Yay, ‘Gasmii! You’re back! You came back so we could talk about Work of Art again. Man, I love this place. I love you guys.
I don’t need to tell you what happened last week, really, because the new format of the show is to watch the group wait for the “hot seat” group to come back from the elimination. That happens, which reminds me that Tewz was eliminated last week. It was definitely time for him to go. Those of you calling for Lola’s head? I totally agree with you. Oh yeah, and Sucklord’s gotta stay away from the Star Wars figurines, even though that’s his actual bread and butter as an artist.
And oh yeah, Kymia won for that super awesome drawing of the girl who ate everything (but perished from the carrot). Lola sulks about it, says she feels competitive about Kymia. As if those two are the top or something? Kymia and Michelle, maybe, if you’re going to be competitive about another girl. Sheesh.
The Sucklord is asked to cross Tewz’ name off the big chalkboard, and that’s where we see that it’s spelled differently there. Tuez? Did the show dumb it down for us in the captions, or did the gang get it wrong on the blackboard? Probably the latter.
It’s 5:30 AM. We don’t normally get a timestamp on the morning shots, so this must be part of the gig. Oh, here’s Simon, strolling down the hallway of The Dillon, looking impeccable. The man never wilts. How European of him. Wakey wakey, kids, it’s time to rock and roll!
Eggs and bac-y!
The artists bitch about getting woken up so early. Young’s such a girl, complaining about having a greasy face and tangled hair. Come on. Sucklord wipes a paper towel over his face and says he’s ready to go. I noticed it last week, but it’s more prominent this week. The girls wrote “Remember your camera!” on the back of the front door. Like, big. In crayon, it appears. Really? What do people think about that? DO people think about that?
They all head out on a cold, wet morning and pile into some vans that are waiting. Or, one van. I keep forgetting that we’re down to, what, nine people? Anyway, Dusty feels left out because he has no idea where they are or where they’re going, and the other people are all hardcore New Yorkers, or so he thinks/feels. The van pulls up along a gigantic building with the distinct New York Times logo scrawled across it. “Welcome to the New York Times!” Simon growls.
Lola’s all, “My mom made me read the front page of the newspaper instead of watching cartoons when I was a kid,” so she somehow feels confident about this challenge. Meanwhile, as they walk through the Times press area/warehouse, Michelle is all “holy shit, these robots are moving 5000 lb rolls of paper all by themselves” and delighting at how much fun the newspaper has before it gets to your house. Bayete started out as a photojournalist, so he’s at home with it all, but marveling at the facility. Everyone’s taking photos of everything.
Oh hi, China! She’s wearing a red dress. It makes me think of that joke, “What’s black, white, and red all over? A zebra in a blender!” (Or, the PG version, “the newspaper.”) Anyway, China talks about things being “ripped from the headlines,” and that’s exactly what this challenge is about. The Sucklord looks worried. China asks what’s up, and he’s like, “I can’t turn in another turkey or I’m finished.” He’s like a hipster Woody Allen, and I love him for it. China jokes, “Use the force!” But he CAN’T!
Really, this one’s easy. The artists can go back into their comfort zones, medium-wise and ideas-wise, they just have to come up with a good enough BS story to say it goes with a headline they found in the paper. That’s it! It just needs to be inspired by something they saw in the paper. Oh, and they must also physically incorporate the newspaper into their piece. Okay, that’s a little more. They have only ten minutes to choose the headline they’ll use. Kymia’s worried because she’s not a big newspaper reader.
Simon’s like, “Buck up children, because from now on, there’s no more immunity.” But! The good news is that the winner of this challenge will get TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS from BlueCanvas magazine AND their work will be shown at the iconic NYT headquarters downtown. Everyone cheers. They keep showing Lola’s expectant face, Lola’s worried face, Lola’s happy face. I wonder what they’re trying to say.
Those ten minutes they have to find the perfect headline? They start NOW. Most run towards this big pile of papers. The Sucklord walks deliberately slowly. Kymia, who was worried about this, seems to latch onto an idea right away, about coffins and how serial killers treat people’s lives. Eh. Simon asks Young how it’s going, and Young looks like a kid opening presents under the Christmas tree. “There are so many good stories!”
Dash! What is Sara wearing??!
The Sucklord is sitting aside, just reading the paper. He’s trying to set himself apart from the antics of everyone else. He picks a headline about BP sending reparations money to the Gulf after that big spill last year. He doesn’t really feel strongly in either way about it, but he’s looking forward to trying something new. Uh oh.
“Does Garfield still like lasagne?”
Young, I have to roll my eyes at him. He picks a headline about this international artist who’s been locked in a prison in China for a while, because of his social activism and beliefs or something. OF COURSE Young went with that. Trying to be all deep and meta and “look how into art I am.” I just don’t like Young’s character on this show. (I’m sure he’s a lovely human being.)
Each artist gets a big ol’ recycling bin on wheels with which to load up all their newspaper, and now they’re getting a shopping trip to the art store. Budget is $100, by the way. (I kinda wish they’d explain to us a little about the budget. As in, how much art supplies cost, so we know how much or how little the budget actually affects the artists’ choices. I kinda have an idea, but I think the average viewer could stand a 10 second piece about it every other episode or so.)
Lola’s struggling to come up with an idea!!! Are you surprised? She’s apparently feeling very tired, emotional, and scared. Wants to nap. Probably wants to cry. Sits down on a step-stool and puts her head on her knees. The rest of the artists roll their eyes about it all. The one thing I like about Lola is her diction. She’s got a very precise way of speaking, and as a mushmouth, I appreciate it.
Actually has an idea.
Generic Sarah picked a headline called “Darkness Invisible,” about the author’s descent into madness. She’s clipping tiny blocks of the text of the article and will reassemble them in a way that’s disorienting and jumbled, a la madness.
Bayete’s work looks like hack garbage already, and he hasn’t even done anything. He picked a theater review of Sister Act 2. The headline itself is “Different Church, More Sequins.” He found doors in the wood shop, and he’ll bling them out and put the headline on them. That’s it. He thinks it’ll explore his distrust of organized religion and other edgy things. It’s the stupid kitsch collage all over again.
Actually has no idea.
Young isn’t taking his headline that literally, thank goodness. He’s using bleach to wash out the words of parts of the newspaper, to show censorship and whatnot. But the bleach isn’t really working so well. Young worries to us that this could be the challenge that sends him home. So that means he probably wins. Damnit.
They all have a goofy moment of pretending to be so rich when they win the $20K. Michelle jokes about buying a yacht. A cheap yacht, with a hole in it. Generic Sarah (“Loud”) jokes about getting it at the discount yacht emporium. Really loudly. Oh, and Generic Sarah (wearing a plain belt over a t-shirt in a very mom-jeans way) would buy an exotic pet.
Lola’s acting crazy over at her station, singing her words and playing with an enormous sword form she covered in paper. Her headline is something about the Libyans and their inferior arms, how their weapons are shitty and don’t work. So she traces some of the photo from the article, and then she’ll do something with the rest, I guess? I don’t know. She doesn’t know.
Michelle latched onto a headline about healthcare, about people having to prove their need for care. We get to see some photos of the scars from her car accident that left her unable to walk. She says she had to prove these injuries to her insurance company, to her employer. The scars are starting to fade, so now she’s documenting them for herself.
Dusty’s working on a kinda obvious piece about the darkening mood in America. So he’s going to crumple up newspaper into the shape of the USA, and then he’ll put in darker crumpled up papers in the shapes of depressed silhouettes. I like it, but I think it’s really obvious. But it would hang really well in the NYT office, wouldn’t it?
Looks small now…
Dusty, by the way, makes an oops stereotyping statement about fists, when Bayete compliments his piece but says, “I would almost want them to have fists.” Dusty’s like, “I’m not a black man.” Bayete’s like, black people don’t have the monopoly on fists! Well, there IS the Black Power fist. And I didn’t think a piece about depression in America needed angry fists.
Kymia’s doing something with a coffin and newspaper and body part molds, all in the name of this serial killer headline. She has immunity, but she still wants to make a “killer” piece. Her pun, not mine. And she probably wants the $20thou!
Same for hers, looks small now.
Young’s bleach experiment is a no, so he’s moving onto asking the question “Where is Ai Weiwei” or however you spell the guy’s name. He’s painting out the cover of the newspaper in black and taping this printed out faux headline over it. I guess that speaks to censorship and whatnot, too. Sure.
Sara Jimenez’s is creepy. Her headline is about the Japanese earthquake/tsunami, and something about the farmers and their cows having to evacuate, or something. And her piece is a painting, in Sara J style, of a big bloated cow with a human head, standing on a pile of bones she made as cut-outs from the newspaper. Interesting.
Cutting out tiny bones out of newsprint. Yuck
Simon’s here for the advice visit. He starts with Lola. She explains where she’s going with it all, and Simon gives her the back-handed compliment of telling her she’s usually so last-minute, and this time, she’s not, so she should keep going.
Simon visits with Generic Sarah, who explains her jumbly text conveying madness. Simon reminds us that Sarah has never been in the crit at the gallery. She’s never great nor terrible. Well, she wants IN this time. I bet she gets it!
Bayete isn’t totally awful or dumb. He’s explaining his piece to Simon, and he’s not sure he’s really conveying his message as well as he could. AH. Self-awareness is so important to growth. Bayete, keep thinking on it.
Okay, Sucklord. You’re on the bubble. Time for your advice session. He’s doing that headline about BP, and he made a 3D front page into which he cut holes where he’d paint stuff about coastal scenes dripping in oil. Simon asks Sucklord to remember what the judges have told him so far. That he needs to stay away from Star Wars, AND…to stop being so literal. Ah, this piece is pretty literal.
Has no idea
Okay, I’m getting tired of talking about every thought process going into every piece. But onward, I guess. Simon talks to Young about his, he thinks it’s okay, and Sucklord thinks it sucks.
How unfortunate. When Simon says, “Hello Kymia,” it sounds like “Hey, Luekemia.” Her piece is kinda ambitious (building the coffin, getting the strata of newspaper bonded together, getting the stray body parts plopped in there, etc). Good luck!
Simon tells Bayete and Dusty that they’re moving to a different place in The Dillon tonight. I’m not sure why we were told that, but okay. I thought it was boys in one place and girls in the other?
Lola asks Sucklord about his piece, calling him “Suck.” I love that. Anyway, he really wants to change his headline now, and no one really cares about it except Michelle. And I see her point—the rest of them had only ten minutes to settle on a headline and they’re all sticking to it. He has had hours to think about stuff and decide he doesn’t want the one he chose in ten minutes. Oh well! Meanwhile, did they register their ideas with someone on their way out of the warehouse? I guess so, or else SL could just change his idea no problem.
I’m trying to think of things Sucklord could do. He could make physical representations of the animal/plant life the oil affected in the Gulf, then pour black paint on it. Right? I’ve had some whiskey, so that’s the only idea I have. Sorry.
Ooh, I like Michelle’s so far. She took photographs of herself sitting on a cabinet, showing off the leg and arm scars. She put a peace lily behind the tableau, and then she painted it. That’s awesome. I seriously want to take a painting class now. I have all these supplies left to me by my grandmother. Time to use ‘em!
Is Lola wearing suspenders that are basically enormous tape measures?
Sucklord finally has an epiphany. He’s going to make giant dollar bills and pour oil (black paint) on them. Oh hey, we had almost the same idea! Cool! This definitely sounds more Sucklord-y.
Back at The Dillon, Bayete and Dusty move in to their new room. Dusty’s going to take Tewz’ place with Young, and we do NOT get a little “I’m gay, he’s not gay” speech about it. Instead, Young’s title card now says he’s “unemployed” and he explains how the money could help his mom out with her eye cancer. Ugh, give him the win and let’s be done with it.
It’s the day of the show! They’re all doing final touches. Kymia’s piece is huge and cool. I like it and hope it wins. I don’t think it will, though. Sucklord’s pile of money covered in oil is still pretty literal and dumb. He doesn’t know how to tie in the newspaper to it, either, so Kymia gives him some ideas. He works harder on coming up with the bullshit story to go with the art than he does on the art.
Oh wow, Dusty’s piece is actually cool. It’s huge. I somehow saw it as a lot smaller when he was working on it, but now it’s enormous and really striking. Maybe that’ll win? Or is it still too literal? I just finished my drink, so expect my sound reason to come back soon.
There was so much drama in the previews about Kymia’s piece being heavy and maybe breaking when it has to move from the studio to the gallery, but Dusty and Sucklord help her move it, and it’s fine. Next!
In the “We’re Back, No We’re Not!” segment this week, we basically just make fun of Loud (Generic Sarah). She laughs loud. I’m glad for it. Laugh it up, Sarah. Don’t let the haters bug ya.
Time for the gallery show! Hooray! We’ve got our usual crew of China, Jerry, and Bill. And the guest judge this week is Adam McEwen. I don’t know the name. Anyone? I’m too tired to Google it–it’s been a long week of monitoring a 6-month old kitten who just wants to play but who had his nuts removed a few days ago. Stop playing, little boy!
(Did I mention that the best way to keep him occupied while I write is to play fetch with him? Wouldn’t it be sweet if he’d sit in my lap and purr? Nope. He wants me to throw a balled up piece of paper over and over and over again, which he triumphantly brings back to me. It’s so cute, but it cuts into my energy.)
Well, shit. Lola’s piece is impressing people. I maybe would like it, if I weren’t annoyed at her tracing photographs on the wall. For some reason, that bothers me. But the rest of it, she’s earned a little respect. Good for her.
Jerry’s sneakers. Shaking my head. (WILL NOT use the acronym, hate it.)
Sucklord’s isn’t. No one knows what it means. Sucklord doesn’t know what it means. I guess he’s going home.
Except Bayete’s piece looks like shit, and he knows it. He wonders if maybe it’s so bad that it’s good?
Enough.Time for crit.
The following get called: Sucklord, Young, Generic Sarah, Dusty, Lola, and Bayete. My guesses? Lola and Young get the positive crit, and the other four get the negative one. I mean, maybe Generic Sarah’s was good? I couldn’t really tell. And I couldn’t tell if they liked Dusty’s or not. I can’t tell if *I* like it or not!
So the three that I liked the most, Kymia, Sara J, and Michelle, are all safe. Not winners and not losers. Bummer.
Young’s was a favorite, of course. His crit annoys me because of Young’s academic delivery of the whole Ai Weiwei story. (Did everyone else know about Ai Weiwei before this episode except me?) I guess Young didn’t explain how HE meant his piece to be interpreted, because the judges seem stuck on it being “news,” that you shouldn’t forget that this guy was imprisoned for his ideas, so Young put it back on the front page. That’s fine, but I thought it was more about censorship? Black newspapers, no print, just the question? Whatever.
Oh, so they liked Dusty’s. Good! Dusty explains the scale and his use of materials. Jerry’s like, “It was arresting. BAM.” And it was. I said “striking” early, but arresting works, too. The guest judge says he didn’t see the silhouettes at first. I guess I didn’t immediately see them as people shapes, but it didn’t take me long. I guess my brain worked pretty quickly to figure out the black/white pattern and resolve it.
China’s dress looks a lot like Dusty’s piece.
There’s one more artist up for the win tonight. Generic Sarah is smiling as though she knows it’s her, and…it’s not. It’s Lola. Her face/reaction is great. “Yay! I mean, what?!”
So anyway, they LOVE Lola’s traced photographs with little internal notes scrawled on there. (“Arthritis”, “rocket launcher relic,” etc.) Jerry is particularly excited about it, telling her this should be HERS, she should take this and run with it, because she’s good at it. At tracing things and writing words on them? Okay.
(I can do that.)
Anyway, someone wins and takes home the $20K. It’s Young. Fine. Go give your mom some nice memories in her last days or pay her bills or something. Fine. Dusty says it’s a punch in the gut. I just typod “lunch in the gut” and laughed. And now I’m hungry!
Time for the bad crits!
Sucklord first. He’s wearing a ridiculous turtleneck and sport coat combo, a la Ron Burgundy. The judges hate it, think it’s predictable and boring and doesn’t say anything. They interpret the NYT pieces wrapped around the money differently than Sucklord intended. Shrug.
Generic Sarah’s crit drives me CRAZY because she keeps talking over people. I have a coworker, and I think she’s great, but her nickname is Overtalker, because that’s ALL she does. You absolutely cannot have a conversation with her without her agreeing to everything you say before you say it, or shutting down what you’re saying before you’re done. It’s excruciating.
As is Sarah’s crit.
Anyway, she has this tiny blob of black words all mushed together in a tiny cloud on the top right of the space, and then there’s this fabric twisting off the wall down on the bottom left, and the words are melting away, or something. The judges don’t really care about it, think it’s generic. China likes the black cloud at the top right, at least. That’s nice. The guest judge says it was inaccessible. That’s a good way to put it. Sarah fights the crit a bit at first, but then she relents and agrees and learns from it.
Bayete. Ya stink. This whole piece is so crappy. The paint on the doors is crappy. The words on the door are crappy. I hate the font (is it meant to be the typeface of the actual headline?). I hate the way the letters are spaced. I hate the way the door knobs aren’t matched in height on the doors. I hate it all.
Remember how Bayete was thinking maybe he wasn’t conveying his ideas strongly enough? He was right. He didn’t make a change to help himself, though, so Bill is like, “This means nothing.” And he’s right. They also ding him for not really making a connection to the newspaper. And they’re right. Oh, and the door handles are different heights because he painted the wrong side of the door. SO PAINT THE OTHER SIDE. Ugh.
Time for the artists to fret and the judges to discuss. I think it’s finally time for Bayete to go home, though I think Sucklord really could go now, too. (Not that I want him to, just that it’s a possibility.)
The judges feel like Generic Sarah’s piece wasn’t connected enough to her headline. It could have matched a few different headlines. Good point. I think she’s safe, though.
They have nothing good to say about Sucklord’s piece. It just didn’t work. That’s all there is to it.
Bayete’s confused them at first, I think, because it’s visually interesting at first glance, but then as you look, it’s like, “Oh. It’s painted doors and some words and it doesn’t say anything and looks cheap even though looking cheap isn’t actually part of the narrative.”
All right, who’s going home tonight? OhTHANKGOD, it’s Bayete. He seems like a nice guy and all, but nothing he was doing was interesting or even well-done. I’m sure he’s got some great pieces somewhere, but they weren’t here. Good luck in life, dude!!
Sucklord’s like, “hey, that’s three strikes.” The only reason he’s stayed on so long is that someone else always sucks a little more than he does. Yikes. That can’t feel good.
Why did they put this so small at the very end of the episode? It was like the Millionaire Matchmaker Captions of Truth, just small and buried: “Since the taping of this episode, Ai Weiwei has been released by the Chinese government.” Maybe Legal made them do it.
Next week! It’s a street art challenge. Oh, Tewz. That stinks that you couldn’t be here for this. China’s wearing a white dress that Sucklord spray paints? Interesting. There are tears, by way of Lola and Michelle ignoring Kymia when she wants/needs to use the scanners. That’s rude. Anyway, it looks like during crit, Kymia speaks up about the subtle bullying going on. Ah, so Lola’s an asshole? Not surprised. Come back, we’ll watch together and talk!