Monday, August 2, 2010

The Price of Gold

So, although I haven't been posting about it here, I have been watching the Bravo-channel show, Work of Art, and it's worse than a train wreck; somehow they've managed to tap into every insidious stereotype about artists and run with it. And I don't think it'd be so bad except for two things:

1. It's pretty apparent who is going to win.

2. Not only does the winner walk with a hefty sum, but also, a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum; an amazing space for any artist, let alone a contest winner, to show in. But maybe that's my jealousy leaking thru.

That being said, do I want to compete? No, and no least because the time constraints seem pretty arbitrary...barely enough for the paint to dry (not that very many of the competitors are painting), but also, in my case, more exposure means lots more chances for me to make a fool of myself with self-aggrandizing proclamations and tiresome artists' statements (plus, I really could stand to lose a few pounds; chubby doesn't film very well).

That being said, there are a few Jacksonville artists I'd love to see compete. On top of the list: Lee Harvey.

I count Lee among my oldest friends here in Jacksonville, and one of the earliest supporters of my art and later, my writing. I've been seeing him more and more lately because he likes to drink coffee at my neighborhood Starbucks, and every time I see him I come away thinking. Whether we always agree is another thing; he says provocative, sometimes outlandish things, but there's generally enough in our conversation so that upon arrival home, I {at least} google the price of gold.

Lee would be, I believe, the perfect contestant to have on this art show. He's smart enough to know it's all a sham, and to give to producers a run for their $$$. He works fast, and has an established visual lexicon within a larger practice not just of making paintings (though they're his primary focus), but of making things. Plus, Lee's been known to get into the odd fight, and not just ideological. He'd probably never do it--he values his privacy these days--but I think the results would be grand.

And at least if he won the $$$ and the show, we wouldn't hate ourselves in the morning.

* above image (Marie Antoinette Big Blah) used without permission from Lee Harvey Inc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've only seen one episode (the one where they were supposed to make art with children's material). The assignment and goofy behavior reminded me of the seductive things I eventually hated about the art school I went to. I guess the reason the grand prize is so spetacular is that it is what it takes to buy those folks' dignity.

My guess is the woman who made the piece with the little unicorn surronded by drug paraphernalia will win it. Her story hits all the right sympathic notes....