Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reality TV turns 'hermetic' artists into self-help gurus?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 9:43 PM

I've been hearing a lot of mysterious talk lately about Bravo's "icky" artist reality show. The details are beyond murky. We know that Sarah Jessica Parker is the executive producer. We know that hundreds are responding to the casting calls. And so far, we know only one of the judges: Simon de Pury, chairman of the fancy-pants auction company Phillips de Pury. Otherwise, we simply know that it'll be mayhem. Let's just hope it's not too embarrassing for the artists.

Mr. de Pury, on the other hand, had "no hesitations about accepting the invitation" to be a judge. He hopes the show will help penetrate the "hermetic inapproachability" of contemporary art. I won't question his motives, but … really, dude? Is reality TV an acceptable solution to the art world's reputation for obscurity?

Perhaps the video above provides a taste of what's to come. Mr. and Mrs. Foox are a husband and wife artist team. He's a transplant from New Zealand and a former lawyer. She greets the camera at the front door — holding a crossbow. "Welcome to Texas," says Mr. Foox. (Another shot shows them shooting guns together, after teaching painting to amateurs.) How adorable!

It's an episode of what's to be an ongoing internet reality show. Nothing quite on the scale of what Bravo has in mind, of course. It just makes me wonder: Does dropping your life to become an artist always inspire you to be so damn positive? Believe. Hope. Change. It's almost like they're Barack Obama campaign robots (or, "Obamatons" as I've read elsewhere) ….

Livin' the dream, baby.

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