Rarefied art world gets reality TV competition

Thu Jun 3, 2010 6:29pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A pair of magical elves is hoping to do for art what reality TV shows "Top Chef" and "Project Runway" did for cooking and fashion design.

"Work of Art: The Next Great Artist", which debuts on cable channel Bravo on Wednesday, June 9, pits 14 very different artists against each other in weekly challenges and awards the winner a $100,000 prize and a solo exhibition.

The question is, can highly personal, visual art be judged like a gourmet dish or a ready-to-wear collection? And is the rarefied world of art ready for a reality TV make-over?

"The whole point of the show is that there is no right opinion. Everyone has their own subjective view. But it is amazing every week that there is a consensus about the quality of the work, and what's good and what's not," said Dan Cutforth, one of the executive producers.

"Good art really moves people and inspires a reaction. You know it when you see it. The old chestnut 'I don't know much about art, but I know what I like' is true," he told Reuters.

"Work of Art" comes from the same Magical Elves production company that blended personality and the process of fashion design in "Project Runway", and helped lift the lid on how food goes from good to great in "Top Chef".

The world of art, and its colorful characters, is the latest community getting the chance to share its creative process with a wider audience.

In the first challenge, contestants ranging from 23 to 62 years-old are randomly paired off and asked to produce a visual work that captures the essence of their partner. A three-person panel of judges decides who has responded best to the challenge, and who will go home.   Continued...

 
<p>The cast of Bravo Networks new reality competition series 'Work of Art: The Next Great Artist' is shown in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters June 3, 2010. The show, which debuts Wednesday, June 9, pits 14 very different artists against each other in weekly challenges and awards the winner a $100,000 prize and a solo exhibition REUTERS/Bravo/Handout</p>