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And we’re back, ‘Gasmii! Thanksgiving has come and gone, and with it has gone all motivation to keep my ass a manageable size for the remainder of 2011. I’m just making it harder for myself come 2012, but it tastes so good… (I’m talking about vodka and various dips, if you didn’t know).
But you’re not here for witty introductions that have nothing to do with Work of Art. You’re not even here for lame openings of recaps of Work of Art. You’re here—plain talk—to talk about Work of Art!
Last time, two whole weeks ago, we watched our artists team up to create huge walls of street art. We all thought Kymia and Sara J. were the clear winners, but Young and Dusty pandered with obvious anvil conscience art that ultimately won. Those of us who didn’t already hate Lola got there PDQ. She’s ready to GO, we say. Instead, our friend The Sucklord went home. I don’t think any of us will miss his art, but we’ll all miss his demeanor. (Or maybe that’s just me.)
What sends you home…
…and what I head home to (this is my little baby boy) (I meant to show it off last week) (I’m silly)
So, remember how when Young and Dusty won, Dusty agreed to wear Young’s teeny little running shorts? Time to pay up. Everyone’s excited about this—except Dusty. He reluctantly puts them on, worrying that his junk won’t fit, and then prances around gamely. Honestly, they don’t look any worse on him than they did on Young. So Dusty’s got legs, huh? I wonder if he knows how to use them.
It’s our usual breakfast scene to start the episode. Looks like there’s writing on other walls in this place, too. So maybe the surfaces are actually painted in chalkboard paint? I really am too curious about this. I don’t care who wins, I just want to know about the writing on the walls at The Dillon!!
Kymia reminds us of how much of an asshole Lola was during the last challenge, encouraging people to put stickers on others’ art. She thinks Lola is generally an asshole, and I think we all agree. She plays charming when she wants to, but generally, she comes across as entitled and lazy and mean.
The artists head to the gallery/studio for today’s challenge. When they get there, they’re agog at the sight of a Fiat 500 chassis, stripped down to the bare frame. All the pieces of the car are laid out meticulously along the floor of the gallery. They have to climb through the actual chassis to get into the gallery, and everyone just looks so happy. I kinda like the Fiat 500, and I kinda think it sucks. If I lived in center city, it’d be great. But for my big dangerous highway commute, which features mangled rear-ended SUVs daily, I’ll keep my current wheels, thanks.
This is almost what my daily commute looks like
China and Simon are waiting for the artists. China explains the challenge, which is simply to create a piece of art incorporating at least one part from the disassembled Fiat 500. Easy, right? I mean, you can basically do your normal thing, just get some Fiat in there and you’re golden. It may be a bit of a challenge to only have 15 min to gather parts for your piece when you haven’t even come close to having an idea of what you want to do, but that’s part of what levels the playing field.
Simon has the pleasure of announcing the prize available to this week’s winner. Fiat will give the creator of the most creative piece of art $25,000. That’s a lot of dough. Young better not win. Sara J is worried already, because she’s a painter. What’s a painter going to do with metal car parts? Oh well, figure it out!
Those fifteen minutes, by the way, start now! People grab what they can, and it seems to mostly be fun, even when Michelle swoops in and takes gears out of the hands of someone else. I can’t tell if it’s an asshole move or if the person was okay with it. Dusty’s moping around, complaining that it’s hard to gather materials when you don’t know what you’re making yet. The artists strip the gallery floor clean. Only a handful of items are left. China honks the horn of the fully assembled 500 that’s sitting in the gallery. Time’s up!
I’m saying this earlier rather than later (you know how I like to write as if the show’s happening brand new to my eyes), but it bugs me that the artists are so bogged down in feeling like they don’t know enough about cars. You are Americans, you know something about cars just by being alive and not living in a cave. Even if you don’t drive (Young) or don’t have a car (Sara J), you DO know something about cars. And the challenge isn’t to create something about cars, it’s to create your own piece of art that incorporates a car part. It would make sense for the piece to use the car part in some kind of context, sure, but YOU get to create the context. You’re artists!! But seriously, they all kinda freak out about it, and it BUGS.
Michelle is totally jazzing her pants about this challenge. She’s a big materials artist, loves stretching herself and working with something new. “I am fucking excited,” she says, with an evil eyebrow waggle. She’s working on a typically Michelle piece, with car parts comprising parts of the body of a weird human figure. All the rolled up paper is in use, of course. The human figure’s going to be some kind of car fetishist or something. It sounds kinda cool, actually.
Sara J is one who complains about not knowing about cars. And she’s also worried because her skill lies mostly with painting. But she starts hacking away at a car seat, pulling out the stuffing, intrigued by the idea of working with a gutted car seat. She figures she’ll just play around for a bit (like Lola) and see what comes of it.
Lola, by the way, is looking around nervously. I think she’s worried about being crappy and not having ideas, but then she makes an asshole statement about how other people come to their ideas more arbitrarily. Wait, what? The girl who works on ten random projects without one single solid actual idea, the girl who flings several of these projects together in the gallery space with some obtuse, crappy title, hoping something will stick, is calling other people’s work “arbitrary”? She sucks so bad.
Kymia’s playing with her pile of junk and realizes she’s got the ignition block, complete with key to the car. She’s overly excited about this, shrieking a bit about it. She says her idea comes to her immediately, to grind down the key and make “stardust”. Huh? It’s something about the “key to the universe.” Well, I don’t get it, but maybe she’ll get us there. She DID portray the little girl who died not because she ate a house and a horse and a dog, but because she ate a carrot.
I sigh heavily when I look at this photo. Why grind down the key? Sigh.
Dusty’s working on some idea he’s got with the steering wheel, about a horrific accident his aunt was in when he was a kid. Her face hit the steering wheel and broke her nose. Lots of blood. He’s going to make a mold of his face and place it in the center of the steering wheel. And then what? He looks a little Hannibal Lecter-like with this plastic stuff over his mouth. Kymia comes by later to put the molding material over his eyes, promising to be back in seven minutes to free him. Meanwhile, he’s breathing through two tiny nostril holes. What if they close up as the plastic drips? I’m so nervous watching!
Everyone else is hard at work, tearing the leather off the car seats or gutting the stuffing from the car seats or unbundling wires or making anthropomorphic rolls of paper. Generic Sarah Momjeans Loudmouth mentions about making out in cars with boys. Everyone but Dusty can relate to this, but it’s okay, Dusty’s still covered in goo, barely able to breathe. Wow, that’s kind of a naughty sentence, haha.
Sara J makes a joke about doing Young in the backseat of a car, and that kicks off a mini-montage of Sara J-as-naughty-teen footage. She was apparently a little wild and got into drugs and whatnot. Art was instrumental in her deciding to go into recovery. Hey, that’s cool.
Dusty’s still got plastic or rubber or whatever stuck to his face. The time he requested is up, but no one’s paying attention. He’s making “MMMM” noises, but he’s apparently so far away in a corner, NO ONE hears or notices him at all. Why not give him a loud noisemaker just in case he ran into trouble breathing with two tiny nostrils and nothing else? A can full of coins or something. Come on, people. Be practical. Oh, you’re artists.
Michelle’s still pretty jazzed about this project, loves her idea so far of the invisible-skinned dude whose inner mechanics you can see. “I like that this challenge is so open, you can do whatever you want.” Exactly! It’s open! Do whatever you want! She’s even made two nostril prints on a clear pane of Fiat glass, where the human thing has breathed on the glass and fogged it up. That’s actually really cool!
Speaking of nostrils, Dusty’s about to perish over there. Kymia’s bitching her woes to Lola, of all people, and then is working away on her own piece when she—oh shit!—remembers Dusty. His mask pulls off fine, maybe taking a few beard hairs with it. He’s all mopey about it, of course.
We get to revisit a tiny slice of the Kymia-Lola drama from last week, with Kymia asking to use the scanners and Lola/Michelle ignoring her. Meanwhile, this week, Lola’s borrowing a cement mixer or something from Kymia. So, they’re both playing nicely now, I guess.
Young and Sara J are working near each other, talking out their car parts and pieces and whatnot. Sara J’s brows wrinkle with such concern when she speaks, and the volume of her hair kinda confounds me. HOW does it do that, all the time? Anyway, she’s letting the materials speak for themselves, which leads to her gluing the puffs of seat material to the end of the muffler in a visual display of exhaust. We watch in fast motion as she composes her piece. It’s interesting. Kinda simple, but fun.
I kinda liked it better here, before she started adding two-foot long dowel rods.
Young’s piece is pretty boring. He gets inspired by the headlights to make them eyes, and the wires become the sinew of a body, and he basically builds a robot. Oh, a human form made out of mechanical elements? No one’s ever done this before, have they? Honestly, how much fun would it have been if Young had made the headlights something mammary and gone that route? C’mon!
Generic Sarah Loud Momjeans is working with her two front car seats, skinning them of their hides. Her dad worked in the auto industry AND she’s inherited his animal skin rugs, so this is hers to win. I jest, and then she reveals that her father just passed away a few months ago. As a Daddy’s girl, I get choked up at the idea of losing your dad, and I actually hope she wins. She’s skinning both car seats—one for her and one for Dad. Sad face.
Lola’s running around like a nut, boiling minerals on a hot plate and spraying these hot minerals on metals from the car parts. The minerals interact with the metals, creating colored crystals and changes to the surface of the metal parts. That’s fine and good, but it’s not really art. And Lola loves everyone talking about her and her witchy ways. “First of all, I’m a good witch.” She starts bullshitting about how her grandmother is a witch, and she’s been learning her secrets since she was young. Whatever.
I don’t really understand Kymia’s project. I mean, I do, because it’s simple. She’s embedded this ground up key ‘stardust’ into clear wax, which has dried and will be placed inside a lightbox where the viewer will look and see the stardust shimmering around. Except the wax is too thick or something, and it’s not luminous, it’s heavy. She’s worried.
Just in time for Simon’s studio visit!
No visit for Sara J or Young!
Work, work, work, the artists work. Lola hits upon an idea of photographing herself as though she’s looking out the window during a car trip with her dad. She has someone photograph her in a pose, and then she projects this photo on the wall to start tracing. If that’s art, then I can totally be an artist. I mean, really. Who needs skill in drawing the human form when you can just trace it? (I’m sure lots of people take this shortcut, I just think it’s cheesy. I’m also totally going to steal it for my next piece someday. I still want to learn Jazmin’s hair techniques!!) Lola’s tracing helps her incorporate the shape of the car parts into her drawing, though. So that’s good, I guess.
Dusty’s just lost with this so far. He takes several hours to study his car parts, hoping inspiration will strike. Finally, he comes up with something. He’s going to print the words “GOING TO WORK” and “GOING HOME” on the tires and then roll them through ink. Ya know, the monotony of our commutes. I like the idea, just curious how it’s going to turn out as a finished product.
The artists are starting to get goofy with lack of sleep and stress and competition and creative spirit. Kymia’s singing a song about Young and his winnings so far, which Michelle dubs as a musical called “Young, Sexy and Free.” The other artists are punchy about Young winning so much money so far, joking with Tonya Harding threats and such. Lola’s jealous that Sara J made something awesome.
Michelle’s setting out on a new project, thoroughly defeated by Simon’s critique of her original idea. She felt so strongly about that one, and then she abandoned it. Doesn’t she know by now that Simon’s advice isn’t golden? It’s a shame to see her get so unhinged by some advice, considering her ideas so far had been so headstrong and bold. She wanted to make poop before, and she almost had the whole team making art around that idea. Now she’s questioning herself. And gluing big eyeballs onto the front of the car. Uh oh.
The next morning, Michelle’s got a whole new idea. She wants to take the two glass windows she’d grabbed and turn them into a steamy window tableau. She’s just not sure how it’ll look in the gallery. But she’s eager to finish eating breakfast to try to make it work!
They only have an hour before showtime, so they’ve gotta hustle. Kymia’s still trying to make that box of stardust work. Michelle’s trying to make her sexy window work, too, and it looks good. Wow, who woulda thought to do that? She’s got a Titanic-like handprint on there, smeared hair, and a face pressed against the glass “like you were getting plowed from behind.” She’s going balls out on this.
Sara J is finishing up gluing puffs of seat cushion material to dowels stuck in the muffler opening. She tells us that a win here would help fund her graduate school education. Hey, that’s cool. Hope you win! Young’s finishing up his robot. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.
Michelle’s not sure which piece to put in the show—the stupid silly car with eyes or the steamy window scenes? The windows, Michelle, the windows! Who cares if it lacks visual pop in the gallery—once you look at it for a moment, you’ll see how clever and simple it is! It could win! No, people (Young) tell her the stupid car is better, so that’s what she puts in. THOUGH, we see her carrying the steamy windows out at the end of the hour, so you think she might actually make the right decision.
Young, by the way, has a very smug summary of Lola’s work, about how she’s getting lost in her process again and doesn’t have to show ALL her work, etc. Shut up, Young.
In the “We’re Back! No, We’re Not!” segment, the artists all guess what kind of car the other would be. Dusty would be a pick-up truck. Michelle would be a clown car. Lola’d be a fiat, and Young would be a Porsche (jealousy about his wins so far). They all joke that Sarah K would be whatever the loudest car is, har har.
Okay, time to look at this shit in the gallery. The guest judge this week is Liz Cohen, whose work has to do with sexy poses and cars, photography style. (Why did no one go with photography this week? Young claimed that most of his work is photography, so why not?) Sarah K is suitably impressed with the guest judge.
There isn’t much to say about the gallery show. Other than that I wish Lola had used the ACTUAL car door with her piece, with the drawing of herself looking out. But no. Young’s is boring. Michelle’s is stupid. Kymia’s broke immediately, no one could see the key to the universe.
Time for crit! Kymia, Sara J, Lola, Michelle, and Sarah K were chosen. Dusty and Young are safe. I cheer because Young didn’t win. HA! I’m mean. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure Sara/Sarah are the winners and the other three are in the bottom. I mean, it was obvious, right?
I think I liked Dusty’s a lot. Shame it wasn’t in the top tier.
Sara J’s is the first called for being one of the favorites. People just LIKE it. It’s beautiful, it’s a little weird, and it’s well-made (ish). (I hate that you can still see a lot of the dowels.) Jerry comments on how well Sara J worked with the material, letting it guide her in the work. The judges like how it’s playful and industrial and homey all at the same time. The judges ask the other artists what they think, and Kymia speaks up to credit Sara J with her use of materials particularly because she’s a painter. Jerry gives props. Michelle’s skirt looks like a turd, and it makes it look like she’s got some major cameltoe goin’.
The other favorite? Sarah K! Lola looks pissed. Well, honey, yours stunk. Anyway, Sarah K talks about her recently deceased father and their road trips together. The seats represent that. Bill compliments Sarah K for her own use of material, stating that the two best pieces tonight did the best with letting the materials guide the work. Sara J smiles. The judges find it visually interesting, and now that they know the story about her father, they think it’s wonderful.
But not wonderful enough to win! Sara J takes the win! She’s goin’ to grad school! Yay!
Time for the negative crits. Yay!
Lola’s first. She explains all her shit, and then the judges are like, “yes, typical Lola overkill.” The guest judge calls out the installation, saying Lola blew an opportunity with the piece by laying it out the way she did. Lola’s in tears, almost, as she explains that they have little control over how things are hung in the space. The guest judge is like, “welcome to the art world!” Well, you can’t bash her for the installation AND say “Welcome to the art world”, dude. I mean, I agree on both counts, but that’s a little schizo. Jerry’s mostly just pissed that she doesn’t seem to be learning and changing. She’s doing the same shit every week. Just like Sucklord, and I hope Lola follows in his footsteps soon.
Stupid long title.
Then we talk to Kymia. They’re basically like, “well, you failed.” Her box didn’t work, and it was a letdown after such a magnificent title (“Key to the Universe”). Basically, she had this big ol’ idea that just didn’t come through.
Michelle. She’s gotta feel like shit having to explain this stupid idea. The guest judge is like, “Why didn’t you make this even more silly and crazy?” The judges hate the lack of risk, which is a good point. Michelle’s been a big risk taker so far, so why so safe and stupid tonight? Why’d Simon get so inside her head? And Jerry makes the point I’d made to the BF earlier in the night—why wouldn’t someone who’d nearly been killed by a car make something super awesome with parts from a car? She’s like, “yeah, shit, I fucked up.”
I’m sad about this, too.
The judges deliberate, and it’s hard to tell which one they’re aiming for. I think it’s between Lola, who’s consistently turned out crappy jumbles of crap, or Michelle, who’s started to lose her resolve and sense of risk. I almost think Lola’s going to go, but then I realize it’ll probably be Michelle. Kymia’s win a few weeks ago with the girl who ate the carrot saved her, as well as her sense of risk.
And yep, Michelle’s the one going home. She cries and thanks the judges for the experience—it’s truly changed her. She seems humble and genuine. Bill, meanwhile, warns Lola to make some new mistakes. BURN!!! I love it.
So that’s that!
Next week, we’re down to six artists, and the challenge has something to do with making saleable art, which they themselves will sell on the streets of NYC. It’s another group challenge, too, ick. Kymia has some idea that she needs group approval for, and Lola disapproves. Oh boy. Then Lola takes nude photos. And then there are rude crits. Yay! Come back!