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Reality (TV) meets Art.
March 2, 2005 4:59 PM   Subscribe

Artstar is the latest in "reality" television. Eight artists compete for a solo gallery show put on by Deitch projects. Let's call it "Who Wants to Be America's Next Top Artist." (NYT link)
posted by grapefruitmoon (26 comments total)

 
So, instead of wanna-be J. Lo's we get wanna-be Picassos.

Shoot me now.
posted by jonmc at 5:05 PM on March 2, 2005


15 minutes of fame.
posted by seanyboy at 5:14 PM on March 2, 2005


15 minutes of fame indeed. Which makes one wonder - isn't this the sort of thing that Warhol would have loved, if not created himself?
posted by billysumday at 5:18 PM on March 2, 2005


On the other hand, Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole, not in New York, so what the hell.
posted by jonmc at 5:22 PM on March 2, 2005


well he was only five foot three but girls could not resist to stare, that's my theory as to why he was never called an asshole
posted by Kattullus at 5:27 PM on March 2, 2005


I used to do technical support over at Deitch Projects. During my first weeks as a computer consultant in NYC, I was sent to Deitch to set up a iMac for their receptionist. They were nervous because they wanted the iMac set up before their show which was about to open. I had glanced at the matting and the picture mounts on the walls on my way in and was curious about what kind of art show they were going to have and so I asked, "So what kind of art show is opening tomorrow?"

And the guy just stared at me with a weird look on his face.

...

The matting and picture mounts was the art show, or so it appeared. If you got really close to what was hanging on the walls (say 6-8 inches), you could see very finely etched artwork undetectable from more than a foot away. And even then it just looked like something made on a Spirograph[tm] by an 8 year old.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 5:27 PM on March 2, 2005


well he was only five foot three but girls could not resist to stare, that's my theory as to why he was never called an asshole

true, but the girls would turn the color of an avocado when he drove down their street in his El Dorado, so you really can't tell.
posted by jonmc at 5:33 PM on March 2, 2005


true, but the girls would turn the color of an avocado when he drove down their street in his El Dorado, so you really can't tell.

well, what I find especially strange is that while some people try to pick up girls and get called assholes, this never happened to Pablo Picasso.
posted by Kattullus at 5:47 PM on March 2, 2005


Not in New York, anyways.
posted by ITheCosmos at 5:55 PM on March 2, 2005


Apparently, these contestants want to take his place.
posted by kickingtheground at 5:58 PM on March 2, 2005


Well, the important thing to remember being an artist: it's a great way to get chicks to get naked for you.
posted by jonmc at 5:59 PM on March 2, 2005


Well... I do believe that Jonathan may have been mistaken about poor Pablo. If poor Pablo was not called "asshole", it was only because his lovers were not speaking english.

Good luck kiddies!
posted by R. Mutt at 6:08 PM on March 2, 2005


To get back on track (before I ruin my wife's thread), there's is something that's been occupying my mind since I read it in the article: Is it possible to create good art under the constraints and pressures of being on reality tv?

While my intellect says unlikely, my gut says: Why not?

And the more I think about it, the more I think my gut reaction was the correct position. I mean, any random sample of 8 artists is unlikely to contain anyone capable of being the next Jan van Eyck, Rodin, Joseph Buys or, indeed, Pablo Picasso (who never got called a Masshole, because he was Spanish, duh), I don't see why the pressures and constraints might not boost their creativity just as well as sapping it.

Though I'd be happy to bet on that at least one of the artist voted off the palette (or whatever's the process) blames the constraints and pressure for him/her not doing the genius level stuff s/he usually does.
posted by Kattullus at 6:12 PM on March 2, 2005


jonmc, there are artists out there--somewhere--who are not pretentious assholes. And Picasso has been called an asshole plenty of times. Don't assume that all people who make art are dickheads; this is not a thread about Creed.
posted by interrobang at 6:18 PM on March 2, 2005


jonmc, there are artists out there--somewhere--who are not pretentious assholes.

I know. I've had freinds who were artists. I was having a laugh. The Picasso stuff was a riff on a song lyric.
posted by jonmc at 6:28 PM on March 2, 2005


My suspicion is that the whole artstar project is actually a piece by some other artist.

The show/project has been discussed on the artworld blogs in mostly negative terms. The artists I know in NY wouldn't go anywhere near this. And since the contestant pool is self selecting, I think rather than a random group of 8 artists, your more likely to get 8 (Mark Kostabi type) idiots.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:33 PM on March 2, 2005


I get that, jonmc, but these comments:

So, instead of wanna-be J. Lo's we get wanna-be Picassos.

Shoot me now.


and

Well, the important thing to remember being an artist: it's a great way to get chicks to get naked for you.

...make it sound like you came into this thread *already* hating the stereotypical "pretentious artist". There are tons of them out there, granted, but not everyone's that way; it just felt too much like your behavior in music threads. I was probably wrong to point it out.
posted by interrobang at 6:36 PM on March 2, 2005


Well, in the first comment, I was more dissing on the legacy of American Idol and how it cheapens everything it touches (and for a rock fanatic like me that hits close to the bone), and it'd suck to do that with real art. The second one you cited was just crude humor (and I did know film students in college who admitted that it was a perk), but you're probably right to step in before I got carried away. no big deal.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 PM on March 2, 2005


It's embarrassing, as a Jonathan Richman fan, how many people here are so eager to quote lyrics and be self-satisfied at their "inside" reference. Come on, people.
posted by TonyRobots at 7:47 PM on March 2, 2005


While my intellect says unlikely, my gut says: Why not?

I suspect the right panoptic circumstances would motivate many artists to be prolific and productive, even if not immediately great. Wonder how many of us would get more done if we knew a camera crew was in the building?
posted by techgnollogic at 8:30 PM on March 2, 2005


You know, I don't think jonmc quotes songs to seem with-it. In fact, I know jon is against being with-it as a matter of principle. He was being silly and having fun with the song quotes that live in his head. Get over it.
posted by dame at 9:11 PM on March 2, 2005


In my creative writing seminars at uni you had to finish a story or poem in under 2 hours. Such exercises taught you how to be prolific and gain technical strength but everything you produced in them was sort of ropey. You did your real work well away from all that.

I can't help feeling this is the same. I've occasionally been pressed to write something 'here and now' just as artists are pressed to 'give us a painting'. Of course you groan inwardly and scribble away, producing something that you know is crude and patchy at best, a preliminary exercise for some future miracle. Of course everyone then says it's delightful, interesting, wonderful, what art!

Jesus. The embarrassment.

The idea that an artist of any kind will be more productive if they've got a camera pointing at them is quite plausible. The idea that they will produce good art (by their own standards) under such conditions is 99.9% horseshit. Art produced on reality TV? Fundamental, grinding, infuriating misunderstanding!
posted by paperpete at 12:36 AM on March 3, 2005


Paperpete: I've done a lot of spontaneous writing and improv poetry. It's true that when I started out it wasn't very good or interesting but with some practice and quite a lot of thought as to how best to approach this has resulted in me being able to improv on stage or write spontaneously without (metaphorically) vomiting on my shirt. Sometimes (about 10% of the time, I'd hazard) I've even managed to come up with stuff I'd never make in more contemplative modes of creativity.

But, then, I've never tried to produce anything with cameras in my face.
posted by Kattullus at 2:41 AM on March 3, 2005


As an artist, I was asked if I would ever dream of participating in something like this... hell no. I already went to art school, which is a lot like reality TV gone bad in and of itself. ("What happens when you get two hundred art majors in a studio for a weekend and all of them have a project due on Monday, but all they want to do is get drunk and stoned and just generally fucked in every way possible? Stay tuned!")

It'd be fun to watch though. I'm interested in seeing what sort of artist does want to be on reality TV. I have a vast and probably unhealthy appreciation for schadenfreude.

And Jonathan Richman.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:30 AM on March 3, 2005


I think Jonathan Richman should have his own tv show.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:46 AM on March 3, 2005


i come to late, but, on behalf of the yeah yeah yeahs...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT!!!
STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRR!!!
posted by es_de_bah at 7:08 AM on March 4, 2005


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