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The crew from Bravo's Work of Art: The Next Great Artist
The crew from Bravo's Work of Art: The Next Great Artist


Aug. 25, 2011

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It's b-a-a-a-ck. . . . Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, the double-crossing reality TV ego-orgy that the art world loved to hate (and couldn't stop talking about), has completed shooting for a second season, debuting on the Bravo cable TV channel at 9 pm on Oct. 12, 2011. As with last time around, auctioneer Simon de Pury checks in as mentor while New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz, Half Gallery dealer Bill Powers and model China Chow return as critic-judges. They are joined by occasional guest commentators like dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, owner of Salon 94 (and one of the judges in the first season), as well as artists Adam McEwen, KAWS and Mary Ellen Mark. And as usual, the ostensible producer of the show, Sarah Jessica Parker, makes an appearance, dramatized with gasps from the assembled cast.

Bravo has already posted online the bios of the "art stars," who go by first names only. The 14 contestants range in age from 24 to 41 (a narrower range than season one) and hail from New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as Paris (Ugo), Malaysia (Leon) and Mountain View, Ark. (Dusty). One male contestant, age 41, is known solely as The Sucklord, creator of Suckadelic Enterprise, an "evil arts organization based in Chinatown." Do we see the making of a villain?

The group may also have stronger credentials this season than last. Young Sun, a 28-year-old from Skokie, Ill., is a grad of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has run a gallery in New Zealand. Bayeté, who is 34 and hails from New York, has worked as a photojournalist and exhibited at MoMA PS1 and the New Museum. And Sarah, a 34-year-old sculptor who teaches at the Cleveland Institute of Art, has exhibited at the Drawing Center, Mixed Greens and Smack Mellon.

As is typical with such shows, drama comes from the contests, and the eliminations. The trailer already gives a glimpse of one contestant in tears -- is that Sara, an artist from New York with whom Artnet News happens to be acquainted (go, Sara!)? As for the competitions, they involve street art and, rather inexplicably, Parkour, the French creative-movement discipline, among other things.

Of course, as last year, the actual contest is over, the winner has won, and dozens if not hundreds of people know all about it but are sworn not to tell. Some pastime for the visionary art world! The winner gets $100,000 and a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum, where producer Sarah Jessica Parker sits on the board. A sneak-peek video is up online.

And one last thing, word is that the producers of Work of Art are going ahead with their new art-tv franchise -- Gallery Girls. Or is it Paint the Town? Stay tuned.

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