Bitches, queens, friends, we have reached the end of this journey: WANGA’S final episode. Someone shall be crowned NEXT GREAT ARTIST (does that mean like, next Picasso or like, next Basquiat? Next Thomas Kinkaid? Shudder?). Will it be smiling, earnest, but unworldly Abdi, kooky, shiny-hat-wearing, extremely creative but technically flawed Peregrine, or conceptual, puffy-eyed, control freak and audience favorite Miles? I do not know, we shall find out soon, but first, a look back at last week’s double-elimination:
Nicole. We hardly knew ye. Your works, so clever, so materially brilliant, yet so opaque. Your hair, so untouched by a comb. You could have been great, Nicole, but you were felled by the glowing Hostess snack cake.
And, of course, Jaclyn Santos, the polarizing praying mantis, with her sizable rack and her penchant for taking nudie photos of herself. Jaclyn, if she ever breaks out of her inability to make meaningful art that isn’t about herself or her boobs, could be someone worth watching. Alas, the girl who loved to play in trees as a child was felled by nature. IRONY.
Allright kids, time to get super serial. Someone will win $100,000 and their own show at the Brooklyn Museum. Crazycakes.
WOO! From 14 to 3! And what?! They’re creating a gallery show and…They have THREE MONTHS?!?! Is this like, what they do on Project Runway? WTF? I don’t understand.
Anyhow, little recaps of Miles, Abdi, and Peregrine, and their various talents, and their various failures. Especially Jerry Saltz’s total ripping apart of Abdi. Peregrine–I forgot that she has a piece at the Whitney (or at least in the Whitney collection).
Anyhow, as this all happens we see the artists packing up to head home and start working (for three months?!?!?!) on their various big gallery exhibits. I’m just going to assume that the Project Runway people also have three months to do their final runway shows. Anyhow, maybe TIME will give these artists brilliance.
Two months later, Simon is traveling to check on the pro-gress of the three finalists. He goes and visits Peregrine first. We meet Peregrine’s husband, who is like a big fuzzy bear. He’s also a jazz musician and a…horn sculptor? They’ve been together for ten years, so cute. I like her hair better now. So Peregrine shows Simon her stuff and is all: “i am interested in popular culture and so I took fun things and cast them in beeswax. And I am all, “um, Urs Fischer, yo. Careful.” So there are also some small like, dead baby deer in a glass case, and a horse, and little drawings of girls vomiting. Simon seems to like it and to be all supportive and Peregrine is all “oh good support.” And then she talks about a carnival, and cotton candy. And Simon says that it is overwhelming and there are too many things happening and I say, um, yes, and Peregrine thinks this isn’t an issue so, okay. Also, she is wearing ten million patterns and it is clashing like crazy and i don’t understand. And Simon says: “Be amazing, be dazzling, be phenomenal!” Aw, Simon.
Next, to Dover, Pennsylvania, to see Abdi. Abdi greets simon all paint-stained and such, which is hilarious. Abdi’s house is so…Puritan. Oh hey Abdi’s mom! Simon kisses her hand! So cute! So Abdi loves his Mom and his Mom loves his art and loved that he loved to draw and she is supportive and they do road trips for art and I really appreciate that. I don’t appreciate her Uggs. So let’s see what Abd does, in his basement studio. He’s inspired by the last piece he did, which won him the Nature Challenge, so it looks like he is doing BASKETBALL(David Hammons?) and figures and um, paintings and sculptures and all people and an upside-down Abdi in blue…and Simon is not dazzled, and basically Simon is all: “you need to be more dazzling.” He also pinpoint’s Abdi’s problem, which is his technical skill, and his inability to divorce himself from his art-school painting style. So maybe Abdi will pull it together, or maybe he’ll collapse under his basic um, inexperience and youth.
And then Simon and his RED AUDI drive to Minneapolis, Minnesota to see Miles. Who says to Simon: “I like your coat.” Oh Miles, so smarmy, so manipulative. And Miles is all: “welcome to my house have you been to Minneapolis before?” And Simon was all, “Yes, to see PRINCE. I ADMIRE PRINCE. HE IS AWESOME.” I mean he doesn’t say precisely that but that is the sentiment and WOW I LOVE SIMON. SIMON LOVES PRINCE. We see some early Miles art, and Miles looks really exhausted and a big mess. So we then go to Miles’ garage and see his work, which is digitally based, and inspired by people in a White Castle(?) Um, in particular, a homeless guy nearly freezing to death on a bench outside of White Castle. Whaaat?!?! So Miles is basically silk screening digital photography onto canvases. He is all over the place (in an attempt to tell his planny self to fuck off) and Simon is clearly a bit nervous. But Miles thinks he can do rocking, and I think that this is his competition to lose. And Miles, I mean, I said he looked bad, but his eyes are like twenty million times puffier than before which, I mean, is saying something. So Simon is confident in Miles, and then they go off to see Miles’ parents. Who live in a house covered in red Christmas lights. Aw, miles’ parents look adorable and cultured. Miles’ Mom is all: “we called him “miles the smiles.” He must be an only child. And we see basically how Miles got so process-oriented–his Dad is super process-oriented and is all “the ends will make themselves awesome if the means/process is awesome.” They are also music teachers, and Miles is all: “I want to make them proud of me.” And then he licks his lips or something.
ONE MONTH LATER. We are back in NYC. Abdi arrives at Penn Station and gets in a cab. And Miles is going to the hotel Renaissance and he’s all nervous, but extremely impressed by the fancy hotel. Peregrine arrives at the hotel wearing a white fuzzy bear hat WTF I don’t get it. ABDI + MILES REUNION…Joined by Peregrine. Aw they all get to be in the hotel room together. But they are also COMPETITORS. It is nice that the last three are friends, however. Hahaha, Miles and Peregrine do have the same haircut, clever. So basically they are all: “we all like each other but someone has to win.” Then Simon comes in and Abdi is all: “MY MAN!!” Hilarious.
Oh man, so Miles is all: “it is nice seeing Simon, but when I last saw Simon my mom ragged on me for dressing like a hipster bum…Simon, give someone else a chance.” Simon always wears awesome suits. So Simon is all: “sup, enjoy yoru digs, get some sleep, tomorrow we are going to the BROOKLYN MUSEUM.” So the next day they all set off to the Brooklyn Museum, and Peregrine is still wearing her polar bear hat, and Miles is all: “I have never been but Abdi and Peregrine get thrilled whenever it is mentioned.”
So the three finalists go into the big central atrium area of the museum where Simon and China (looking like a purple peacock or like she’s been attacked by a purple feather boa) are waiting to be like “sup.” And she is all: “I’m excited to see your work.” And Miles, smarmy and manipulative and awesome as ever, is all: “I can’t wait to see what you wear. But you look great right now!” And then we cut to Miles saying: “China looks…Whoa. Whoa.” To the solo-camera.
OH NO ANOTHER SURPRISE. Simon, being an awesome auctioneer type, announce that he is going to include one work by the winning artist in a Simon de Pury auction. Aw, that’s a nice thing to do Simon. And Peregrine, in the solo-talky thing, looks really fabulous in a SIMPLE BLACK TOP and red lipstick. Rock it, Peregrine.
Feathery China says: “TOMORROW. SIMON’S AUCTION HOUSE. FINAL ART SHOW. ART WORLD PEOPLE. WOO.” And they all part ways.
Back to it! The three finalists arrive at Simon’s auction house and they have eight hours (until midnight) to install their shows. All their pieces have arrived in big fancy boxes. It looks like they have some help from art handlers. So Miles’ piece comes from his pictures of old people at White Castle and he blew it up and digitally manipulated it and i’m not sure how i feel about it–I’ll need to look at it again, alas.
Peregrine wants her installation to look like a country fair. She is really happy with how her pieces came out, especially her giant photo of the dead fawns. She gets teary eyed when talking about how hard it was for her to get to that point.
Abdi is basically still working on his pieces–mainly his sculptures. When trying to free them from the sculptures, he is taking the hands off of the sculptures…and then the fingers off of the hands…um…this is a big giant mess, Abdi. He’s flipping out.
three hours until midnight. ART HANDLER MONTAGE. So all Miles pieces are very digital and checkerboard and he is totally driving his art handlers nuts with his particular OCD.
Peregrine really wanted to light her wax frames…URS FISCHER. Oh and now she has her cotton candy machine. She is so excited. And all her horses are basically plays on her SUPER AWESOME UNICORN PIECE. So Abdi is still moving with his sculptures and it is SO CLOSE TO MIDNIGHT OMFG. And Miles is trying to finalize the placement. Basically everyone is like working until the last minute but Abdi’s DAVID HAMMONS sculpture is done.
Hahaha, Peregrine is all talking about Miles’ pieces and is all: “I don’t like that.” Hahaha, she thinks that Miles’ pieces are too obscure. Miles loves Peregrine’s works. I’m afraid that Miles has fucked himself, I just don’t know what to make of these pieces really.
DAY OF SHOW. Peregrine says: “we all look like our art.” Miles says: “I hope I don’t look like portraits of elderly white castle patrons.” Peregrine laughs. I really need to see Miles’ work in the space..I’m just not sure I’m just not sure.
They head to the auction house to make finishing touches. Abdi’s giant floor sculpture is extremely striking. Peregrine says: “If pride is hopefulness, then I am proud.” I believe that’s what she said, at least. Trying not to rewind here. COMMERCIAL. DRAMA.
Aw, little interlude in the commercial: Miles’ solo experience of the Brooklyn Museum, Abdi being super-thrilled about the possibility of a show at the Brooklyn Museum, Peregrine feeling the honor of the possibility of a show at the Brooklyn Museum…all set to the music of a harpsichord. Heh.
Okay I just want to say, from what we have been shown, Peregrine’s exhibit looks like the must *fun*. As in, I feel that I’d be really engaged and excited to be there, though I am not sure what it is *about.* Miles looks like he may have defeated himself. Abdi, still cannot tell.
Showtime. The judges walk in: Jerry, Jeanne, Bill, and special guest David LaChapelle. And China’s outfit is sort of boring…although up close it does look like saran wrap.
WHOA. SJP. PAST CONTESTANTS. JACLYN IN A TIGHT DRESS.
Miles installation is called: “And Two White Castles, That’s It.” It is basically a series of process–one room with photographs, another room with the photographs of the dead dude, and then the abstractions of the photographs. He tells Nicole (aw) about his pieces as he eats cotton candy from Peregrine’s project. Also, Ryan has grown a gross hipster mustache. DISGUSTING. SJP is totally awestruck by Miles’ madness. Everyone is really into squinting at and finding special secrets in Miles’ piece. Eugenie Tsai, curator of contemporary art at the Brooklyn Museum, wishes the pieces were more monumental. David LaChapelle is all: “it looks like art but i have no idea what it is saying.” Miles and his father have a moment.
Peregrine’s installation is called “Fair Game.” Country fairs + competition + winning the prize + overindulge vomit. Hahaha, Jamie Lynn just fed Jaclyn cotton candy, hilarious. All the judges wander around eating cotton candy, which flies through the air. People are playing with the show. SJP is all: “WOOOOOWWWW.” She loves it. People seem to be having fun in the show and I know I’d have fun in this installation. I would love to see this. David LaChapelle loves her wax head. Man, Peregrine, I want to see your show.
Abdi’s installation is called “Luminous Beings.” His theme is expressing how the beauty of humanity has been covered up BLAH BORING ART SCHOOL. The sculptures are fabulous, however, and one is a self-portrait supposedly. Abdi painted a piece of a body bag called “Home.” David LaChapelle looks like he is gonna cry. Abdi is talking to douchebag Erik who is wearing douchebag sunglasses inside what a douche. Um, Abdi’s installation is actually very powerful…Simon thinks Abdi has risen to the challenge.
NAO. SHE IS WEARING…I can’t even describe. She is impressed, and says “the work is very to the point and very austere.” Nao’s outfit needs to be captured. Abdi’s mom is all huggy huggy of him.
Eugenie Tsai seems pleased…the past special guest judges seem pleased and impressed…SJP is impressed, and hopes they have futures, and Simon wants to help these artists…I sort of feel for Eugene Tsai because she is SADDLED with this.
OMFG GUYS FINAL CRIT.
Miles explains his piece, and the elderly White Castle people, and his cell phone surveillance pictures, particularly the ones about the homeless alcoholic who died. He blew up the pictures of the dead one and abstracted the place where his eye would be or something. Bill asks him what it means and Miles says: ‘I’m not really sure.” Jerry likes that Miles is exploring death, and applauds Miles’ following of an obsession. Peregrine and Abdi look super nervous. David LaChapelle is worried that they caught Miles in a work in progress. Jerry says: ‘You’re a real artist to the core” and Miles looks like he is gonna cry, aw.
Abdi talks abou his show–creating a layer of separation from things that we take advantage of…His sculptures are beautiful and cause one to ask lots of questions. Jerry thinks the work might be a little overdetermined–he always hates Abdi’s work. But everyone else likes the work. Bill thinks Abdi’s having the sketchbook up front was a little art school and wants to just see the finished work. Jeanne thinks that Abdi has achieved a state of grace, which is a beautiful statement. She seems to be wearing two different earrings, on a side note.
Peregrine’s show. She wanted something fantastic (duh, and man, does she look sgreat in a simple black dress and heels). She wanted to show people doing crazy things in public at the circus. Jeanne asks about the picture of the dead fawns–as a side show–and Jeanne loves that piece, and Peregrine is glad that Jeanne reacted. If Simon was to pick one piece to auction, it’d be that, i’d think. So everyone thinks that the works are beautiful but that it could have been waaaaaaaaaaay editted down. Peregrine definitely needs to edit. Jerry loves the exploration of death and innocence and says that the picture of the dead twin fawns is perfect, and that he is so happy that Peregrine is in the show.
Discussion time, among the judges, this is tough y’all. The three finalists go back and sit on red couches and look like they are gonna vomit.
Judge discussion, Jerry thought all the shows were pretty great, and that Miles has grown as an artist. Jeanne calls Miles out on his tunnel vision, and Bill doesn’t get the pay off, and China and Jeanne are all: “we are inside Miles’ head.” David LaChapelle (who seems high) thinks that Miles is super into it and excited. Bill had a visceral response to Abdi’s floor sculptures, and Jerry is glad that he forced Abdi to rise to the occasion–but also thinks that Abdi is melodramatic and self-indulgent. Jeanne says that Abdi’s work is academic and conservative but that he is a beautiful draftsman. Peregrine: everyone loved boy head under glass in that it was separate from the rest of the show, Jeanne loved the old fashioned scatter-art sculpture, and the horse with the energy coming from it. Isolated My Little Pony!!! Jerry thinks that maybe Peregrine overdid it but that she conjures an “otherworldly spirit” that Jerry loves to have in the art world.
Okay, Peregrine is gonna win hopefully maybe? Jerry clearly has a hard on for her. I don’t know. I do think that Miles fucked himself.
Oh man y’all, final decision, my heart, it races, perhaps a little. All the artists look super-sickish and nervous especially Miles. Peregrine looks like she is going to cry.
Miles first, via China: you are an amazing artist, Miles, but you are not the winner (obviously). China says: “you let us into your head but we didn’t think it was a finished product.” China looks teary-eyed, Peregrine is totally crying. Miles is bummed, but he is super cute, and he’ll have a career.
Abdi and Peregrine are looking all nervous and Abdi looks like he can hardly believe it.
Jerry says Peregrine’s work is unique and intense and personal and sweeps one up in her vision. Bill says that Abdi’s hand is technically perfect but that tonight he swept the viewers up in his vision.
China says congratulations…..
ABDI?!?! Wow. Everyone said he was going to win from day one. Jesus. I really wanted Peregrine to win after seeing her super fun show. Jeanne is crying (awwwww!) David LaChapelle says that the art world needs artists like “Abdi.” Peregrine and Abdi hug a lot more and then the rest of the eliminated competition enters and applauds Abdi. And Abdi goes looking for his mom and there is a super cute hug, and Abdi says he is gonna give his mom the $100,000 (aw!!) and let her give him some. Peregrine feels like she lost her lottery ticket, but she’ll be okay. David LaChapelle totally loves Abdi’s work and insists that there is a Renaissance man living inside of him. I get why David LaChapelle loves Abdi’s work, their aesthetics are the same.
Well, guys, after watching the finale I really wanted Peregrine to win–her show was so fun! But, Abdi wins. That was fun. I wonder when his show will be? Whatever, this show is OVER, and Jerry Saltz wants me to comment on his recap. Thanks for reading!!!!