Variety reports BRAVO has announced their panel of personalities for “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist”. The series will pit fourteen contestants against one another with New York gallery owner Bill Powers, New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz, curator and Salon 94 Gallery owner Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn as judges. Art enthusiast China Chow and auctioneer Simon de Pury will host.
I haven’t seen the show, but I’m not impressed. Jerry Saltz and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn represent credible art world figures as does Simon de Pury, but Bill Powers is closer to a socialite than an actual dealer. He is, after all, married to American fashion designer, Cynthia Rowley and lacks a reputation for producing stellar programming. Owner of Half Gallery, his latest exhibition will showcase the work of sculptor Hannes Bend. Bend’s work includes a blue hard candy replica of Durer’s Praying Hands, a trophy buck, and a black crucifix. If the images reproduced on Animal New York are any indication, the sculptures look just as bad as they sound. Powers was also editor-in-chief at BlackBook until 2005.
The final celebrity on the roster, China Chow, is a British actress and model. According to Artdaily she comes from a family known to have participated in the New York art scene, though this doesn’t seem like much of a qualification to me. If it were, presumably the Association of Chartered Accountants would have already asked me to serve on a panel responding to new tax laws based on my father’s career as an accountant. In any event, it’s unclear what Chow knows about art.
Given these problems, the contest could be an utter train wreck. But that, at least, would be interesting. This is pure speculation, of course, but I’m guessing this show will look a lot more like Shear Genius than it does Project Runway, and simply bore audiences. Lack of substance has this effect.
“Work of Art: The Next Great Artist” is produced by Sarah Jessica Parker’s Pretty Matches and Magical Elves.