POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Vanity Fair’s Marnie Hanel likes what she’s seen of Bravo’s Reality show Work of Art so far, adding to the “modest praise” given by yours truly. “If you choose to “sample the show,” (network parlance), the Magical Elves will hook you, just as they have before,” Hanel writes. The show, which pits 14 artists against one another for a prize of $100,000 and a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum, debuts next Wednesday. Debate as to whether it will be any good already fills the art world. Hanel interviews a variety of sources about this, though the more interesting portion of the post comes from her identification of character archetypes within the show.
The producers used their traditional casting formula to appeal to a broader audience. Although they said that the cast dynamics are organic, it's difficult not to see the contestants as archetypes. In the first episode, there's the villain (snippy Nao), the misunderstood ingenues (saccharine Jamie Lynn and sex pot Jaclyn), the misfits (veteran Judith and rookie Erik), and the likable front-runners (quirky Miles and earnest Abdi). Without much effort, one can connect the dots from these characters to their counterparts on past Bravo shows. The conventions extend to the stacked judges' panel as well.
Looks like artists can be typecast after all!