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Exit Interview: ABN Chats with Peregrine

August 13, 2010

(c)Bravo

In the final episode of “Work of Art,” the three remaining contestants were put to the final test, each creating their own out-of-this-world exhibit. A strong contender throughout the season, Peregrine finished right behind Abdi, coming out second in a competition that began with 14.

Having struck an emotional chord with the judges and viewers, her seven piece exhibit, which included a photograph of twin unborn fawns and sculpture of a white pony, Peregrine’s exhibit was nothing short of intriguing. We’re going to miss her colorful, powerful works of art, but this seasoned artist is not done creating just because the cameras are off. Here, Peregrine opens up about what she has in store for the art community, her take on being on reality TV, and the artistic process of creating her finale exhibit.

Editor’s Note: On Monday, we’ll have a Q&A with “Work of Art” champion Abdi, followed by a conversation with Miles on Tuesday.


ABN: What was going through your head during the judges’ critique? Were you surprised by their decision?

Peregrine: “There’s only three options, so I considered all three of them and sort of worked them out in my head. At that point I was happy to lose or win to any of those guys. It wasn’t like any epiphany was happening. I was so happy to be there and I was exhausted.”

ABN: Artistically, what have you been up to since “Work of Art?” Do you have anything in the works or are you taking some time off for yourself?

Peregrine: “I finished a book called ‘Widow,’ which is sort of a pretend fashion magazine. It’s a limited edition book that walks the line between fine art and fashion. That was done right before I left for the show and I’ve returned to that project. I have a solo show with Joy Hackett Projects. A lot of people want to talk about the fonts and how I want to print them and how I want to produce them.”

ABN: The unborn fawns were so powerful. Tell me more about your connection to the unborn fawns. What exactly drew you to them?

(c)Bravo

Peregrine: “I had been working on that piece for a very long time; just procuring the fawns, making them into a sculpture by fixing them and kind of filling them, and getting a really incredible photographer to work with me. I had to make a choice, because here’s this piece I had been working on for a really long time and it’s a piece I would like a lot of people to see because I think it speaks about so many things to so many people.

“I think that when I got into the top three, it was an opportunity for me to produce this piece beautifully, frame it well and present it to millions of viewers. That was the perspective I had on the show. There’s not a gallery show that I could have (reached such a large audience). I don’t even know if there’s a museum at this point in my career that could activate that many viewers and especially not in a private space.”

ABN: How has being on “Work of Art” influenced you as an artist? Has it influenced the sales and popularity of your work?

Peregrine: “I’ve always sold work consistently through different galleries. I have more people interested in my work and curious about my ideas than before, which is wonderful.”

ABN: Is there anything you would have done differently looking back at your final piece?

(c)Bravo

Peregrine: “I went into this project because I had just finished ‘Widow’ thinking I would use it as an avenue to promote it. It became so much more. I ended up making really great friends and getting to know myself in a really high-stress environment while being documented. I can’t think of anything I would do differently. I’m really happy for Abdi; I think he truly had a hero’s journey in this project. I really respect Miles; I think he’s super-talented and bright, and I think the three of us where really happy to be together for this project. I think Nicole is phenomenal; I would have been just as happy to lose to her.

“Regret is not healthy and there’s nothing I would have done differently.”

ABN: Looking back, what is your favorite memory of being on “Work of Art?” What’s the biggest thing you have taken away from being on the show?

Peregrine: “Miles, Abdi, Nicole and I have an ongoing joke about us being babies. So we just make up these jokes like, ‘Hey, your diaper is showing,’ or ‘Did you iron your onesie?’ Being on a reality TV show is sort like being on a roadtrip; you just start to lose your mind. And you come up with these inside jokes that don’t make any sense at all.

“It’s a really young medium so it lends itself to bad behavior and mild insanity. If you can roll with it, you keep going but if you can’t, you go home. It’s so unnatural and it’s post-modern, for sure. I’m so glad I did it. My work is so much about pop culture so it just ties into my work now and the social structure I’ve been exploiting and considering in my work. I’ve learned that when I really want to do something, it’s sort of like learning a language, you have to go to the country (to learn the language). I immersed myself. I wanted to learn about pop culture almost like a language, so I went to the country of reality TV.”

ABN: It seems as if you have taken away a lot from your time on “Work of Art.” Is there anything else you would like to add, that maybe the viewers would like to know about?

Peregrine: “I love Jerry Saltz; I think he’s amazing. I was really proud of the critics, for Bill (Powers) and Jeanne (Greenberg), China (Chow) and all the visiting artists for putting their names on something that was really volatile. They had more professionally–in some ways–to lose more than we did. I completely gave myself to Bravo and what they gave me back, without a doubt, was really amazing and really interesting. You put yourself on the line and then you have to wait for the line to be fed back to you. I got silver, I ain’t complaining. Maybe I didn’t win an Emmy but I’m going for the Oscar!”

-Marylyn Simpson, ABN Contributing Writer

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