Every week Jerry Saltz writes a recap of Work of Art for NYMagazine. In case you forgot, Mr. Saltz is one of the judges on Work of Art and he is also the senior art critic for NYMagazine. I enjoy the recaps almost more than I enjoy (or hate-enjoy) the show. They help explain the reasoning and critiques of the judges and also de-mystify the reality show process. For instance, the judging committee is told nothing about the contestants. Everything they learn they learn via the critiques or by watching the television show.
I also love the recaps because of the comments section. Mr. Saltz (okay, I’ll call him Jerry, because that’s how I talk to him in the comments), takes the time to read all of these comments and often responds to them. He encourages his readers to talk about and write about and think about art; I love how he wants to make art and art criticism less scary and more popular. I hope that he succeeds.
Each week I’ll be posting the link to Mr. Jerry’s recaps and I’ll also be quoting a selection from the article. This week we had a double elimination, and bid adieu to Jazz-Minh, who was a GDB, and deaf artist Leon, whose work of pop art really didn’t pop. You can read my thoughts on all of that in my liveblog.
So, here is the link to Jerry’s recap and here is some good stuff from it:
“I’m on this show to explore how art can be brought to non-élite audiences. Yet the way this challenge is phrased reminds me of the bogus ways in which art is translated for popular media. Presenting art to lay audiences is tricky. Explaining why an all-white painting or a snow-shovel or a replica of a Brillo box is art involves a complex set of interweaving contexts, accumulated knowledge, and faith. To the uninitiated, Pop Art is basically bright colors, commercial products, cartoons, celebrity culture — a combination of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. However, if an art student were given an assignment involving Pop Art, he/she would be told to “Create a work which address issues of mechanical reproduction, aura, advertising, and popular culture, making it visually accessible, replete with irony, sincerity, and politics, without being derivative or simplistic.”
PREACH JERRY PREACH. You’re the best.