WOA: Chop Shop

Posted on December 01, 2011

Darlings, let’s get our ART on!


Your typical product placement/unconventional material challenge. So typical, in fact, that they once did the exact same thing on Project Runway. Did anyone in this group make the equivalent of a gorgeous coat woven out of seatbelts? Not really.

Although it really wasn’t a bad episode. Looking at the remaining artists, there are some surprises here. We admit that we probably dismissed Dusty too early, but we’re a bit surprised by how few of the male artists made it this far. And of the females, there are at least two here that we would have pegged as goners a long time ago: Lola and Sarah K. Of the remaining 7, they strike us as the weakest. Besides, Lola gets on our nerves.

We’ll start at the top and work our way down, mkay?


Congrats to Sarah J. There really wasn’t any question that this was the winning piece. It seems like it was pretty devoid of a backstory or external message, which makes it a bit surprising that the judges picked it. They do tend to like their easily digested stories accompanying their art, don’t they? Anyway, Sarah did a fantastic job of completely rethinking the components and came up with a piece that had a real sense of movement and power to it.


We thought Sarah K’s piece was also very strong. Even better, it came with a deceased parent story and reality show judges just eat that shit up with a spoon. We were surprised they didn’t hand her the win but we don’t disagree with it. These pieces have a stark power as well as a slight wit about them, but we wish she had done more than just skin the seats and glue them onto some canvas.


Dusty found himself in the middle, but considering how much he was floundering in that workroom, we’re pretty sure he was happy to take the spot. This was fine. Not particularly deep or even all that interesting, but it got the job done for Dusty this week. Had he continued with his badly conceived steering wheel idea he would have been facing an elimination, we’re sure.

Tom turned to Lorenzo and said “So help me god, if he gets praised for another obvious piece, I’m gonna lose it.” Yes, this looks pretty good. It’s also the lamest idea he could have come up with. A robot made out of car parts. What a fresh and new idea, Young. Someone should make a movie out of your wild concept.

We like Young and we haven’t really disliked any of his work, but as Tom said, it’s always obvious and doesn’t always rate the praise it gets from the judges.


She should have been eliminated for foisting yet another ridiculously pretentious title on us. She seems to think long, obtuse, poetic-sounding titles will make up for a lack of concept.

Whatever. She traced a picture of herself again and spray painted some car parts. She should have gone home.


Honestly, we don’t know what the hell she was thinking. She seemed to have understood very early in the process that things weren’t working so we have no idea why she followed through on the idea instead of changing course. We don’t think she should have gone home because, compared to Lola and Michelle, she had an idea and a concept (unlike either of them) and worked very hard to realize it (unlike Lola, who pouted and traced). Her good track record is what saved her here.


It wasn’t until Jerry pointed out her own car accident that we realized what was happening here. Or at least, we think we do. If we can play armchair psychologist for a second, she seemed determined to avoid discussing her car accident in any way, shape, or form here. In retrospect, it looks like classic avoidance. Rather than examining whatever her own feelings are about the crash, she was determined to make this car as whacky, non-threatening, and fun as possible. We think a nonsensical anthropomorphized take could have worked if there had been even the slightest underlying hint of her own no-doubt darker feelings about cars. We don’t think she was required to reference her accident, but her attempts to run as far away from it as possible didn’t serve her art well. We’re sorry to see her go because she’s among the more talented of the artists left, but this was such a big misstep that it’s hard to get that worked up over it.

Although we would have picked Lola. Have we mentioned that she’s getting on our nerves?



[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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