WOA: Whore Yourself! [NSFW]

Posted on December 08, 2011

Well, the veil was ripped off for this one, wasn’t it? What was the thinking here? “Let’s devise the most crass, artistically offensive challenge we can come up with!”

Yeah, that was about how we felt, too.

 

It doesn’t bother us that selling was a major component of this win (although it does bother us that sales were used to determine the winner). The collision of art and commerce is an issue that’s been affecting (and even torturing) artists for almost as long as there have been artists. Somewhere in the mists of time, an annoyed caveman does the bidding of the guy who has the most beads and draws the buffalo hunt on the cave walls exactly as he’s ordered to.

There was an interesting challenge hidden somewhere in the DNA of this one. You can do something interesting with the idea of forcing artists to sell their wares on the street.

But when the time constraints you impose on them aren’t even long enough to let paint dry, then the result is going to be ugly, trashy, frantically made art that has practically no value to it at all.

And trying to fuse spontaneous street art with an art gallery aesthetic was the worst idea of all and probably the biggest reason why most of the art this week was pure crap. An artist can’t serve two masters at the same time and all of them struggled with the idea of making something gallery-worthy that would also make a lot of money in a short period of time on the street.

The resulting art was lame in its attempt to fall back on shock value rather than aesthetic value, ranging from selling underpants to selling nude pictures.

Only Sarah J. managed to figure out the best way to approach things. How is it that she was the only one who thought to do probably the most popular and salable kind of street art there is, the portrait sketch?

Then again, we think the majority of the artists left simply don’t have the technical skill to produce on-the-fly portraits worth selling. Lola’d need an overhead projector to do it.

So it’s not surprising that Sarah won this one. We like her illustration style quite a but and we loved what little of her portraits we could see. The two-headed dog is interesting, but we’re pretty bored with her whole “girls have a vagina” theme.

 

Further evidence of the fucked-up nature of this challenge is that Young got to share in the $30,000 prize because he was teamed up with Sarah. What horseshit. His ideas were crap and he violated the dictates of the challenge by putting an artistic representation of what he was selling on the wall rather than putting what he was actually selling on the wall. How much damn money has won by now? It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 grand, isn’t it? And we can’t say any of his work has wowed us that much. He’s the Anya of Work of Art, it seems. Even when he doesn’t win, he wins.

 

WHAT. EVER.

Of course the judges gushed.

 

We think the concept – selling her signature in exchange for the buyer’s signature – was sound, even bordering on brilliant in its confident absurdity (and confidence does not strike us as something Kymia can pull off effortlessly), but we think she could have devised a more interesting way to display the results than this. Either way, we credit her for coming up with the second-best idea for street art: postcards. She just didn’t manage a design or concept that would bring a lot of money in quickly.

 

Dusty’s falling back on his minimalist graphic style and simplistic themes way too much. For someone who’s utilized so much written word in his work, we’re surprised he didn’t think to use it here. Some sort of pithy phrase would have eliminated all the confusion over what that thing in the center was supposed to be. He’s lucky he didn’t go home with this one because, like the judges, we were a little annoyed to see another map of America. That’s trite nine times out of ten. He made it work last time, but it was a flop this time.

 

She always struck us as pretty wifty but she was in orbit around Saturn for most of this episode. We have no idea what the hell she was thinking. Even now, we have no idea what it is she was trying to sell. Paper feather head-dresses frantically made on the fly? What? And then the whole spray-painted boobs on t-shirts thing? It was like watching someone having an hour-long psychotic break with reality.  Can’t say we disagreed with the elimination at all. Dusty’s just lucky she imploded when she did.
 
[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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