Work of art contestants Mark Velasquez and Erik Johnson
Clown portrait artist Erik Johnson just can’t cut a break and neither can his Work of Art competitor artist and curator Trong Nguyen. Last week we called poor sportsmanship on Nguyen after we read that he’d seeded the idea to Johnson that he should present his work on an easel. This was clearly a very bad idea. From Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn’s Bravo blog,
Upon asking Erik what he was thinking with this easel, he said that it was Trong’s idea to keep the painting on the pedestal. After a few harsh words, Erik’s first lesson was learned – do not allow a fellow contestant to make such crucial decisions.
According to both Nguyen and Johnson though, this was only one of many options Nguyen threw out, and it was also the one he tried most ardently to dissuade Johnson from following. Rohatyn makes it sound like Nguyen encouraged the presentation choice, which was not the case. Johnson wrote me Friday to clarify the matter, complaining that he was getting flack from his colleagues for allowing Nguyen to take the fall.