judge jerry


It’s been one month since the final episode of Work of Art: The Next Great Artist aired on Bravo. For those who don’t know, I was one of four regular judges on the show, which, much like Project Runway or Top Chef, asked fourteen aspiring artists to compete for $100,000 and an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. I’m told the show got bigger ratings than Project Runway in its first season (whatever that means), and blogs have reported that the network is committed to a second season. (If that’s true, I haven’t been contacted yet. Hello?) Should Work of Art return, prepare for a collective shriek of horror. The art world, for the most part, despised the show, describing it as, among other things, a disaster for art. The New York Times reported that a Brooklyn Museum trustee resigned in part because of the museum’s partnership with Bravo. Blogs blasted me as a sellout and fraud; one called the show “a glitter-dipped, shellacked turd” (sounds like a Chris Ofili painting); another said it “promulgates a massive deception that out-deceives all other reality programs.” (Take that, Fox News!) William Powhida, whose pointed cartoons of the art world were on my 2009 top-ten list, complained that being on my list was now “more like an anchor around my ankle than a life raft.”

more from Jerry Saltz at New York Magazine here.