Guysssssss we’ve reached the end! Our group of fourteen has been whittled to three: Sara J. Young Sun, and Kymia (who I want to win). Last week the final five were sent to a picturesque little town in the Hudson River Valley and they had to select a townsperson and do a portrait. Kymia won with her whimsical portrait of an antique-shop owning couple, and Young Sun came in second with his meta-portrait of an artist. Lola, Dusty, and Sara J. were in the bottom. Sara J. squeaked by with her portrait of an older firefighter, while Lola was eliminated for her portrait that wasn’t really a portrait at all and Dusty was sent home because of his candy-constructed and candy-colored portrait of a little girl. That was falling apart. Anyways, I totally agree with the final three (although I wish Michelle had stuck around, sigh) and I am super thrilled that Lola is out, I couldn’t stand her. As you probably realized.
This week: FINALE. The final three have three months to make art exhibits and then they will BATTLE IT OUT in the ARENA OF ART and guyssss I am so excited! I hope you are too!
9:00: YAY! FINALE! China says the artists have $75,000 and three months to make a giant exhibit to wow the judges. Each artist gets a little bio, starting with Young Sun. We see a montage of him on the show, and all the money he won, and his tendency toward politics. Bill Powers tells Young to leave the P.C. stuff behind when he returns.
9:01: Sara J. is next. She started strong, and then she had a breakdown in the childhood piece, and then she did better again! Yay! Jerry tells her not to be afraid of anything.
9:02: Kymia is nervous and anxious and emotional and I really hope she wins! Yay! The three artists pack up and leave the loft. They wish each other luck and say farewell–well, sort of, Young gets in a cab to go to the airport but Sara J. and Kymia live in NYC so, you know, they aren’t going anywhere. And CHINA’S STUPID DRESS FOR THE LAST TIME Y’ALL.
9:03: Two months pass. Simon drives a Fiat (duh) through Chicago to visit Young Sun. Simon sees Young’s apartment and meet’s his mother and boyfriend, Mark, who is a stock analyst. Mark says that Young is his “long term investment,” ha.
9:04: Aw, Young’s mom has been battling cancer and her husband passed away recently, and she’s been sad, but she is happy now because Young is doing so well! And now we’re at show and tell! Young Sun brings out his childhood art to show Simon. Adorable. Young and Simon then head off to Young’s studio to see his work.
9:05: Young has found himself a beautiful studio–and thank the lord it is summer in Chicago. Young has been doing photos with this structural piece, moving the piece around and taking pictures of it in various locations. Simon calls it dry and boring and man, I totally agree! Wow. also, Young’s growing this totally ironic mullet, wow. Maybe it isn’t ironic?
9:06: in the meantime, Simon is drawn to some shirts hanging on the wall. They belong to Young’s late father and he has set up sort of an unintentional shrine to his father and it is WAY BETTER than the weird moving structure photo project. Simon suggests that Young should us that emotionalism and connection in his exhibit.
9:07: Young states that he thinks the judges are expecting something really fantastic from him (duh) and he doesn’t want to disappoint them. Simon returns to Manhattan to visit Kymia. We meet Kymia’s boyfriend, Devin; they met at a Turkish restaurant. They live in a nice apartment…but it is Devin’s parents’ apartment so, that makes me feel a little better, ha.
9:08: Kymia is of course freaking out but her boyfriend is trying to make her feel better. Good man. Kymia shows some family photos; her mother was gorgeous wowzers. She shows some pictures of a lake where her family used to jet ski; her father died in a jet skiing accident on said lake, and Kymia was there, that’s a bummer. Kymia and Simon head out to her studio to see her work.
9:09: Kymia has a cute little studio and she is doing some multi-media 2-d drawing-lookign pieces with afterlives and ghosts. She also has some creepy 3-D ghost figures that i find sort of lovely and eerie and whimsical and man I love Kymia so much. Kymia plans to have fifteen works in the show and has finished seven.
9:10: Simon likes some of her works but hates her sculptures. He even calls one of them, this girl with diamond eyes, horrendous. WOW. That’s harsh. Kymia of course freaks out and starts crying. The editors are really loving the tears this season, aren’t they.
9:15: Simon then drives his red Fiat to Brooklyn to see Sara. Sara lives with her boyfriend, James. She shows Simon some childhood pictures and shares that she has six (!!!) little brothers.
9:16: Sara and Simon head out to her studio. It is so funny to see Simon in his suit in these artists’ apartments and studios, hilarious. Sara has this long and lean studio with mirrors. She, like Kymia, is doing a religious/spiritual piece, this one about Confessions. Sara did a performance piece with masks and a robe. and took some video of it, it is pretty cool and not what i expected from her at all!
9:17: When in costume she took confessions from people and she kept them all and they are hanging from close pins. She is also going to do some sculptural, installation pieces relating to the confessions she got. This is actually really great.
9:18: The sculptures are pretty neat, and she has some paintings of people who watched her performance. This is totally different from what she did on the show. Simon isn’t entirely impressed, he’s a little worried and feels the piece seems a bit incoherent. Sara takes it better than Kymia did at least but she does, of course, feel a bit apprehensive.
9:19: Oh hey one month later! Young comes back to NYC, Kymia and Sara say farewell to their mans. They all meet up at a swanky hotel. Sara, btw, has been wearing a fannypack during her every appearance in this episode which is hilarious.
9:20: Giant artist reunion! Kymia is bummed out that Young doesn’t have a wackadoo outfit to wear for the finale. Young says he’s been busy, he hasn’t even had time to get his eyebrows threaded! Simon wanders in, looking amazing. He looks tanned, lucky him.
9:21: The next day the artists head to Phillips de Pury, Simon’s auction house. China, wearing a NAVY PLASTIC BERET (I love her) embraes the artists. CHINA SO CRAZY. This also might be a different de Pury location, as it looks like they are down by the High Line and not up on Park Avenue? Anyways, China reiterates the prizes blah blah etc.
9:22: And then Simon says that he will include one piece by the winning artist in a major Phillips de Pury auction. Evidently Abdi’s piece sold for $20,000 last year. The artist gets all the proceeds from the auction, which is cool. Simon and China head out to let the artists begin their installation.
9:26: The artists’ work has already been shipped to the gallery and they are unwrapping. Young Sun has retoolled his show and made it about family and losing someone. The tower structure is now more of a central alter. He has also kept a shrine to his father made of wood and random belongings. It is a very personal show and I imagine it will be very emotional and moving.
9:27: Sara is overwhelmed by having her first solo show. The performance piece is the centerpiece. She has changed 80% of her exhibition since Simon’s pieces. She changed the watercolors and made different mixed media pieces. She made a full body impression of her dead skin cells wow.
9:29: Kymia’s show is based around her personal exploration of spirituality. Simon’s critique also changed her show. She worked primarily in line drawing on paper with a few burial-style installation pieces. She also did a drawing of a boat that is dedicated to her late father (cue tears). And then…DRAMA! The pedestals Kymia ordered for her burial sites are TOO SHORT. The art handlers go to try to find a solution.
9:30: Kymia starts freaking out and Sara J. says that Kymia’s strength and weakness is her perfectionism regarding her art. Meanwhile, Young is having some trouble with his projectors. Sara has made this GORGEOUS piece of origami cranes–it looks like a bunch of cranes flying free from a cage and it is stunning, guys, truly. Although maybe a little um…interior designy? Anyways, pretty nonetheless.
9:31: The art handlers arrive with properly sized pedestals for Kymia, yay! Each artist’s show looks pretty good–They are all happy with their installations. Again, Sara’s crane piece, guys. Sara is not a huge fan of how Young has installed his piece–the shirts are just sort of hanging.
9:32: Young is 100% impressed by Kymia’s super detailed drawings. Each artist is pretty intimidated by the other artists’ shows y’all. I wish that the TV could give us a better view of the installation but, you know, what can you do.
9:33: The next day the three artists have breakfast and ponder life and changes and opportunities and such. They’re all super excited. They head out to the studio to finish tweaking their installations. They have one hour! Oh wow, Sara has a person who is gonna wear her performance art costume, that’s nice. Kymia is crying because she keeps thinking about her father. Man, Young and Kymia and ther fathers, oof. Kymia’s show is called “Not for Long, my Forlorn,” just fyi. Anyways, commercial!
9:40: YAY YAY GALLERY SHOW YAY.
9:41: China and the judges wander in. China has her hair in Heidi braids and is wearing a super odd outfit. They also have a guest judge, Kaws–not sure why they have a guest judge, honestly, but whatever. Kaws is awesome! Anyways, the people wander in. Sucklord gives Jerry Saltz an action figure of himself, ha! He says that more bald, Jewish art critics should have action figures.
9:42: Sara’s show is called “Anonymous Contemplations.” The firefighter she did a portrait of in the last challenge is there, which is nice. The performer in the costume is collecting new confessions from the viewers, which is great.
9:43: Abdi is there, talking to some of the past guest judges, and Sara’s parents are there, and her pieces are lovely and intense. Young’s sun is called Bool sa-jo, which is a Korean word. It is about finding closure. China starts crying like, immediately. Young didn’t do any actual prints, all the photos are projected and, therefore, ephemeral.
9:44: The show is super emotional and everyone is crying over Young’s work, but Kaws doesn’t see the connection between the clothing and the photos. Oh also China’s dress has like sequined feathers on it whaaaat.
9:45: Kymia’s show is next. Honestly i think Kymia and Sara’s shows are better than Young, but that’s just me. Kymia’s drawings are just incredible. I’d love to have one for myself. Kymia’s sisters are there, which is nice.
9:46: People are loving Kymia’s work. Even bitchy Lola (hey girl!) Sucklord says he likes Sara’s the best. Simon tells Bill that he has much respect for the artists and then, we go to our final crit! Young’s show title, btw, translates to “Phoenix” (I missed that the first time).
9:47: China, who has had a similar experience with a parent, found Young’s show to be extremely moving. Kaws says that Young can tackle anything. Jerry says that Young is telling a very clear story but that he doesn’t leave a gap for mystery or interpretation. Bill calls the piece brave and sympathetic. The judges say he did a great job.
9:48: Kymia is next. Jerry says her work is very serious but not melodramatic and that is awesome. Bill loves her large-scale drawings but doesn’t like the pieces on the transparencies–Jerry disagrees, he likes them. I love when Jerry disagrees with Bill, ha. Kaws doesn’t find her sculptures necessary and he loves Kymia’s boat piece.
9:49: Kymia explains the significance of the boat piece and gets teary again–oh, all these late fathers. She had a dream about her father and was inspired to do a boat. Tears and more tears. Sigh.
9:50: Sara’s crit is next. She says that a lot of people who wrote confessions talked about lust and confusion and loneliness and a lack of growth. And man that crane piece–have I mentioned how much I love it? Jerry loves how many different materials Sara has used, he says it is marvelous. Bill says the piece is very ambitious but disconnected and Jerry looks like he wants to bite his head off (man the editors love to play with that). Kaws also finds the work ambitious. China is glad that Sara has moved from watercolors to experimenting with materials.
9:51: Jerry says all three of the shows have a lot of death (or depth?) in them. China and the judges then leave to deliberate and the artists go to the green room to be nervous. Kymia’s dress is awesome btw, it has these sort of metallic and sort of floral details and it is cool. Anyways, the three artists had really strong shows but I’d say that Kymia’s and Sara’s are better than Young.
9:52: The judges say that Kymia was inventive, professional, and unique. China felt that the tombs were unnecessary but Jerry liked seeing the change in medium. Jerry thinks that Kymia has had an amazing journey. Sara’s show: China loves the use of different materials, Kaws loves the use of bystanders, and Bill thinks the show was exposition-y.
9:53: Jerry likes that Sara took so many changes and thinks the show was the best work Sara has done. Young’s show. Jerry believes that Young walked the right side of emotionalism and didn’t get maudlin. Bill thinks it was a manipulative death bed portrait but Kaws says that Young has the ability to do anything (i think he already said that?). Anyways, they have made a decision but we have to wait through a commercial before we find out what it is! My money is on Kymia, personally. Fingers crossed!
9:56: Oh boy here we go guys I’m a little nervous! Only one person can win this thing, who will it be?!
9:57: China tells Sara J. that she is not the winner. She says individual pieces in the exhibit were strong but that the show itself seemed disjointed. Aw, bummer, everyone cries a little, even Jerry looks bummed. Sara says she’s angry she wasn’t in the top two…but we always knew it was going to be Young and Kymia, man. EXCITING.
9:58: Jerry says he feels that he watched Young being born as an artist during the competition. Bill says that Kymia impressed the judges with her powers of skill and invention. I hope Kymia wins. Oh dear oh dear oh dear…KYMIA YAY!!!!! SHE WINS!!!! I’M SO HAPPY. She starts crying and Young hugs her and looks pretty not-destroyed which, I mean, good for him. All the eliminated contestants and their family members file in and applaud Kymia.
9:59: Kymia is super happy! She only has $50.00 now so $100,000 will totally help. And also a show at the Brooklyn Museum! Kymia is in love with making art and I hope she gets to make a ton of art and man she’s so awesome and talented and I loooove her. Also she got her MFA from UF so, you know, GO GATORS!
10:00: So that’s it y’all. Season 2 is OVER and I am 100% down with the winner. Kymia is super talented and yay for her. I hope y’all enjoyed the recaps as much as I enjoyed writing them! Until next season (maybe fingers crossed yay!), BE BRAVE, BE BOLD, BE AMAZING!