WOA: Middle of the Road Pop

Posted on October 31, 2011

All right, kittens. Let’s run down the remaining artists. You know, the ones the judges had nothing to say about.

 

Bayeté

Not seeing how this is Pop Art at all. If he wants to make points about race in  his art, we’re all for it, but so far, his points are obtuse and/or ground well covered. What was the point here?

 

Sarah K.

We didn’t love it, but at least it demonstrated an understanding, however slight, of what Pop Art is. This is bold and familiar at the same time.

 

Sucklord


Also a worthy attempt for at least shooting for Pop Art and mostly nailing it. The thing is, and we said this last week, this stuff’s going to get old with the judges if it hasn’t already. He’s probably the most Pop of the artists in the competition, and if he couldn’t impress them with this challenge, then it’s not likely he ever will, unless he pulls a real surprise out of his trick bag.

 

Tewz


We don’t get it. Are the brown packages supposed to be “fads?” How are we supposed to know that without him standing there and telling us that?

 

Lola


That title is so hilariously “artsy” that we think she should have been sent home for even attempting it. Also, this looks like an 8th grader’s art project.

 

Sara J.

This is somewhere not quite in the neighborhood of Pop, but a couple miles over, getting directions at a gas station. It’s timely, it’s familiar, and it’s got that personal touch the judges were so keen on. But we don’t think it’s saying or showing anything of any real interest.

 

 

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

    • Anonymous

      Can’t really fathom why the results of this challenge were so boring.  The one thing pop art should not be is boring!  But I guess maybe it’s because most of them missed the point entirely…

      To his credit, Bayete realized his piece wasn’t great and tried to distance himself from it.  That’s always worth brownie points.  I fear the Sucklord is a one trick pony, and will probably go home once the challenge doesn’t allow for him to create board games or action figures.

      Also hilarious: they are STILL using Kathryn’s breakdown in just about every promo, lead-in and advert for the show. They must have been rubbing their hands together in glee at the time. Pure reality gold, and they’re mining it for all it’s worth!

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

      these kids obviously slept through Art Since 1945. 

    • Anonymous

      In some ways, Bayete and The Sucklord are the biggest disappointments here.  Bayete, because Oh Em Gee popular culture is such rich and fertile terrain for a pop-art based exploration of race, and what does he give us?  “Here are some people’s eyes.”  And Sucklord because pop art is, as TLo points out, his whole shtick, and as far as I can tell he recreated his self-portrait.  “I make ironic toy boxes” is pretty thin gruel for a whole season’s worth of art (let alone for a career).

      • Anonymous

        Tewz also should have done much, much better in the fine tradition of street art borrowing heavily from both agit prop and pop art. It was in the ball park but so, so amateur.

      • Anonymous

        I actually enjoyed the Sucklord’s piece quite a bit. Sure, it’s what he does, but he did a good job with it, coming up with three well-designed, well-executed pieces of a mini-collection. It was much more in the mind of pop art as re-contextualization rather than commentary, which I liked. Tewz’s, on the other hand, I found enormously disappointing. Street Art is all about re-contextualizing and distorting iconography and pop culture, and while the “FadEx” idea itself wasn’t awful, he went nowhere further with it.

        • Anonymous

          i’m digging sucklord too, in a limited way.  i do think his piece was the only one close to pop.  what i wondered about is why he made two of the dolls the same and one apparently different.  i don’t have a zoom-in function (or if i do i don’t know it) so i can’t tell what’s in the last box.  can anyone?  i keep wishing tewz would bust out some great graffiti art.  he seems to be trying to execute things that nare outside his style and ability.  i know you all have some great street art in your cities, but i tell you, oakland is a veritable wonderland of graffiti.

    • http://twitter.com/amndad amanda lynn

      my favorite moment of the show?  the surprise that i had when i was watching the show –  an old friend of mine look at the sucklord’s display; the cute gal that we heard a few words from.  i actually think that he should have won or been in the top 3…

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

        His piece was good but if you look at his portfolio it’s a retread of everything else he’s done. It seems as if he’s talented in a very narrow range

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

          He did the same thing for his self-portrait, week one. He’s reaching his expiration date soon.

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

            I’d like to hear Simon tell him “If you don’t show some originality I doubt you’ll be seeing me auctioning your work in the future”

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

              But who would buy his pieces, and where would they put them?  I looked at the catalogs from several recent Phillips de Pury auctions, and for the life of me, I couldn’t see where most of these artists’ work would fit in.

            • Anonymous

              check out “art in america” or “art news”.  people collect some weird shit and pay phenomenal amounts of money for it.  people buy performance (the owner may get a script or other documentation), wall art where they get the directions to have it executed by people other than the artist (eg sol levitt), conceptual art (they own the idea), it’s truly bizarre.  and oddly entertaining.

    • BerlinerNYC

      Ha! I don’t watch the show, but I love Lola’s OTT-“artsy” title. The art itself is lame, but clearly it was just a placeholder so the title (on which she shot her wad, leaving nothing left for the actual physical work of art) could refer to something.

      • Anonymous

        I’m afraid she prematurely shot her wad on what was supposed to be a “dry run” if you will, so she had something of a mess on her hands. 

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

          Touché.

        • Anonymous

          hilarious!!  spanking the art monkey.

    • MilaXX

      Bayate is a fail for me. He seems to want to talk about race and can’t make it work on any level. Once Sucklord openly stated he was a famewhore, I stopped being annoyed with him. As long as his staying doesn’t mean someone more qualified goes home he can stick around. I like Sarah K’s “we’re closed”. The rest were “meh” and I’m ready for Lola to go any minute now.

      • BuffaloBarbara

        He doesn’t seem to know what he wants to say about it.  So far, both of his race pieces have amounted to, “Yup, there’s race in the mix.” Not exactly a deep theme to mine.  I can imagine something interesting in what he did–commenting on the homogenization of race, maybe the attempts to de-ethnicize non-white models.  This could have made sense if he did one composite shot with shots of the originals displayed.  Not great, but a possible hook.  But just using the composite didn’t have much to say about anything.

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

          I get the feeling that Bayate has very few notes in his scale.  Only one piece that wasn’t even tangentially about race, and he won that challenge for being the only artist that was even within shouting distance of the stated theme.  I don’t have much hope that he’ll broaden beyond his little pentatonic scale enough to win this puppy, or even outlast Sucklord.

          • Anonymous

            at least suck lord knows he sucks, and makes the most of it.

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

      Why does everything have to come with a heavy social message or a commentary? Warhol’s soup can only needed irony.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, but in the age of reality TV, irony is pretty much dead, isn’t it? (even though Warhol’s best known quote is, pretty much, the antecedent of reality TV.)

        –GothamTomato

        • BuffaloBarbara

          In a way, the whole show is ironic pop art about reality TV.

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

          Problem is, with a computer and some elementary graphics programs everyone can be an Ironic Pop Artist. All of those parody transformations of the Obama HOPE image prove that- and most of them have more bite than any of these efforts.

          • Anonymous

            I think five minutes on 4chan could get someone a savvier, funnier, more interesting piece of pop art than any of these professionals. Not only did they feel the need to pull out some overwrought social commentary, most of them had nothing new, interesting or clever to say.

        • Anonymous

          comeon, tomato girl, aren’t you gonna tell us the quote?

          • Anonymous

            Do I seriously need too?

            –GothamTomato

            • Anonymous

              seriously.  i may be an art school educated professional artist, but i’m also a geezer and survivor of the seventies, so it’s probable recorded on one of those burnt out synapses.  i may shoot myself when i hear it.

            • Anonymous

              ‘In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.’

              –GothamTomato

      • Anonymous

        truly i am tired of the alleged social commentary.  maybe it comes with youth, this desire to change the world.  give it a rest, already, i say.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t get it at all. Not that photography is not art, but I don’t see any “art” in this photography. So what are they doing all day? Photoshoppping some images and printing them on super high quality printers? What happened to actually creating art?  I am by no means an artist, but I am crafty and can’t help thinking I could do some of this stuff with the right program and printer.

    • Emily Faber

      as an artist, i thought that this challenge was pretty bad. if they were students in art school, maybe it would have made sense to ask them to do pop, because school is about learning how to do new things. (it still would be a frustrating assignment, though!) but by this point, they all HAVE styles. it’s kind of ridiculous to me that they tried to make them all do a style. “make a statement about the culture that we live in” would have been fine, but judging them on how “pop art” their pieces were is just a dumb assignment to me. ah well, i can’t get that worked up about it, since it’s just reality tv and a game show! 

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

        I have a feeling pop art was a new thing for some of them. For one thing, several of the pieces didn’t contain even an iota of pop art, and the artists made no attempt to include it. For another, they confused pop art with doing art about pop culture. I get what you’re saying about the artists already have their own styles, and I know it’s hard to work outside of it, especially considering they have so little time to work. But it seemed as though they had no idea what pop art is. I find that really surprising.

      • BuffaloBarbara

        I don’t know about that–I think artists tend to get locked in, and may not have mastered the historical phases of their art.  I like seeing if they can handle styles that are outside their wheelhouses.  One-note Wilmas don’t impress me much.

        • Anonymous

          even though they are all “professional artists”, they seem to be caught up in the youthful desire to express themselves and they lean on “their style” like a crutch.  it’s like they are protecting themselves from the possibility of failure and are afraid of reaching outside and trying, expressing, new things.  i just saw the picasso retrospective and was so impressed with how he continuously explored, expanded, and changed throughout his life.  and he approached art in a spirit of playfulness, with no fear.  these poor children on t.v. are for the most part so serious, i keep expecting them to burst into a chorus of “I’ve Got to be MEEEE!”

      • Anonymous

        they seem to think that every challenge is “make a statement about the culture we live in”.

    • Anonymous

      Bayeté: He knew it was bad, but I still can’t give him much credit. I’m afraid I have to agree with Bill’s assessment in the first episode, only it is seeming to apply to his work in general: just because the topic is complex doesn’t mean the piece is. I will say that it is pure Uncanny Valley and it creeps me out to look at it, but that hardly seems relevant to the challenge.

      Sarah K.: She remains my favourite, though I am a bit ambivalent about this piece. I feel about it the same as I felt about Young’s piece, except for the features specific to that work. Like Young’s, I think it was Pop Art predominantly in the sense of using techniques from Pop Art rather than in exploring the ideas of the genre and I find that problematic. She has been, and this is a bit worrying given the nature of these shows, a background character; she was barely even in this episode. Nonetheless, I have hopes for her (that unlike our next contestant’s, don’t involve her taking off her shirt).

      The Sucklord: The Sucklord is clearly the most Pop of the artists in this crop and I think his aesthetic translated well in this challenge, but there are two interrelated and fundamental flaws in this work for me. It is less than 7 months after the episode was filmed and the subject matter he chose is old news that no one really cares about anymore – in 30 years time, no one will know what it is about at all. The ephemeral nature of the subject is not, in and off itself, a problem, but there is no comment thereupon: more problematically, there is no real comment at all. It relies entirely upon its subject and cannot survive, cannot work, without the audience being absolutely aware of the details thereof. In the end, his piece is no different than a picture of Charlie Sheen with a “funny” comment photoshopped on to it that would have appeared in some random person’s Tumblr at the height of media interest in that whole business. It is as short-lived, and unaware of it, as the silly media obsession it relies upon.

      Tewz: This piece did not work for me. I have yet to be particularly impressed by his work, I must admit.

      Lola: The lengthy, and far too serious for their own good, titles are high comedy, but the real problem I am beginning to have with her work is that her technical skills seem to be lacking. Everything has looked crude and amateurish. Conceptually, though, this was by far the most interesting thing she’s done on the show.

      Sara J.: I really have nothing to say on the subject. It was deservedly in the middle, considering, but I get nothing from it, even knowing what it is “supposed” to be about (acknowledging, of course, that it doesn’t actually work that way).

      Eventually, I swear, I will leave a short pithy comment.

      Okay, a short comment.

      • Anonymous

        Good observation on The SL. I had thought he might win, but you thought it through better than I did, and obviously better than he did.

        Everyone else, BLECH!, they range from incomprehensible to silly to inconsequential.

      • Anonymous

        Based on your commentary on the Sucklord alone, I would “like” this comment 100 times.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t edit yourself!  I love your comments.  I learn from them!

        • Anonymous

          Oh, thank you! (Thank all three of you!)

          I’m always self-conscious about leaving long comments, but I am glad that some people do appreciate my occasional ramblings.

          • Anonymous

            I agree with the others: you totally hit the nail on the head with regard to The Sucklord.

      • Anonymous

        excellent commentary.  don’t worry about the length of your comments.  we all obviously have nothing better to do and your insight is appreciated here.  i agree that lola had better get a grasp on her materials and techniques if she’s going to continue to work in this 3D style.  one question:  everyone keeps mentioning charlie sheen in connection with sucklord’s piece, and i don’t get it.  what’s the deal here?

        • Anonymous

          Well, his work is based on bizarre ramblings of Charlie Sheen (whither the Tiger Blood, Warlock Dust, Goddesses, “Winning”, etc.) and details of his personal life that became public earlier this year: something about being in a relationship with three women (I believe they were adult film actresses), one of whom ended the relationship shortly after all of this came out – hence the last box being empty with “I quit” written inside.

          As I recall, anyway; I tried to ignore the whole thing – somewhat unsuccessfully, as you can see.

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

      I liked Suck Lord and Sarah K. much better than the two that won. But it’s subjective. So I’ll cut myself some slack. ha!

    • Joshua

      I watched this week’s episode late (again) so I’ll just comment here about the art from your last post. Can I just say how bored I was by the attempts at pop? I mean, they all went so political they missed the pop. I mean, political isn’t strictly bad, but in pop art it always takes second fiddle to aesthetics, which is kind of the point. I actually kind of liked Tewz’ entry, but it seemed a little too preachy, and I think Sara J. was on the right path but missed the mark a bit. The Sucklord missed the mark more than most, though, because this was his chance to really impress the judges. Instead he just did his usual thing, which is really pop art anyway, but he needed to do more.

      lol, I just realized, this show is seriously lacking in the drama department and fan disagreement, and I think it’s because the judges/producers are not only doing a decent job, they’re self-aware enough of the fact that the people who watch skill-based reality shows are more interested in genuine skill than heaps of drama. It means I’m enjoying the show even if you guys and the rest of us minions don’t have much to say about it.

      • Anonymous

        I totally agree about the lack of drama.  That’s how I felt about Top Desserts.  Fun competion to watch, seems like real competitors trying to excel at their craft for a prize.  I don’t think PRW is about that anymore.  Looking forward to Top Chef.  Wish they would come to Seattle.

        • Joshua

          Yes! Bravo just does it so much better. Lifetime needs to learn to leave the drama to the housewives and let us get on with our competitions.

          • Anonymous

            And the crazy-ass dance moms.

            • Anonymous

              Ahhhhh!  I’ve never seen the show, but the ads for it always scare the ever-loving crap out of me.

        • Anonymous

          Hahaha, really, Top Desserts? That was the cattiest, bitchiest show I’ve seen in a long time. The amount of drama contrasted with what it was they were doing (making pastries and shit) was easily the best part of the show.

          They were serious about their motherfucking gelée!

          • Anonymous

            All I remember about the personal drama is the Katzie vs. Sally feud.  I was too busy checking out Matthew to notice anything else.

          • Lori

            This.  Isn’t Top Chef Desserts the only reality competition where a competitor was actually taken off set to a psych ward?  Watching his descent it was clear that was no manufactured drama, that was one of the realest things ever on reality tv.

    • Anonymous

      What we saw here, was what I saw when I taught a photography class at a major university: Art students are getting a pathetic art history education (whether that is the schools’ fault, or whether the students are just cutting class/partying through school is up for debate). But that’s why some of them had no clue that what they were doing had nothing to do with Pop Art and had no real understanding of Andy Warhol. 

      Beyond that, the problem with most of the pieces, (not just this week, but consistently last season and this) is that they require explanations. If you have to stand next to your work and explain it, it’s all pretty pointless.–GothamTomato

      • Joshua

        I agree about the explanations. I’ve always looked at art as being completely out of the artist’s hands after it’s presented, and if we as viewers come to a completely different conclusion on meaning (or lack thereof), that’s just too bad for the artist.

      • Anonymous

        It was a stupid challenge; it’s not their fault. My university art history and art education tells me that you should never ask contemporary artists to make pop art; it’s ridiculous. If you’re asking instead for people to make contemporary work INSPIRED by pop art then it’s going to give them the impression that they don’t necessarily know what pop art is. Maybe a couple people were totally ignorant but really for the most part I think they were consciously departing from it. To me the show producers seemed to have a really weak art history education because the only pop artist who came up in the show was Andy Warhol and Pop as a current is so much more than graphic silkscreen prints of soup cans and Marilyn (and even then they really zeroed in on one facet of his work).

        • Anonymous

          I think the reason they focused on Warhol was because of the guest judge. And also because he’s the most recognizable to the TV audience.

          –GothamTomato

        • Anonymous

          I think you’re giving the artists way too much credit. If they were truly trying to make a conscious departure from the theme, or a commentary on the nature of the challenge, you bet your ass they would have said so. These aren’t people who are going to hide their genius or cleverness under a bushel. These were people who thought “A lot of coke cans with a big coke can in the middle” and “texting” were good enough ideas for a gallery show.

    • Anonymous

      No. No no no no no no no.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002673395871 Roadkill Writer’s Camp

      I still can’t get my noodle around all the works in these first episodes that are pictures of people taken by themselves or others having their picture taken taking pictures. Makes me dizzy, which would be OK if someone within this digital circle jerk would actually execute an idea.       

      • Anonymous

        I have the impression that they don’t have access to the internet or any images (ie. when Leon needed to ask everyone about the American flag). Therefore, if they’re doing any photography or using source images for painting or drawing they only have themselves and the objects in the studio/purchases from the art store, to draw from. For me, that explains the propensity for photographing themselves and each other. 

        • Anonymous

          We were expected to be original when I was taking college art/photography classes. And it was before most people used the internet. I don’t think they are prevented from going outdoors, are they? It’s pretty easy to suggest an American flag, and not be so literal. I am beginning to think the success these people have had previously is a fluke, if they are so hard up for ideas. And what Gotham Tomato said, lack of art history knowledge. Pathetic, indeedy.

          • Anonymous

            Oh I don’t mean needing to find ideas on the internet. I mean source imagery. People can have all the ideas in the world but a lot of artists can’t (and shouldn’t need to) render images from thin air. They use either a model, still life objects, magazine clippings, personal photographs, etc etc. as a source and then how they actually deal with that on the page or the canvas becomes the original/artistic part. I was merely suggesting that since they don’t have any of these things, or the internet which can stand in for many of them, they turn to themselves and one another (again, not for ideas but for visual reference). Also for photographers they need the things in front of them to take photographs are and it seems like in this setting the resources are very limited so they turn to one another. 

            • BuffaloBarbara

              I agree with that–there’s nothing unoriginal about using sources to get something right.  Have some books around, if you want to make sure they’re isolated from the internet.  To me, some of that seems to be missing in all of these shows–you don’t want people stealing ideas from books, but you do want them to have access to the tools of the trade, and the resources of their crafts.

            • Anonymous

              I completely see your point and understand that occasionally using source imagery as one’s jumping off point is quite valid for an artist. However, I also think that by the time a person reaches adulthood in our time that they have seen so much source imagery, actually so much more than an average person 50-100 years ago and exponentially what people had seen in the Renaissance for example that there ought to be a rich store of ideas in their heads.

              I found myself struggling to answer you and get my point across, as I thought about varied assignments from art classes, some of them did need some source imagery, but many did not. However, we were not necessarily restricted as to finding a location or other people to draw or photograph or use as inspiration. And it seems that these folks may be. I think it is possible that contemporary, as in now, not the art movement, artists, may have become a little too dependent on source imagery, rather than using imagination. The longest part of the history of art took place well before photography or even printing was commonly part of anyone’s life.

            • Anonymous

              I realize the tone of this response is going to sound snarky but please be assured that it isn’t. I’m really happy to have someone to discuss this stuff with. First of all, a reminder that “Contemporary” isn’t an art movement; in visual art it always means “now” (well actually right now it means since the mid 80’s). I’m not saying source imagery in terms of getting ideas. I mean visual reference. A stand in for the fact that they don’t have access to very many objects or models to work from. And I don’t mean occasionally. If you look at the canon of art history before the internet so much of it is based on models, drawing/painting from landscape, or from objects/still life. Just because we’ve seen these things doesn’t mean we have them strongly enough in our memory to be able to actually render them on the page (where are the lines, what are the textures, proportions, what colour values are various parts etc). Renaissance artists would set up an elaborate 3D grid system when drawing from models so that they were looking at the models through gridded lines. Anyway, all I’m saying is a lot of figurative/representational (and by that I mean a way of working/subject matter artists can’t just come up with imagery out of their head (or they can do it but it’s weak – for example if you ask me to draw a person just based on memory vs drawing from a model, the model one will be leagues better), they need to see something in front of them and then draw it or paint it or whatever (and in that process it becomes their own). Therefore I’m suggesting that if they had the internet, or more objects, or access to models, then they wouldn’t be working from one another. I think we’re getting gummed up by what I mean by source imagery, and to reiterate that I don’t mean “ideas” I mean visual references of how things look so that the artist can use them to express the ideas/say what they want to say. 

            • Anonymous

              I realized when I read your comment that I had mis-spoken about a movement of contemporary art. I do know that it is not a movement and that it means ‘now’ and that furthermore art historians are eventually going to go batty because the term contemporary is used often in different ways by different people, from anything created since WWII, or anything created since 1970, or as you are saying, since the mid-eighties. And there are many different styles that are considered contemporary, whereas in the past, the different styles were named. I suppose contemporary could eventually cover a staggeringly long period such as the Renaissance, in which case I think we need some new terms.

              I confused myself because I was also thinking about contemporary design, especially contemporary interior design, which to the best of my knowledge, has a specific meaning, and generally means much more than ‘now’ to people in that field. Contemporary furniture and decor has definitive characteristics, use of line and color, materials, etc.

              So I accidentally threw them all in one pot. My bad, thanks for reminding me.

              As for the rest of what you are saying, if I’m going to respond I need some more time, maybe even tomorrow, if it even matters. It’s a challenge to keep up with this level of reading the blog and posting  ;-) 

              I’m also happy to have many someones to discuss this with, as I’m presently much more out of the art world than I would like to be.                                

            • Anonymous

              Second reply:
              You made some excellent points and I do understand what you mean. Especially where drawing from memory is vastly different than drawing from a model or landscape. It is always quite impressive to run across the occasional artist who has the ability and talent to draw someone strictly from memory.

              What I’m trying to say, especially regarding this particular exercise, is that, in my opinion, these artists seemed to have such a dearth of interesting ideas, that even if they had had plenty of source imagery to work with, we might have still been largely unimpressed with their output.

              Maybe we can all kick this can around some more with the next challenge, once we see what they are given as an assignment, and if they get access to more source imagery.
              ^_^

        • Lori

          In the case of Leon it wouldn’t have mattered. All he had to do was place his logos on the Malayasian flag and he would have made it through to the next round, maybe even won, because the piece would have said something. Something trite, but something.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002673395871 Roadkill Writer’s Camp

          It just seems to me these folks are awfully quick to default to photos or video, default being the key. My objection is more that there is very little substance in using facile images, wherever they’re sourced, to slap into  what amounts to lousy magazine layouts. Like a load of pictorial lorem ipsum. Something that says nothing other than the artist took the line of least resistance, e.g., Bayete’s. Sara J’s is better, but not by much.  

      • Joshua

        I believe they’re not allowed Internet access given the creative competition they’re in, but I think it would be nice if they at least had access to some human models other than each other.

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

      Oh, man, the titles Lola comes up with are like parodies, except I think she’s deadly serious. “So Why Do I feel So Alone?” Bless her little art school heart.

      I like The Sucklord’s piece, but it did have a very short expiration date, i.e., it came and went about a season ago. Tewz was on to something, but he stopped short, I think. I like Sarah K.s more than anything else here. I’d have to go back and look at the top and bottom pieces, which I’m too lazy to do, but hers might be my favorite out of all of them.

    • Anonymous

      I’m hoping Lola’s next piece is a giant ball made with gum wrappers and rubber bands with Preparation H smeared all over it that she titles “The Descendants of Neanderthals Have Made Great Innovations In Hemorrhoid Relief, So Why Is My Ass Still So Sore?”

      • Anonymous

        I’d love to have a thread full of Fake Lola titles. “Some People on the Internet Claimed my Titles were Too Long and Self-Indulgent, but my Right Toe is Larger than my Left.”

        • scottyf

          “Life doubles for the Boogers in my Nose, and The Insistent Humming in My Ears, so Why can’t I Find Happiness?”

          Look Ma! I’m an Artist!!!!

    • Anonymous

      “This is somewhere not quite in the neighborhood of Pop, but a couple miles over, getting directions at a gas station.”

      Lines like this can make a whole episode worthwhile.

      Still can’t figure out why so many self-identified artists couldn’t come up with Pop Art cliches, if not something that struck the observer of original & Pop art.

    • Anonymous

      If it wasn’t for the world’s most enthusiastic Swiss man, I’m not sure if this would be worth watching.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      You know, I keep trying to think of something to say about the art, but the truth is, even good pop art leaves me cold (I think it’s supposed to, but not quite in the way it does), so all I can do is respond sort of generally.

      If they’re going to do historical movements, I wish they’d commit and do movements that aren’t of the most recent century.  Give them some mud and natural dyes, and have them do cave painting.  Try some Chinese watercolors.  Do a Renaissance-style oil painting.  Do a classical-style sculpture (though I guess the marble would be prohibitively expensive).  Do pointillism.  If they’re going to do an art history based challenge, then I wish they’d have chosen something more interesting than pop art–and something that’s not in the wheelhouse of any of the contestants.  Boom–even playing field, plus, they prove to me that they’ve mastered their art and are now trying to take it in new directions, rather than going for modern art because it looks like it doesn’t require much technique, so they may as well try it.  (No, I’m not saying modern art doesn’t take technique.  But it’s pretty easy to look at a Jackson Pollack, as a high school girl I knew did, and say, “Are you kidding me?  That got the most money at auction?  I could totally do that!”  Not realizing that Pollack worked a long time to develop his style, and understood everything that had come before.)

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

        Yes yes yes!

      • Anonymous

        I think that’s an interesting point about using older historical movements, but I fear it would be a terrible idea. You can, for example, just “do” an Abstract Expressionist painting – it’s conceptually but not necessarily technically complex. You cannot, however, just “do” something in the realm of classical European Realism or Chinese watercolour*: it would require years of training and experience in techniques and concepts that artists simply do not have and cannot replicate at whim, much less in two days. It takes months or even years to complete an oil painting in the traditional manner. Oil paintings on the show (I know Ryan worked extensively in that medium last season) have to be done entirely wet-on-wet, more along the lines of Bob Ross** than Bellini. Sculpture would be even more of a problem, since there is no possible way for them to do a Classical-style sculpture in the time frame allotted – even if the artists actually know how to do it, which, suffice it to say, I suspect they don’t. It simply isn’t feasible to do most pre-Modern Art movements, because the technical skills necessary are not technical skills that artists today have (except those rare few who specialize in them), the underlying concepts are somewhat alien to modernity, and the time limits are impossible. It’s a recipe for kitsch or failure***.
        Not, mind you, that I think Pop Art was a better choice: I personally think that “make something in the style of this art movement” is an inherently bad idea for a challenge. Dictating what kind of artist they are supposed to be for the challenge is a pure mistake. If they are a one-note, they are a one-note; they cannot be coaxed or coerced into having an artistic depth. If they are no one-note, but they are not proficient in the assigned style, it’s setting them up to fail. The likelihood that good art will result from such a challenge, even from extremely talented artists, is negligible.* I suspect, furthermore, that the judges, in general, know little or nothing about Chinese painting, even China; I doubt they know how to judge a shan shui painting any more than the artists know how to paint one.** I have a challenge idea…*** I have a new idea for the show’s name…

        • BuffaloBarbara

          I think that’s my point as much as anything–I expect artists to have that training and education, and to be called on it if they don’t.  I’m very tired of people calling themselves artists without having the faintest clue as to history, techniques, and appreciation of anything that’s been around longer than a dayfly.  Being modern and multicultural means you have more to master, technically speaking, not less. You’re right about the execution time, though–which doesn’t say much for modern art and its challenges.

          What I want is to see them put through their paces, to get them out of their boxes and belief that “this is the kind of artist I am” by forcing them to think in terms of something other than simple, id-level feeling expression.  I want to see them think, analyze, and prove they have artistic chops.  If they’re one-note, I don’t want to see them on the show in the first place.  Same for the judges.  I can’t fathom why people who are interested in art enough to want to be artists don’t bother to get educated, even if it’s autodidactic.  It’s like poets thinking that, because e.e. cummings wrote in all lower case, they don’t need to know their language’s rules for capitalization.

          • Anonymous

            As far as understanding art history, I agree. An artist today fundamentally has to understand what it means to be an artist in, say, a post-Warhol world. One must have an understanding of the influences of the past and how they shape the present world artistically – how they shape oneself artistically. I agree, likewise, that the artists on the show should have some depth of artistic ability and not be locked onto a particular idea.

            Where I have to part with you on is on the issue of technical skills and knowledge. It’s one thing to be able to appreciate an artwork, or to be able to understand its influence, and another thing to be able to create it – even for an artist. Artists should have an exposure to a wide variety of techniques and artistic styles, but I think expecting them to be able to perform well within such disparate styles is ultimately unrealistic. Particularly when we are talking about technically demanding artistic forms, we’re talking about years, decades of work in that one field alone. I find it a bit akin to expecting a concert pianist to also be a flautist, or expecting someone to have doctorates in Physics and Chemistry. Even if they do have the skills and knowledge involved, I think the end result is far more likely to be something merely formal – sterile, soulless, or even kitschy. Now, there is a potential problem with artists who work within a particular narrow focus because they don’t know how to do anything else, but at some point one just can’t have the skills necessary – there aren’t enough hours in a day, days in a year, years in a lifetime – and I think we differ on exactly where that point lies.

            You said earlier that Pop Art leaves you cold and no doubt the same holds true for many artists as well. Indeed, that must be true of many movements for many artists, which renders it problematic to assign such bounds for an artist to work within. Even if one understands it, even if one knows the technical ins and outs, it may, simply, have no personal meaning – and that will carry over into the work. For the show to be approached as a test strikes me as a guarantor of empty work, even if the artists are every bit up to the challenge. And for that reason, I don’t want to see artists being put through their paces, exactly.

            So, summarizing my feelings on the subject:
            Rothko couldn’t be Titian, Titian couldn’t be Guo Xi, and no contemporary artist can be expected to be all three, even if they know everything essential to the work of each. Art necessarily requires a certain degree of specialization (a certain degree: after all, history has had a plethora of painter/sculptor/architects), both for technical and for personal reasons.

            Whether they should be able to make something inspired by a movement or style, or incorporating ideas from it, is another matter entirely.

            Also, there is a contestant who goes by The Sucklord…

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know, man, I’m inclined to cut these guys some slack. I realize that by now they should know what they’re getting into going on a competition reality show, but still, they’re artists – demanding that they create “art” based on arbitrary subject matter in a day or two can’t be easy. It’s obviously not going to be their best work. Art is intensely personal and extremely subjective. I’m surprised most of the artists are able to produce work of any quality in this environment, so props to them.

      Sucklord’s was my favorite, and he was quite entertaining this episode as well.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not watching this show just because of what I have seen here.   It looks too boring. 

    • Anonymous

      I was hoping when you said ‘Let’s run down the remaining artists,’ you meant with a vehicle.  That would have been a more interesting spectacle than this episode.   

    • BuffaloBarbara

      So, what would we like to see, challenge-wise?  I mentioned art history older than the most recent century (because I’m obsessed with people knowing the history of where their art comes from and how it applies… yes, I’m wonky that way… and because I want to know they have those tools in their repertoire if they need them and are willing to step out of their little stylistic boxes).  Maybe all of them should have a go at performance art? (Ick, no.  On the other hand, that kind of scares me.)

      Inspiration from another art? (Poetry, maybe, or music–a synesthesia challenge!)

      Public art? (Taking a page from the design makeover shows.) Or art for some kind of special institution where it will be used therapeutically?

      Make something in the common style of one of your competitors?

      • Anonymous

        Jerry Saltz said on his recaps that he had solicited ideas on Facebook for better challenges and forwarded over a hundred to the producers, but heard nothing back (one of them was “invent a religion”). For whatever reason, the producers seem to be married to the ridiculously simplistic/uncreative prompts that they currently use.

    • Anonymous

      “This is somewhere not quite in the neighborhood of Pop, but a couple miles over, getting directions at a gas station.”

      Pure brilliance! 

      My biggest disappointment with this episode was that the two pieces I liked most–Sucklord’s and Tewz’s–ended up in the middle and got no discussion at all.  I think that, unless it’s more or less your thing, Pop can be a very difficult genre to do. You can fake it, of course, but the fakes stand out by a mile. (For evidence, see above.)

      I agree that if Sucklord’s Pop piece didn’t interest the judges more than it did, he’s in big trouble.  As For Tewz’s FadEx, I don’t want him explaining anything to me about the packages.  I hate it when artists do that–or when they give their pieces obnoxiously lengthy and obscure titles. But standing all on its own, I think that piece spoke volumes, and I really liked it. The tag was the perfect flourish. 

      Liked Sarah K’s idea, but I don’t think the finished piece really made her point.  It needed something more.  As it was, it was really not much more than the HOW COULD YOU? trash can.

    • Lori

      In the case of Leon it wouldn’t have mattered.  All he had to do was place his logos on the Malayasian flag and  he would have made it through to the next round, maybe even won, because the piece would have said something.  Something trite, but something. 

      • Anonymous

        His name isn’t enough?

    • Anonymous

      When Warhol was wondering what to paint someone (maybe Henry Geldzahler?) told him to paint what he loved.  So he painted money: dollar bills.  And those paintings and drawings are beautiful and powerful.  Most of these artists seem incapable of doing anything beautiful: those ugly painted portraits by the woman who got booted, for example.  I think an artist usually needs a beautiful line, a sense of proportion, humor (which is really hard.)  Someone here should have done something about something they love or are obsessed with.  Warhol was rarely (never?) snarky or critical in his art.

    • http://www.fatladysings.us/ TFLS

      Gotta say…..compared to last season’s crop – these guys really miss the mark right down the line.  And not just on this particular ‘challenge’.  I really had hopes this time ’round.  The initial introduction to their works was impressive.  Not so much anymore.  I’m bored.  This was arts and crafts gone bad…….but then every challenge seems to have bad arts and crafty elements.  Damn.  And I was looking forward to this show.    

      • Zi Jie Tan

        I have to agree. The artists in this season talk a good game, but every time I see their final products, they’re so underwhelming. Last season’s artist produced much better work. 

    • Anonymous

      I have seen enough of Bayete to know that this guy desperately wants to be an artist and refuses to see that he has no creative vision/talent. Send him home.
      Suckshit can go anytime too. 
       

    • Anonymous

      An insult to 8th grader’s everywhere.