I should back away from!”

  • Meaghan Kennedy

    I don’t understand how Kathryn can get through art school or even work as an artists and cannot take criticism.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t watch the episode yet, but Tewes’ piece makes me think of pancakes.  Anyone else?  Maybe I’m just hungry and it’s morning.

  • Finally got around to watching this. Man, this episode was a cluster-f.

    I’ve got to say Bayete’s is the worst win in any reality show I’ve ever seen. First, I’ve seen this a hundred thousand times. Second, it was executed very poorly. He was on a roof in Manhattan, not a playground, and he just looked at the camera with a serious face. There was no joy to it whatsoever which it was supposedly conveying. Third, there was no depth to it whatsoever. It’s fun to spin in circles? And, then they criticize the other team for being inspired by circles? You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Jazz-Minh’s was BY FAR the best. Unfortunately, she was on the losing team.

    • Exactly (except for the thing about Jazz-Minh’s being best, which is pure madness – like we haven’t seen stuff like that a hundred thousand times before) – Bayete’s piece was supposed to be about childlike fun, yet the piece itself lacked any sense of fun.

      • I’m not actually saying that I really liked Jazz-Minh’s piece that much just that was the best of all the bad that was there. It was definitely aesthetically pleasing, clearly conveyed motion, and was inspired by what it was supposed to be inspired by. Within the bounds of the challenge, it was the best.

  • vmcdanie

    Oh, I can’t find it in my coal black heart to mock Kathryn. Art is so personal and that critique really was harsh and the poor baby was sick. That crying was so heartfelt that it was painful to watch. I think there is a place for her point of view but this show may not have been it (having said that, I would have liked to have seen more from her. She was clearly flummoxed by this challenge.)

    He seems like a nice enough guy but I was really hoping they’d send Tewz home instead. That piece was a whole lot of nothing.

    And while Lola’s piece also did nothing for me, I still find her interesting.

    Still rooted for Michelle over Bayete.