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Work of Art: Turning Garbage Into Gold

June 16, 2010 11:01 PM by Rebecca Ford


The second episode of Work of Art: The Next Great Artist had the contestants digging through trash, literally, to find their tools to create their art piece. Some artists succeeded with the challenge, while others stumbled. Who won this week’s challenge and who went home?

The episode started off with Nao reflecting on being in the bottom of the group on the last episode, while Miles revealed that stress and sleep deprivation are causing his OCD symptoms to return.

Simon de Pury and China Chow greeted the artists in the workroom, and Simon took them on a walk to reveal their next challenge. He knocks on a big red door, which opens to reveal…junk! Used electronics clutter the room, and it turns out that the artists must use at least one piece of junk in their sculpture. And yes, they must do a sculpture! Jon Kessler, a mixed-medium artist, will be the guest judge for this challenge. His advice for the artists is to be courageous!

The artists then rummage to the objects, many grabbing as many pieces as they can. Miles becomes overwhelmed and decides to take a nap right in the middle of it all, but it turns out that his nap inspires him to make a sculpture about sleeping.

The artists go back to the workspace to work. Jaclyn attempts to build an aquarium, but she’s never really worked in this medium. There’s a lot of “caulk” puns going on in this scene, and that’s all I’ll say about that.


Abdi wants to make two child figures who are being overrun by electronics. Ryan doesn’t really know what his concept is, but says it has something to do with zebras. Trong, who is pretty well-known in conceptual art, seems like a frontrunner in this competition.

Simon drops by to check in on the artists. Judith, the oldest contestant at 61, wants to make a statement about age. Simon is impressed that she’s chosen to use wires instead of a clunky TV or other electronic piece.

Abdi goes to the roof to create his sculpture, but finds that the product he bought doesn’t work very well. Miles is back in the workroom, using smelly, toxic chemicals, and stinking up the workplace. He’s also decided to make a butthole as a part of his piece. I can’t even make this stuff up.

Judith tries to explain the piece to Nicole, who calls her a “nut.” I love that these artists call each other “nuts” because to me they all seem like they’re on the crazy train, but isn’t that all part of being an artist?

Abdi gives up on his sculpture spray, and admits that his piece is very much about him. It’s a person with a TV head, which I’ve seen before. Is that really innovative? He’s very behind in his work, and is worried he won’t finish. Jaclyn’s tank is tanking, and won’t hold water.


The next morning, the day of the gallery show, the artists head back to the studio with a little less than two hours to work. Abdi scrambles to finish, and doesn’t quite get there.

At the gallery show, the judges look at the pieces with a very critical eye. Miles, called ‘Worst Place,” becomes very useful to him because he takes a nap right there during the show. Jaclyn pulled her piece off by finding a plastic bag to fill with water inside of the tank. Erik’s piece is a corpse made from electronic devices.

Judith, Miles, Nicole Trong, Jamie and Abdi are asked to stay to discuss their pieces with the judges. Nicole’s tomb-in-a-TV is praised for its beauty and romanticism. Judith talks and talks about the meaning of her piece, and is finally cut off by the judges, who just do not get her piece. Jamie’s piece, reflective of the life of a housewife, is criticized for being without life. The judges say because she’s a painter, she wasn’t working with the objects in the right way.

Miles, who is quickly becoming the judge’s favorite, is praised for his sculpture and performance art. They even like the butthole! Trong’s piece of three TV’s watching another TV is criticized for the judges for not having enough of his own personality. Miles, who looks really, really sleepy, even raises his hand to criticize Trong, which is totally uncalled for. Abdi’s piece is praised, which I was surprised with because it didn’t seem to be unique, but it did reflect his personality and life.


The judges chat, and then announce the winner and losers. Miles wins again! Unbelievable! This isn’t turning out to be much of a competition because the quirky, crazy Miles has won twice now. The weakest artists then wait to hear their fate. Tron is told he’s been eliminated. It’s a huge surprise because it seems he was one of the most experienced in the field. What surprises will next week bring?

Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Reality TV Listings, Work Of Art: The Next Great Artist |

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