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Episode 5: “Art That Moves You”

July 9, 2010

The Challenge:  Create a piece inspired by a drive through New York City in an Audi

(c) Bravo

The winner:  Jaclyn’s “11/17”

(c) Bravo

The loser: Jaime Lynn’s “Turn It Up”

Gabriel Kiley, ABN Managing Editor

Every reality TV show has a villain. Everyone loves to hate Simon Cowell on “American Idol.” Just say “Omarosa,” and most people instantly recall the woman from “The Apprentice.” Gordon Ramsey from “Hell’s Kitchen” always seems to be yelling at his cooks. And Richard Hatch was hardly a fan favorite on “Survivor.”

For “Work of Art,” the villain is actually a vixen: her name is Jaclyn Santos. And she gives viewers another reason to tune in every week.

She’s 25, pretty, full of self-confidence, and to the delight of male viewers, she likes to wear revealing outfits. Even more, she’s not afraid to use her body in her realist paintings. The Bravo website describes her artwork aptly: “Jaclyn’s pieces deal with themes of sexuality and  spirituality, and through her narrative paintings of women, she embraces and questions this supposed dichotomy. The work serves to chronicle her personal experiences while making relevant social commentary.”

(c) Bravo

In other words, she’s narcissistic.

She’s annoying the heck out of this viewer with her “look at me” persona. My favorite comment of the night: “It is important that my personal experience be very relatable to other people, especially to a man.” Yeah…

Fellow contestants, especially Erik, are not fond of her either. “Jackie thinks she knows everything,” he stated. “I don’t think she’s smart enough to come up with ideas on her own.” That was clearly in reference to last week’s episode when Jaclyn didn’t acknowledge Erik’s suggestion of allowing people to write on her “Triple Self-Portrait in Bathroom” portrait to the judges.

Case in point: Vodpod videos no longer available.

Her fellow female contestants aren’t crazy about Jaclyn’s high-maintenance personality either. After learning that the ladies would share one apartment, Nicole remarked, “It is always a production with Jackie.”

Adding salt to the wound was the fact that Jaclyn came away as the victor with her captivating “11/17” photography exhibit. As judge Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn stated: “She really put herself in the work and outside the work.” Would you expect anything less from Jaclyn?

Grudgingly, it appears that Jaclyn’s artistic ability, which seems to have blossomed in the past two weeks, may allow her to stick around into the show’s final few weeks.

 And as much as people like me criticize Jaclyn and other reality TV villains, you can’t help but tune in every week to see what they say or do. I know I’ll be watching next week.

Kate Stieren, ABN Editor

I love that part of the artists’ reflection was based on something that the majority of them were probably not paying attention to, making the challenge a little more interesting.  It seemed like most of the artists based their experiences on what happened inside the Audi shop.

Jaclyn’s work was focused solely on her experience inside the shop. Does Jaclyn’s work ever focus on anything but the way she looks? Once again, her work starts with men paying attention to her body.  She sometimes reminds me of a cheerleader running around trying to get all the boys’ attention.  I would expect the judges to ask for her to reach outside of her typical work comfort zone, as they have asked some of the other contestants.  I have to assume that the judges were impressed anyways, considering that she won the challenge.  Her concept of including a mirror in her work was a brilliant idea.  The viewer had no choice but to feel involved in the piece.

(c)Bravo

Mark chose to step outside his box by creating a piece that did not somehow involve photography or graphic design.  I thought that his piece still looked very graphic though.

This was the first episode where I did not see pieces of work that greatly stood out as the best pieces or work that did not measure up.  The artists skill level seemed to be on a somewhat even playing field.

Marylyn Simpson, ABN Editor

I have to give kudos to Jacyln this week. Her work of art, while staying within the confines of exploring her own sexuality, finally seemed to break down the superficial exterior synonymous with her previous work. Women can relate to Jaclyn’s piece and I think that is what made it work, as the judges would say. I can identify with Jaclyn, as all women know the feeling of catching a man checking them out and the mixed emotions that come with it: satisfaction, self-consciousness and sometimes humor. Jaclyn’s ability to throw it back in the men’s faces, both literally and figuratively are what made her piece so powerful. I’m interested to see how far Jaclyn will take her work in the weeks to come, as it seems she has more potential as an artist than I first thought.

(c) Bravo

As for the rest of the contestants, I was a bit confused about Nicole’s piece. Her sculpture was extremely abstract and I wasn’t quite sure how to digest it.

Miles, once again, was in the top and although I think his work is impressive, to say the least, I would like to see him depart from his stark, contemporary take on each challenge and create something with, oh say, a little color? And I do wish the episode would’ve come full circle, awarding the winner with an Audi of their choice.

But enough of my critiques, next week’s episode looks quite promising and like any reality TV lover, I can’t wait for the dramatic outbursts promised by the episode 6 previews.

Catherine Klene, ABN Editor

I have to say, I was fairly underwhelmed by this week’s episode.  It wasn’t the artists’ fault so much as the challenge.  Last week, when the artists’ had to make something “shocking,” it was still an entertaining (if slightly disgusting) episode, even if the art wasn’t at the level it should have been.

This week, on the other hand, was a lame challenge, not helped with the heavy dose of Audi sponsorship.  If I had a dollar for every time the Audi logo or name popped up, I could buy a freaking Audi.  With such a broad challenge laid before them, I think it was easy to see why so many of the artists’ struggled this episode.

Begrudgingly, I admit that Jaclyn deserved the win this week.  The piece on its own did a great job of drawing the viewers in and making them a part of the work.  It’s when I look at this piece in conjunction with the rest of her work that I groan.  Yet again, Jaclyn has done a piece about her body and the male gaze.  I have no problem with her using this as subject matter, but she needs to show another angle.  Right now, she’s coming off as less vulnerable and more narcissistic.

(c) Bravo

And speaking of narcissists…  Unlike Jaclyn, Ryan is actually getting called out for doing self-portraits, although he knew from the beginning that he was in trouble this week.  To his credit, he knew his piece was bad and didn’t try to salvage it in front of the judges.  Had Jaime Lynn’s rock around the clock fiasco not been so bad, he most definitely would have gone home.

I’m just going to come out a say it:  I didn’t get Miles’ piece at all.  I understand his explanation of creating space, but how he got that from an Audi drive in and Audi through New York City (Audi) is beyond me.  Audi…

Also of note: Peregrine and Abdi are quietly sneaking their way through the competition, and I can’t wait for the coming weeks, because they will either bomb spectacularly or come out and blow everyone away.  I’m hoping for the latter, but the either way, it will make for some interesting television.

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