On Work of Art, the new art competition reality show from Bravo, artists from all over the country compete with each other for $100,000, a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum and some other swanky stuff. This show certainly follows the Bravo formula that’s familiar to fans of Project Runway and Top Chef: Each week, the artists have to use a different medium — in the current episode, they’re working with paint and portraiture — and then they’re given very limited time to create works that are shown in public and judged. Bravo takes them out of their areas of technical expertise to tackle the questions: What makes a good artist? And good art?
The real driving reason to watch this show is the strength of the judges. Actress/model (and host) China Chow, New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz, gallery owner Bill Powers, curator Jeanne Greenber-Rohatyn and mentor Simon de Pury (the Tim Gunn of this series) make this show accessible while still worth a viewer’s time. The contestants, each specializing in different media with different levels of training, are made up of a number of artists that I had actually heard of, including Trong G. Nguyen, Nao Bustamante and Peregrine Honig, as well as many exciting others, even an architect and a novice that has never been critiqued. Unleash your inner critic and cheer for the work that inspires you and makes you ask: They made this on reality TV?
Hulu’s Content Editor and Art Aficionado