WOA: Children are our future

Posted on November 03, 2011

Despite the presence of children – which usually signals a disruption of the proceedings in a reality competition, this was a pretty great episode.


The artists all got along fairly well with their kids and the kids themselves had produced some pretty impressive art on their own. Plus, they kept the challenge simple: use the kid’s art as your starting point and make a companion piece. Granted, the Pop Art challenge couldn’t have been simpler either, and most of them managed to screw that part up.

But most of the entries this week were of decent quality. Even the pieces in the bottom had some value to them. Like we said, in another type of reality competition, kids would be a disruption, but with artists, it turns out to be a great way to tap into their creativity and sensitivity.

And we got a pretty good judging session, which isn’t surprising, because when all the work is of a higher quality than some of the junk we’ve been getting for the last couple of weeks, it gives the judges more to work with. SJP is a fine judge; articulate and empathetic. She had a great rapport with the kids in the room And of course, we got China Chow looking fabulous in Stella McCartney.

So congrats to Kymia. After last week’s almost-win, you are firmly in the judges’ good graces for a while. Use this time wisely.



We thought her piece was the clear winner here. Technically, it’s of the highest quality, but what makes it good art is the starkness of the image and the story it tells, as well as the brilliant idea she had of asking her child artist what was happening just outside the frame in her own are, which allowed them to come up with the winning image together. A superlative job all around.



And sort-of congrats to Dusty, who didn’t win it, but managed to halt a steadily downward spiral that would have gotten him eliminated this week if he hadn’t pulled it together. Personally, we thought his piece was a bit too literal and a bit too child-like. Sure, he’s working with a child, but that doesn’t mean his art has to look like something a child made. Still, it had a personal quality to it that the judges responded well to.

And it’s goodbye to Tewes, who left the judges unimpressed one time too many.




We didn’t think this was so awful. As an idea, it’s unfinished and doesn’t really owe anything to the original piece that inspired it. Taken on its own, it has nice graphic quality to it and a vague message of sorts. Bill nailed it when he called it a “PSA.” Tewes might have been able to defend the work if he believed more strongly in it (or at least half as strongly as The Sucklord felt about it), but he killed it for himself when he admitted he literally could not imagine any other way of interpreting the original piece. Kiss of death right there, buddy. You don’t tell an art critic you have no imagination.

Let’s check out the other two who almost went home:




God bless those artists and their tendency to burst into tears. Reality television GOLD. Sarah Jessica Parker must have been peeing herself with joy at the sight of this breakdown. Oh, we know she made the pouty, teary face, but she’s an actress. Anyway, we thought this wasn’t a bad piece taken on its own. It had some real power to it. It seems to us that Sara let that power overwhelm her a bit. That would be fine if this were her own piece, but she was supposed to tie it back some way to a child’s piece of art and she failed to do that. In addition, we tend to agree with the judges that the scale of her piece was way off in comparison to her child’s piece. Still, we don’t think she was playing to the cameras here. This was a deeply felt moment for her and it seems to have shocked her with its force. We’ll be kind and assume that DIVORSE is supposed to represent her ten-year-old self’s understanding of how to spell the word.



Unlike Sara, however, Sucklord was playing to the cameras BIG TIME. That whole “I’ve connected to this child and I would rather die than let her down” business was awkward and eyeroll-inducing. Ironically, if he hadn’t spent so much time playing it to the hilt, he might have produced something worthwhile here, even if it is way too literal an interpretation. We really liked the idea of using posing figures to make the branches of the tree. Had he developed that idea much further and played down the model-making aspects of the piece, he might have produced something worth looking at and talking about. Jerry finally hit the wall on the action figures and Star Wars stuff and did we call that or what? The order has been given. Sucklord is going to have to produce art without relying on his toys. We’ll see if he’s up to the task or if he’s going to feel once again that he has to act like an ass in order to stay in the game.

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

    • Eclectic Mayhem

      I wonder whether one of the reasons (perhaps the only reason) Dusty was saved and Leon was sent home last week is because the judges/producers knew this challenge was coming up…?  Dusty works with kids all the time – he should get a shot at the child related challenge.

      Not that I want or approve of more producer manipulation.  It just seemed that a couple of designers from the PRS9 D E B A C L E were auf’ed right before a challenge at which they, in all probability, would have excelled.  Dog Blanket auf’ed before the Heidi’s Active Wear Vanity challenge and Becky before the Real Woman challenge.

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

        “Debacle” is a nicer way of describing PRS9. I’ve been calling it a “clusterfuck”. I’ll use your word around the kids. ;-)

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          hahahahahahahahahaha *snort* hahahahahahahahahahaha

          The above is a completely faithful representation of what I did when I read your post.

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

      Jerry, you are no Marcellus Wallace. Leave the medieval quotes to someone who can utter them more convincingly.

      • Anonymous

        Still, I’m glad he said it.

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

          To be fair, I just really hate Jerry. But in a fun way.

          • Anonymous

            I like Jerry, though it’s mostly because I like his blog.  

            • Anonymous

              When I discovered Jerry’s blog, my affection for him skyrocketed (I’d been a bit irked by his Miles obsession last season).  It’s really well written and entertaining.

          • Anonymous

            every time i see jerry’s face, i just want to slap it.  i guess it’s because he delivers his opinions as if he is pontificating.  he’s the pope of art criticism.  and while he’s carrying on in such a self-glorified manner, he looks like a damn chipmunk.  anyways…..

            • Anonymous

              You should read a couple of his blogs.  Originally, they were just on NYMag, but Bravo’s now posting them as well.  He knows he comes off as a dork–as well as short.  He reveals that he really liked Michelle’s piece and thought Sara J. should have gone home.  Bill Powers on the other hand liked Dusty’s and seems to have been one of the people who saved Sara J.   And he points out that Jerry threatening to go medieval doesn’t really work with Jerry’s toggled sweater.

      • Anonymous

        Just not a visual that works for me.

    • http://twitter.com/thedogsmother thedogsmother

      That was sheer genius to ask the little girl was was beyond the area of the picture. I always wonder how parents handle the occasion of their child watching the episode. Tons of teachable moments there. Good challenge, good episode and agree LordS. is going to have to step it up.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, the winning pieces reflected artists who actually spoke to the children and tried to grasp them as human beings. Well done.

      • http://visceralresponse.com Dina dV

        Genius, but the little girl was amazing.  There’s no guarantee Alana was as creative and thoughtful and generally weird as she was, and that her weirdness so perfectly dovetailed with Kymia’s own weirdness. 

        To have this utterly insane back story to a carrot on a beach makes me weep tears of joy that Alana is out there and getting the encouragement she needs to fully develop her creativity.

        • Anonymous

          I look forward to watching this one with my kid–the last one had warnings all over it–but this was a terrific episode.  There wasn’t a single piece I didn’t find interesting in some way. 

          Kymia’s technique was *gorgeous*  I wanted that drawing.  The kid’s drawing I wanted was the one of the butterflies.

          • frances rossi

            those absurd warnings were just because we saw nipples. Puhleeze. I watched it with all three of my young daughters.

      • Anonymous

        i was curious about what lies behind the girls story.  the way she said in such a casual way ” oh, and there’s that dead girl over there”, it made me want to explore that image more with her.  perhaps it’s the gestalt therapist in me coming out.  “so, who is this dead girl who exists inside you.  give her a voice, what would she say to alana?”  that kid has what we call a “rich inner life”.

      • Anonymous

        Sheer Genius is another show altogether. ;)

        (sorry, just really would like to see that show come back for a Season 3)

    • Anonymous

      Sarah J. should have been the winner. Her piece was the only one with meaningful content and emotional power. All the other entries were too shallow.

      • Anonymous

        I found it self-indulgent.  Which is typical of her overall style. I’m all for exploring womanhood and the self and all that, but her work speaks about her and only her. Over and over. Not to mention that it just plain failed at the challenge. Her piece had little to do with Zelda’s piece, beyond the use of words.

        • MilaXX

          THIS. There is a difference between doing your own style based on the child’s work and making the piece all about YOU.

        • http://visceralresponse.com Dina dV

          Plus, she was the one who asked her child artist if she was familiar with the concept of the “exquisite corpse.”  She had no interest in relating to Zelda on a personal level. She just tried to figure out how it was all about herself.

          Zelda’s piece was about joy, and it was quite sophisticated.  Sara’s piece seemed juvenile and amateurish in comparison.

          • Anonymous

            Oh God, I KNOW.  When that happened, I facepalmed.  I feel like her piece should’ve been titled “It’s all about ME” or maybe “Narcissus.”

            • Anonymous

              Narcissus is a great way to explain her. Her work was bad, her frame of reference was how to make something not about her about her, and for that it failed. It’s as bad as Tewes saying “it’s the only way I could think of to explain it.” If she can only explain something in reference to herself, than she’s too narrow to really succeed.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, you perfectly summed it up.

          • Anonymous

            I find it ironic that Sara J. had one of the best pieces to work with, but managed to create, well, what she created. By contrast, Kymia had probably the most difficult piece to work with (It’s a carrot. On a beach) but was able to create something by technically and creatively stunning. (One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn’t belong).

        • Anonymous

          setting aside the concept of responding to the child’s work (which was the crux of the challenge), it failed on another level in that it didn’t convey to (this) viewer the monumental intensity of what she seemed to be experiencing.  her technique, materials, and presentation just did not express the powerful and raw emotion that she said was her inspiration.  from what i could understand what with all the woeful sobbing.

        • Anonymous

          Absolutely. It WAS self-indulgent and she couldn’t see beyond herself to truly connect with the Zelda’s creation. She’s an adult and it’s time to embrace the world outside of yourself. Expand. Grow.

      • Anonymous

        As an artist, I feel that it’s important to point out that “meaningful content” and “emotional power” belong to one set of criteria for judging/criticizing art but are in no means overarching/present in all successful work. A lot of successful artists make work that is purely aesthetic, or perhaps explores in depth a really small simple idea, or as another alternative work that is very conceptual but has no literal/readable content or emotion. 

        • Anonymous

          and when i was in art school, the pendulum swung in entirely the opposite direction (in the late sixties).  content was frowned upon, emotions were denigrated, implying that expressing such things through art was just a silly girl thing.  it was all about formal considerations such as composition and design principles.  i remember my professor looking at my watercolor and sneering “rather etherial isn’t it?”  another day he walked into the studio, glanced at the crit wall and said “none of you get it do you?”  i left feeling that there was some giant IT that i failed to grasp.

      • Anonymous

        Emotional for her, but not necessarily for the viewer. I’m glad she’s sticking around, though. I like her drawing style.

        • Anonymous

          Yep.  She just got pulled into her own past too much on this one and couldn’t pull out.  But, hey, she’s an artist–it’s not surprising that that’s going to happen.  I’m glad they didn’t boot her.

      • Anonymous

        I personally am not convinced that she intentionally misspelled ‘divorce’ either – I think it was a straight-up mistake on her part, and for lack of proofreading alone, she deserved to be in the bottom three.

        No really, I’m not *quite* that much of proofreading snob.  I thought she absolutely deserved to be in the bottom because she made no attempt to connect to the original source material, and that was the challenge.  Zelda outshone her for sure.

    • Scott Hester-Johnson

      Quick Observation: After seeing still images left and right of Kymia’s nipples, this week they were blurred. Interesting and I would love to have been there for that conversation.

      Moving on, my favourite bit was Sucklord who, since he didn’t have time to paint his three colours on his tree, chose to mix them all up. WTF?

      I would love to know what Jerry going medieval would look like. Would he untuck his shirt? Wear brown shoes with a black suit? Classic.

      • http://twitter.com/urban_gypsy Urban Gypsy aka Tess

        Thanks for that last sentence. I think you nailed it. Brown shoes with a black suit, bwah hahahahaha.

        • Anonymous

          As Bill Powers said in his blog, it’s hard to go medieval when you’re wearing a toggle-button sweater. 

      • http://twitter.com/thedogsmother thedogsmother

        I think they blurred the nipples because they knew the children would be watching this episode. Will be interesting to see what they do in the future as you know someone else will be getting naked!

      • Anonymous

        I’m guessing they didn’t want nipples and children in the same show.

        –GothamTomato

        • Anonymous

          yes.  as if children have never seen a nipple before.  they probably would be ruined forever by the sight of a female breast.

      • Rachel Claff

        I think it might have to do with the time that the images aired. Last week, they showed a “this might be inappropriate” message before showing Kymia’s piece, but it came later in the episode. I don’t know. I’ve just noticed that after 9CST/10EST, there seems to be more leniency about nudity and language.

      • Anonymous

        Jerry going medieval….hahaaaaaaaaa! God, how I love the minions.

    • Anonymous

      They wanted Tewes to do his graffiti and told him as much before — I’m not sure why he didn’t go there at least once when it’s what he does, it’s what won him the scholarship, it’s certainly why they wanted him on the show, it’s his forte. I would have loved to have actually seen what he specializes in and obviously excels at but he seemed to force these really awful crafty things instead.

      Michelle has worked my last nerve (and if she were a man would immediately be called out for being as sick as she is — pedophile on the playground whose erection is interactive so you can  be a part of it too, goats gouging out the eyes the child has painted.) I actually really liked her self-portratit and her final weird one tonight, and I appreciate the artistic personality. But she’s disingenous too, which makes me even more nervous about what’s really going on with her children-sex-violence “darkness” (saying in a talking head that her piece was just about goats, that’s it, and so why again was her piece less appropriate than Sarah’s work?).

      • Anonymous

        I don’t think she’s sick, she’s just exploring darker areas, which is the job of art. Kids can handle difficult material. We try to protect them too much, but once they realize that the darkness of their imaginations can’t harm them, they are better off.

        • Anonymous

          i wish someone had told me that when i was a child.

        • Anonymous

          I didn’t feel her “darker” eyes-gouged-out idea emerged organically from the child’s work though–which was the same problem with Sara J.  It’s also one of the reasons in which Kymia’s work was so strong–there’s a dark impulse, but one she drew out of Alana, rather than just imposing the darkness on it because it was what she wanted to do.  But I also have problems with the idea that darkness is inherently artistic; too many artists confuse dark or “edgy” content for profundity.

          I work a lot with fairy tales, and there’s quite a long discourse, both academically and artistically, on how dark fairy tales satisfy and intrigue children.  Great art has come out of exploring that, but so has a lot of hack work that had nothing behind it except a supposed shock tactic. 

          • Anonymous

            I completely agree with everything you say. Exploring darkness, I should have said is “a” job of art, not “the” job of art, I’m interested in how you say you work with fairy tales. I am appalled by what has happened to children’s stories—”… and then the big bad wolf and the three pigs became friends.”  Ugh. Children are SUPPOSED TO be afraid of the wolf. This is a cautionary tale!

      • Anonymous

        re: tewes, i felt the same.  i wanted him to stack up some cinderblocks and go totally caveman with spray paint and huge permanent markers.  it would have been beautiful and could have related to the child through the words and images he chose. a psychedelic radish- now that would be awesome.

        re: michelle,  i am more curious than concerned about her prurient interests.  it’s true what you say about her deflecting attention from her obvious obsession with things that are completely unacceptable in our culture.  it’s pretty scary to own up to such thoughts, one could easily end up locked up.  yet here she is, dangling these images out there and then acting as if it’s not really happening, which is how many survivors cope with abuse.  very strange.

    • Lori

      Loved Kymia’s.

      I haven’t warmed up to Tewes but his piece had content, it was a little more than just a visual pun.

      Sara J’s didn’t relate to the child’s at all.  Like the woman who went home last week she used the challenge as an excuse for another self-portrait.  I think SJP was touched by her uncontrolled emotions and may have intervented on her behalf.   

      Watching SJP when she came out the first time my boobs hurt.  Her makeup looked good though. Looking at her eyes during the crit was like watching a tutorial in how not to wear eyeliner.

    • Anonymous

      With regards to something you said at the beginning, I still don’t think that the pop art challenge was simple. First of all, no one seemed to agree on what their working definition of pop would be. Secondly, making something that was referential to pop without being copycat seemed REALLY DIFFICULT. 

      • Anonymous

        I agree. Reinventing or refreshing something so iconic as pop art is not easy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=720742723 Sarah Winningham

      Are we going to get a Judging the Judges of SJP vs China?

    • BuffaloBarbara

      I’ve actually seen Sucklord’s reaction to the kid many, many times–that one didn’t come off as faked.  Spending a lot of time in fandom, you get a lot of these overgrown teenage boys who outwardly say, “Ick, kids ruin EVERYTHING!” but then, when presented with an actual child, are surprised out of it by the experience, and want nothing more than to share things with the kid.  It struck me as a very normal reaction.  I actually liked him a lot in this episode, though his art left something to be desired and deserved to be in the bottom.

      Tewz… it wanted to be a good idea, and I think he might have scraped through if the plants hadn’t gone every whichway, making it look like they were just kind of accidental rather than actually growing up through the concrete.

      Sarah’s could have been good at scale, though I wish she’d picked up the vibe of the original piece, which was better.

      • Anonymous

        I felt exactly the same about Sucklord, who was kind of endearing in this episode–at least for me. When he was explaining his change of heart to Simon, I thought it was totally believable. I really liked him this week, and just wish he’d done more with the tree. 

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, while he might have been talking his feelings up a bit later on, the initial reaction was genuine (and endearing).  Not coincidentally, the moment when he met the kid was the first time I viewed him in a positive light: he finally dropped the bullshit posturing.  Here’s hoping he stays that way, although I doubt that’ll be the case.

        • Anonymous

          yes.  i’m surprised that the S-L is a pretty self-aware guy.  i expected him to be all hype and pretentiousness and he is, but in totally ironic way.  it’s like his whole personality is a conceptual art piece.  a bit of his facade fell this week.  i would have loved to see him make his tree entirely out of toys and in a larger scale, so that an adult could feel the wonder of a child’s world.

      • Anonymous

        I think the Sucklord is adorable. Yeah, he does play to the cameras, but that doesn’t make him less real in his own way. His impassioned defense of Tewz’s piece was hilarity itself.  Tewz’s problem (among many) is that the piece just looked sort of sad, like stepped-on weeds and not the lush vegetable life his child-partner produced. Did he even talk to the kid, find out why he painted (drew?) what he did? What it meant to him? I don’t think so.

    • Anonymous

      Once Sara started sobbing hysterically, I knew Tewz was going home.  I don’t think his piece was as terrible as the judges were saying.  I think he just hadn’t wowed them yet and they were over him.

      Not a bad show overall.  Best laugh was asking the girl if she knew the term “exquisite corpse.”  For some reason I immediately thought of Airplane.  (“Do you like gladiator movies?”)

      I thought Kymia’s was great as well.  She seemed like the only one to go the extra mile and try to understand the story behind her kid’s artwork.  Surprise, surprise, Sucklord used Star Wars action figures in his piece.  He seems like one of those people that will stick around much longer his talent would normally allow, simply for the entertainment value.  And he is entertaining.

      • Cosmopolitan 79

        But “exquisite corpse” is a game, and I played a version of it with my students when I was a middle-school teacher. One person draws the legs of the “monster” and folds over the page. The next person draws the torso, and the third person draws the head. Then, we unfold the page and see the monster. Maybe I’m reaching here, and I do think Sarah J. is a pretentious weirdo, but couldn’t have been what she meant? If so, there’s a chance the child she was working with may have played that game.

        • Anonymous

          I’m sure that’s what she meant, and I played that in elementary school, but most people don’t call it by that name, at least when playing with children.  It’s one of those things where knowing the term probably makes it harder to communicate.  Which is awesome if you’re a surrealist in 1920s Paris; not so much a reality show talking to a ten-year-old.

          • Anonymous

            My 9-year-old knows what it is, and I didn’t teach it to her.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, and Sara realized she misspelled “divorce,” right?  It seems kind of condescending to purposefully misspell words because she was reflecting a child’s piece.  Especially since the girl didn’t misspell anything.

      • Pennymac

        That misspelling is STILL driving me crazy. The kid was a better artist AND a better speller. Didn’t one of the contestants from Season 1 mispell the authors name on the book jacket challenge? Sigh, I watch WAY TOO MUCH reality T.V.

      • Chantelle James

        That misspelling drove me nuts through the ENTIRE episode and is still driving me nuts. Do none of the people in that workroom have any idea how to spell that word? If she did it because she “would have spelled it that way at 10,” well, that is completely condescending and unnecessary.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, when Jerry told Sucklord that he was going to go ‘medieval’ on him if he kept up with the same crap, I thought: What does that mean? Is he going to challenge him to a jousting match?

      Overall, I thought the kids’ work was much better than the contestants’ work. I actually would have sent Sara packing. Her kid, Zelda, had made a piece that could actually sell in a gallery, but all Sara could muster was a third grade rendition of it. Pretty bad. And it was annoying me that no one mentioned the spelling of divorce.

      –GothamTomato

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

        Did you break out your Tammy Wynette and sing, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”? Because I did. Just like when I was doing student teaching and the spelling word was “unity”. Hard not to sing Queen Latifah during that test.

      • Anonymous

        I think it was a Pulp Fiction reference, the famous line “I’m gonna get medieval on your ass!” 

        It came off a lot more menacing when Samuel L. Jackson said it.

        • Anonymous

          It’s got to be a Pulp Fiction reference, but wasn’t it said by Ving Rames as Marcellus Washburn? 

          • Anonymous

            Oh yes – my bad!  It was Ving Rhames as Marcellus Wallace. I had a senior moment there (-:

      • Anonymous

        GT, I’m pretty sure he was referencing Marcellus Wallace, Ving Rhames character in Pulp Fiction. After the Bruce Willis character rescues him from Zed, the pawn shop rapist, Marcellus tells Zed he’s “gonna get medieval on your ass”.

        Which sounds cool and darkly funny from Ving Rhames. And not hip or cool at all coming from a bespectacled middle aged buttoned-up NY city art critic, despite his wishful thinking.

        • Anonymous

          I guess maybe that’s the only way to get through to the Sucklord: Random Tarantino references. 

      • Anonymous

        “Divorse” was driving me nuts. NO ONE thought to even gently ask, “are you purposely misspelling it?” 

      • Ledasmom

        I feel compelled to quote Terry Pratchett, “The Truth”:
        “An’ then – then I’m gonna get medieval on his arse.”
        There were more pressing problems, but this one intrigued Mr. Pin.
        “How, exactly?” he said.
        “I thought maybe a maypole,” said Mr. Tulip reflectively. “An’ then a display of country dancing, land tillage under the three-field system, several plagues, and, if my -ing hand ain’t too tired, the invention of the -ing horse collar.”

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          Like to the power of 50!

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, Pterry! He always has a lovely way of explaining things.

      • Anonymous

        I think that because she was in such hysterics, they decided not to address the content of the work at all and only focus on aesthetics (which irked me — it was an incredibly narcissistic piece at a time when she should’ve been relating to Zelda, but that’s another topic for another comment).  I’m pretty sure that if they’d even just mentioned the word solely as a question of her misspelling, she would’ve flipped a shit.

    • Anonymous

      I cannot stand the way SJP speaks to children of that age as if they are toddlers. Most of the artists weren’t nearly as condescending, thank goodness. 

    • Anonymous

      Having WOA on right after Top Chef kind of ruins WOA for me.  They all just seem like whiny, immature babies and so completely self-absorbed compared to the cheftestants.  For all his posing about being an outlaw, Tewz doesn’t stack up very well to the chef who in 30 seconds said, “I made some bad choices when I was young.  I got caught selling drugs and went to prison.  That’s when I learned how to cook and getting this jacket makes all my hard work learning how to be a chef worthwhile.”  And that’s a lot more emotionally satisfying for me to watch than a woman having a complete breakdown about her parents’ divorce that happened at least a decade ago. 

      Maybe because of that, I wasn’t as fond of the entries as you, T Lo.  But I wouldn’t have sent Tewz home either.  There were several entries that seem to have less thought and talent behind them.  Sara’s was one of them.  Just because you’re an emotional mess doesn’t make you an artist.  And I agreed with Jerry that the 42-year old man-child needs to put down the Star Wars action figures and see if he has anything else to say as an artist.

      • Anonymous

        Too right!  Watching Top Chef made me even more sad about the demise of PR.  When they sent that kid home for not knowing how to butcher a pig, and that other chef for making such a sloppy dish, before they even made it to judging… all I could think was, “Yay, so they have to be competent as well as telegenic.”  Well done, Magical Elves.  We miss you!

        • Anonymous

          I know!  When they sent that guy packing without cooking a thing, I thought if they’d done that on PR this season, Anya would have gone home in the first 15 minutes.  

        • Lori

          Tom Colicchio would never lower his standards or sell his soul to the production company or the network.  He’d walk away before he did that, and dare them to sue him.

      • Anonymous

        I really liked that guy on Top Chef!  His attitude impressed me.

      • Anonymous

        Some of my thoughts (as an artist who has PTSD): art should be about transcending your crap, not wallowing in it, art is not an excuse to have poor boundaries (WTF doing a piece about your mom having affairs – this is a collaboration with a kid who did a phenomenally happy piece), art can be therapeutic, but the final result should not feel like a messy, muddled therapy session and people who have PTSD should probably not go on Reality TV. I do think art tends to attract very sensitive people (cooking seems to often be the opposite – drawing aggressive tough-as-nails types), who get process and product confused, and get lost in the mire of “why?”. What I like about this show is that it confronts artists with the idea of having to figure out what they want to say in a very short period of time. I think for this reason it is interesting to watch. But, I agree, Top Chef was the one I actually watched a second time :)

        • Anonymous

          Art as therapy is fine, but it should not end up on gallery walls. It’s like the darkedy-dark poetry every kid writes. Keep it in your personal journal, where it won’t come back to haunt your adult self. I totally agree that she showed very poor boundaries.

        • Anonymous

          It really annoyed me when one of the judges (SJP) said Tewz cared too little and Sara J cared too much.  “Cared too much” without a qualifier, like “about her own issues” seems to really miss the point of why she screwed up the challenge.

    • MilaXX

      I have to give Bravo one bit of credit. This season on both Project Runway and now here the children they have gotten for these challenges have been well behaved, article and fairly normal. Needless to say I liked this challenge. I liked Kymia’s piece not only because it was a good piece, but because she had the sense to actually talk to the child enough to get what the child’s point ans purpose of the piece was. even though I can concede T and Lo’s point about Dusty’s piece being a bit childlike and literal, I still liked his piece. Dusty teaches art and I was under the impression he teaches children so I think if he hadn’t performed well he would definitely been the one to go. This is the in your own wheel house challenge in the same vein as Olivier and the menswear challenge. If you can’t do the thing you are supposed to be good at, it’s time to go.
      Call me cold hearted, but Sarah J worked my nerves. I also found the mis-spelling of divorce a bit condescending. Still gotta give her a tiny bit of props for her contribution to the still funny crying artist reel.
      Sucklord needs to step his game up and stop playing the famewhore card. I had no problem with Tewes going. He’s bored me from day 1.

      • mrspeel2

        Project Runway isn’t on Bravo anymore, it’s on Lifetime, but I agree with you about the children on both shows!

        • MilaXX

          Yikes! What a ginormous brainfart. Of course PR isn’t on Bravo anymore.

          • mrspeel2

            I forget half the time myself! With me, I’m sure it’s a subconscious wish that’s back on Bravo because the show was GOOD back then.

      • Anonymous

        Dusty said he teaches fifth-grade art.  He had a nice rapport with his kid.  I think Kymia’s was the better piece, but Dusty’s was sweetly likeable–a bit like a kid’s toy, but personal.  

        I thought Lola’s piece was weak–amazed she wasn’t in the bottom–and so was Bayete’s.  The kids’ work was more interesting than his gif.

    • http://tigergray.blogspot.com/ Tiger Gray

      What stands out the most for me is how talented all those children are. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/raye.mayo Raye Mayo

        I was definitely impressed by the kids. The adults, not so much. It was the right winner, though, and maybe the only thing worth auctioning by Simon (that HAD to be a criteria for who won!).

        Too much sobbing. 

    • Anonymous

      Anyone else making comparisons with the Project Runway “working with kid artists” challenge? It certainly was running through my head.

      • Lori

        No!  I went right back to the S7 challenge which Seth Aaron won.   This is good news, it means this season of PR really is fading from my memory!

        • Anonymous

          Me too!  SA’s outfits were so fabulous (and so were Jay’s).

      • Anonymous

        I think these kids were more interesting — or at least less self-conscious about their works….which made for a better collaboration…oh and they didn’t need to deal with the vagueness of “avant garde”

    • Now I am The Bee

      I enjoyed this episode and am very happy that Kymia’s piece won.  It was perfectly done and is really an extenson of the child’s drawing.  I really loved Dusty’s as well–looks like it would be fun to paly with! 
      Being a child of divorce–I could certainly relate to Sara J’s piece and how cathartic it could be for her to produce something like that.  But, I do agree that it had very little to do with Zelda fabulous artwork.  Not the color, not the scale, not anything.   Zelda’s art touched her enough to bring up all this stuff from her childhood, and instead of honoring Zelda, she just fell into her own self-pity.   Too bad she wasn’t able to put aside her grief for the time being and do something really excellent with such an excellent inspiration piece.

      Re: Tews’ cement mess: I got the idea of it, but it was lame idea to begin with. He could have rocked same great graffiti piece with those colorful veggies as an inspiration. Buh bye.

    • Anonymous

      Okay, I’ll probably take flack for saying this, but I kind of like Sucklord.  I don’t think he’s a great artist, in fact so far he hasn’t even proved himself a good artist.  But in the throw your competitors under the bus culture of reality television his passionate defense of Tewz’s work was refreshing.  He may call himself a supervillain but I think he’s actually a decent guy underneath the act.

      • Anonymous

        See comments below.  You’re not alone.  I like him, and others do too.

        • BuffaloBarbara

          Yup.  I thought I wouldn’t at first, but he’s growing on me.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5LU5C262WB3Z5F4WZ6QGKXLNLE JaneM

      I started loving Sucklord when I realized he was going to make all those art assholes call him Sucklord all the time.  That’s some great art right there.

      • Heather Hayes

        I agree!  I was totally prepared to dislike him based on name alone.  I find him to be refreshingly honest and hilarious.  Yes, an overgrown 13 year old boy – but at least he owns it. 

    • Anonymous

      I really enjoyed this episode too. I was stunned by the work produced by some of the kids, especially Zelda and her “word wall.”  Wow.  They were so utterly devoid of self-consciousness, and I think that might be a key to why some of their pieces were better than the those of some of the artists’.

      Kymia is talented, imaginative, and resourceful.  Her piece this week was completely different from the piece she did last week, and she’s clearly one to watch. I liked Dusty’s piece, but then, I like primitive art. And I think TLo is right: Tewz’s piece was better than the judges gave it credit for being, but when he said he did it because it was the only thing he could think of, he was dead and gone.

      I love Simon’s studio visits.  I love the way he listens to what the artists have to say and responds with complete honesty, as in, “This is not the beginning of a great work of art.” That’s what a mentor should do. 

    • http://twitter.com/VicksieDo Vickie Lord

      I thought Sara J did exactly what they asked of her.  She looked at the other piece and wanted to use words that expressed herself at age ten.  Unfortunately, her childhood at age ten sucked, and so she poured that into the work.  The only thing that was off in my opinion was the scale.  Her piece had words in a scratchy, printmaking style.  No way did she play up her emotion, nor was she laughable like the contestant last week who cried because they criticized her. This was an amazing moment, and I would have put her near the top for this level of personal revealing of her inner demons.

      The Sucklord is a great reality TV guy, not such a good artist.  I do enjoy seeing what he’ll do and say next, he can stay awhile.  

      The winning piece did nothing for me, but she definitely found a way to expand what she had to work with by asking about the story of the picture.  I was worried that having to explain it would put off the judges, but they got it.

      SJP was fantastic.  You can see she’s got an artistic mind and is committed to the show. Her dress at judging was great too!

    • Anonymous

      God, how I wanted Sara J. to go home just because her crying hysterics were so embarrassing. I was squirming on the couch and my son was laughing his ass off at her (he’s 13). Not the way you want people to respond to her.

    • Rachel Claff

      I thought it was a tad disingenuous to slam the Sucklord for doing exactly what he was accepted onto the show for doing in the first place.  I just don’t think it’s fair to praise the upcycling of pop-culture toys and images for being brilliant and subversive in one episode and then slam it for being boring, repetitive, and derivative in the next. Which is it, judges?

      I don’t love what the Sucklord does — I find it sort of hollow. For that reason, I get why Jerry slammed his aesthetic for being devoid of real content. However, that same bag of tricks earned him a slot on the show. If you want him to evolve, fine, but don’t rewrite history.

      I really like the Other Sarah. I think she’s kind of a dark horse because she’s not a big personality, but she’s one to watch, like Nicole was last season.

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

      I wish Sucklord had just let the tree be blue. I know the foam stuff he was working with and the color is this lovely ethereal blue that works well with a lot of colors, and would have lent to the dreamlike quality that it lost so hard when he painted it turd brown. Plus it wouldn’t have been such a literal sculpture of the painting. But I don’t want him to be out – I kind of find him endearing and cute. 

      Can y’all just run down China Chow’s fabulous outfits every episode? I’d love that sort of entry, a sort of counter to “Judging the Judges” – it could be, “Lessons in Reality TV Hostessing with CHINA! CHOW!” Pleeeaaaase.

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

        Oh also, I was so done with Tewz, and sick of listening to him. He just struck me as incredibly stuck in his own idealized headspace. 

        • Anonymous

          I feel like a horrible person for saying this, but is it just me, or does Tewz kind of seem like a moron?  There’s just something about his lexicon and phrasing (and his ridiculous homophobic comments) that gives me the impression that he is.  

          Man, I feel harsh having said that.  Then again, several hours ago, I wrote in the Josh collection post that his mind was a permanently looped series of ’80s exercise videos where everyone wears neon and is high either off hairspray fumes or acid, so I guess I’m just kind of an asshole today, lol.

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

            He just seemed ignorant to me, and had the ego that generally comes in hand with ignorance. 

      • Anonymous

        I thought the tree was so pretty blue!  And definitely more dreamlike or magical.  I was shocked when he started painting it.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t watch the show…could someone help me with what is going on in Kymia’s piece?  (maybe Alana’s story would help me understand.)

      It’s like one of those too-close shots in a movie sex scene…I’m not real sure what I’m looking at.  It looks like a girl being crushed by dead farm animals.

      • Anonymous

        Kymia wasn’t sure what to do with the original carrot drawing, so she asked the girl what was going on outside the frame and the girl told her that there was this dead girl who’d eaten and eaten, but when she ate the carrot, it was too much and she died.

        So Kymia drew the girl full of food with the lethal carrot half-eaten on her lips.  

        • Anonymous

          Thanks Glammie and Qitkat!  I kind of thought the girl was dead, and that was a carrot in her mouth, but I didn’t understand the livestock festival until you guys explained it. :)

          I think she was quite clever to ask for a story around the picture and go from there.  Good job.

      • Anonymous

        Kymia asked Alana what was going on both before and after the picture of the carrot. Alana told a story of a girl who ate too many carrots and died at the beach, leaving the birds to peck at her body. Rather a dark story from a charming girl, who told it with more details and quite matter-of-factly.

        Added:
        Sorry Glammie, your post was not up when I replied. And you are right, it was the carrot which was the lethal bite.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, and…THANKS, T and Lo, for putting that shitty Whitney Houston song in my head.  Hopefully a complete run-through of Flo’s “Lungs” will cancel out the evil you have bestowed upon me.

    • Judy_J

      I enjoyed this weeks episode and totally agreed with the judges’ assessments.  I’d be interested to know how much Kymia’s painting sold for.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe we’ll get an update on the painting next week. I’d also like to think that Alana’s work was sold with it, and that this episode was included.

    • Anonymous

      I’m getting bored with the artists. The kids were far and away the best part of the show, and many were more talented.

      Kymia will probably make it to the finale. Dusty and Sucky and SaraJ won’t.

    • Anonymous

      This season’s cast is much better than last year’s. I hope I don’t jinx it by saying I’m actually enjoying this show (so far).

    • Anonymous

      The carrot on the beach painting made me laugh and laugh in a good way and I was so hoping that Kymia would go Dali with it. Weirdly, she wound up being quite literal though, didn’t she? (Wild that her child artist had such an elaborate backstory.)  

    • http://twitter.com/missbumptious MissBumptious

      I guess other people could see what was happening in Kymia’s drawing? It looked like a big blur of nothingness on my TV.

    • Anonymous

      i love this show sooo much.  it gives me chance to “talk art” with kindred souls for as long as i want.

    • Anonymous

      I am surprised how much I like this show. 

    • https://www.facebook.com/kjarnsaxa kriselda jarnsaxa

      I didn’t actually find the Sucklord acting like an ass at all. Just from his name alone, I was expecting to “meet” someone who was a completely arrogant, selfish, in-your-face drama queen, and he’s been pretty much anything BUT that. I had no problem with believing that he truly wanted to honour his kid’s work – he may have been playing it up some, but I felt that there was a solid, genuine concern of letting her down at the foundation of it.  I also found his defence of Tews work very interesting. I was like he simply couldn’t stop himself – he felt that strongly about it. I mean, had he swayed any of the judges with is plea, he could very well have been the one sent home in Tews’ place. 

      • https://www.facebook.com/kjarnsaxa kriselda jarnsaxa

        (Forgot to connect the original reply to my Facebook, so I’m doing this one so I can connect it.  Click on through to read my *actual* comment if you’re interested :D   )

      • Anonymous

        I also expected Sucklord – sorry, Morgan – to be a complete ass, and am surprised to find (and feel compelled to admit) that I find I sort of actually like him.  I’m glad he was called out on the Star Wars thing and hope he does actually produce something interesting and get over himself a bit next time out.  He’s not my favorite to win – I don’t pretend to know who should win – but I’d like to see him around for a while longer, assuming he produces.

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

      So many enjoyable moments: Lola paired with a child who shares her “I am doomed” outlook. (How did those wallpaper flowers escape?)
      Kymia’s partner’s vision of a Mr. Creosote “wahfer thin mint” moment – that girl has an impressive sense of story.
      And I so anticipate weekly sightings of Bill Powers’ amazing hair: Beaker as a silver fox.
      Thought Tewes’ work was way better than Suck’s pandering replica. The idea that T’s young artist is sprouting in a hard-edged urban setting was a link that seemed clear enough. And the piece tells the same story without the predicate. Stand alone wasn’t the brief here, but I don’t think it hurts any work to communicate apart from its inspiration.

    • Anonymous

      The issue with Sara J’s project is that the student’s piece was far superior.  Sure Sucklord is a pest but dammit if Lola doesn’t suck ass as well.  All of that whining about her student’s piece being uninspiring and what does she do?  She paints an exact replica.  She couldn’t think of anything else?  She has yet to produce anything worth discussing, making her pouting and posturing all the more ridiculous.

    • Anonymous

      Both were weak, but at least pretty (or “aesthetically pleasing,” to make it more art-speak), which must have helped. Tewz’s wasn’t even that. Not that I think that’s the highest calling of art, but pretty and trite is better than ugly and trite.

    • Anonymous

      And his infectious enthusiasm, “Hello, artists!” is so endearing.

    • Anonymous

      She could have been making it up on the spot. Some kids are amazingly talented in that respect.

    • vmcdanie

      Actually, Sucklord kind of grew on me this episode. He seemed to genuinely connect with his kid even if he did ham it up some and his spirited defense of Tewz kind of made me love him a little. However, he really should have gone home for this piece. This is strictly a decoration for the mall’s play area.

      When Kymia explained that she got her idea by asking her artist what was happening outside of the frame, I thought it would be a travesty if they didn’t give her the win (especially since she clearly had the better piece last week-albeit, in a weak slate.) 

      All the crying on the show really drives home the message how personal art is. Even when their pieces don’t quite work, I really feel the passion behind them this season. That’s been great to watch.

      The kids were crazy adorable. 

    • Mary McClelland

      I was sad Tewes went home. I liked his demeanor and he seems interesting. I liked the art he produced outside the competition and i’m disappointed we don’t get to see more what he can do. Hopefully he’ll be successful in the future. I’m super over the over-reaching girl with the rolled paper crap. Her outlook is so first year art student: ‘How can shock them?! Whats the weirdest thing I can think of?’ It’s pedestrian and it makes her look like a joke. I didn’t like her when she over-complicated a simple movement challenge to be about poop and why the team is was captivated by her is a mystery. Is it because the judges respond positively to her?

      Sucklord’s refusal to blindly go along with that nonsense made me like and respect him a lot more. She tries to make every challenge about her and what she wants and seems petulant. I’m glad Simone dissuaded her from insulting that very child’s very interesting piece with some garbage about geese fighting. That being said whatever she produced was dumb and seemed to have very little deep thought, effort, or care towards what the child’s art represented. My feelings are that she is trying to make good TV but isn’t a natural drama-maker like Sucklord so it comes across as forced and silly. Desperate even. Sorry to sound harsh.

      And I liked Kymia’s piece a lot.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=528009972 Jennifer Small

      Hey, are you guys going to go through the rest of the pieces?  I was so glad for your review because it got me to watch the episode (I skipped the Pop Art one).  Very interested in your opinions!

    • Anonymous

      Standard introduction: just saw this episode, very late in responding, curses to the internet for being slow about uploading it, it’s going to be long, etc. etc. etc.

      This was a fairly good episode, I think, and certainly one which had better results than the past two episodes – on the whole.

      Kymia: On a technical level, this was done beautifully and I have a weakness for that. It is also a visually interesting piece and one with an extensive story behind it. She was quite smart in the way she handled Alana and Alana’s watercolour, but I have some problems with the work. Mainly, my problems have to do with the fact that it requires an explanation and story to link it to its inspiration piece and furthermore that that explanation and story were Alana’s not Kymia’s. It’s a technically brilliant work and Kymia’s drawing is beautiful, but in a sense it is much more a showcase of Alana’s creativity. Mind you, I’m suppressing my natural desire to support the Middle Eastern contestant (is it still identity politics if it’s not your identity?), so I may be finding problems with it to keep that down.

      Dusty: It’s literal, but I think Simon was right about the fact that the abstract nature of his inspiration piece allows him a fair bit of leeway in being literal. It does have a certain child-like quality to it, but not quite in the right way for me, either – I think it should feel like the work of an adult which captures the sense of childhood, where this is of a more ambiguous nature (if it had turned out to have been made by a child, on a technical level, this wouldn’t be surprising). He managed to turn things around from last episode, though, which is good.

      The Sucklord: I thought he was lucky to be paired with a child that had similar interests (and by lucky, I mean, producer induced luck), but it did turn it out be almost a detriment. The gauntlet has been thrown down, he’s going to have to move away from his comfort zone – or make a successful reality show saving throw. Though I have to say, I was not bothered by him in this episode – certainly, compared to last episode, he came across quite well.

      Sara J.: I think SJP had it right, in the judging you felt for her, but not her piece (unless, of course, you felt for neither).  To me, the problem with her work was that she was too much in her own head and controlled by her ideas, rather than controlling them. The less said about the s that should be a c the better.

      Farewell to Tewz, whose work never worked for me, I must admit. I do have to give him credit for working outside of his comfort zone – he didn’t try to make everything graffiti, and I respect that. But admitting that he didn’t know what else to do with a still life painting of vegetables was a huge mistake and one which probably cost him everything in the competition.

      In other news, though always ignored by the judges, Sarah K. remains my favourite. She’s better than both the salami and the bologna combined. The preview for the upcoming episode is potentially worrying on that front, but I have to assume it’s misleading, since it almost always is.

      PS. I know that the common perception here has it that China Chow is the best dressed host on television, but I can’t agree. Her wardrobe is interesting and even fantastic, but she frequently looks, quite frankly, ridiculous – her clothes wear her, as they say, and not the other way around.

      PPS. How does an art critic go mediaevel on someone? Is he going to accuse his artwork of being heretical? Chastise him for his lack of modesty because his name is attached?