I think Work of Art may have stumbled on a tear in the fabric of space-time. Or maybe we judges just have crappy taste. In the past two weeks, I’ve become hyper-aware that the art you’re seeing me see in Bravo’s gallery looks totally different in life from the way it looks on TV. Things that impress in person fall flat on TV; things that fall flat in life work on TV. All last week, reality bore this out. I got angry comments from those who said Ugo’s work was fine and that Sucklord or Bayeté should have been axed. One articulate blogger also chastised us for missing the line “Ugo, you go.”
There are many kinds of artists and numerous definitions of artistic success. We can’t all be, or want to be, a Takashi Murakami. Kathryn is clearly a real artist. Possibly, a very good one. I’m told she’s done photographs for this magazine. She lost last night because as a highly cerebral, narrowly focused art-school-trained artist — Yale MFA; Photography, it turns out — she had no business being on a reality TV show. Here she seemed like some kind of out-of-place orchid, an illogical presence more like Kafka’s Gregor Samsa than someone on a bizarrely twisted, pressure-compressed reality TV grad-school game show about art. It was right to send her home. And, Michelle, please this season make a poop piece.