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Episode 1: “Self Reflexive”

June 14, 2010

Thoughts, comments, and general ramblings about Bravo’s latest reality show, “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist,” brought to you by your ABN editorial board!

Challenge: Create a portrait of a fellow contestant in your style


Winner: Miles with his portrait of Nao


Loser: Amanda with her portrait of Jaime Lynn

Erik's portrait of Mark (c)Bravo

Gabriel Kiley, ABN Managing Editor

Although I’m not a fan of reality shows, I actually liked the first episode of “Work of Art.” Although Amanda’s portrait of Jaime Lynn wasn’t good, I didn’t think she deserved to be kicked off. I would have voted Nao off the show. What the hell was up with the dots and lines?

Erik’s “clown” painting on the easel was suspect, too, but he seems pretty likable and probably bought himself another week or two.

I thought the best portrait was Mark’s photo of Erik. Tremendous!

Kate Stieren, ABN Editor

The WOA judges, mentor and host (c)Bravo

The judges seem very well-rounded and experienced in the field.  The host China Chow, however, does not seem to have actual experience in the art industry. I do not think the judges justified Amanda being the first to go home.  I think that Nao’s art was greatly lacking.  In my opinion, they only kept her for the ratings because she has an attitude problem and upsets other contestants.

The contestants are quite diverse and range in their style and form of art. I wonder if the contestants will face great roadblocks due to the combination of a time limit and lack of inspiration? Also, I wonder if Erik, the untrained artist, will have a chance to win the game when his lack of an art education seems to already be a problem?

Catherine Klene, ABN Editor

WOA's Nao (c)Bravo

I’m impressed with the show so far, and I like that there are more than painters and sculptors.  They cover a broad range of artistic media, but I do wonder if that’s going to come back and haunt them later in the show.

Nao got the “Mean Girl” label immediately, giving us someone to hate within the first five minutes of her speaking.  That has to be some kind of reality show record. I realize reality stars always cry, “The editing made me do it!” when they see how awful they come off on TV, but it can’t be that far from the truth.  After all, they have to provide the ammo, and with lines like, “I’m not responsible for your experience of my work,” (to a judge!) I’ve got a feeling we’re going to get plenty more rounds with Nao.

WOA's Erik (c)Bravo

I feel bad for untrained Erik.  I feel like he’s either going to go quickly because he has no training, or he’s going to get repeatedly berated and picked on for having no training if he sticks around. As it is, he barely made it through the first episode, and judge Jerry Saltz made it clear that his untrained excuse won’t get him any farther.

The art:  I actually really liked the idea behind Nao’s portrait of Miles, but it wasn’t executed well.  It ended up looking like a toddler’s version of connect-the-dots.  I loved Miles’ portrait of Nao, although “dead” wasn’t the first thing I thought when I saw her. Abdi’s portrait of Ryan was eye-catching, and I liked his reasoning behind it. I’m definitely looking forward to more of the show!

Marylyn Simpson, ABN Editor

WOA host China Chow (c)Bravo

All the artists seem really diverse. I already don’t like Nao, though.  She seems so cocky, and it’s only episode one. I was happy she got called out for her arrogance early on, being put in the bottom three. I couldn’t believe she was so rude to the judges.  If you are as well-known as, say, Picasso, that’s one thing, but to be largely unknown and say that?  Wow.

As a mentor, Simon de Pury knows what he is talking about. The host, China Chow, seems cool, but just because your parents were art collectors doesn’t mean you’re an art expert.

I’m amazed that they can create all these pieces in one day.  It looks as though they spent months working on them, but I guess when you’re locked in a room with nothing else to do, you get creative.

Overall, it was a great show, and they did a good job creating challenges that everyone can work with.  I’m looking forward to more!

What do you think?  Do you agree with us, or do you have a different opinion? Let us know, and we hope you’ll all join us in the comments section Wednesday night for episode two!

Did you miss the episode or want to watch it again?  Click here to watch it at!

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