This was an episode filled with lots of shots of the artists actually working, which is exactly what we’ve wanted all along. Of course, it shows the artists working half naked, which is exactly what it’s like in real life.
In high school, my friend Dave Egan and I had a recurring joke. We found a postcard of an old painting that had three or four robust ladies in an art studio, frolicking and painting, all while in the [mostly] nude. From then on, it was declared that this is the way real artists work- in giant painting studios, covered with a tiny sliver of a sheet.
Unlike Paddy Johnson (who writes the insightful and super current ArtFagCity), who dislikes her, and despite the fact that Jaclyn threatened to sue me, I really felt for her this episode. She’s just… so lost in her own little Jackie world. The world that’s filled with fancy galas, swag, and free valet. The world that will take her and hug her close and whisper in her ear, “You’re the fairest of them all.” The world where a synopsis is good enough to warrant a cheesy romance novel cover, complete with innocent misspellings and bowler hats (which were invented 36 years after the book was published… but whatever, it’s all the same with that Mr. Darby guy). Poor Jackie. This isn’t the show for her. She should be somewhere else, married to a wealthy older doctor, spending days at the spa while Constancia feeds the kids and drives them to school, singing old Mexican lullabyes as they fall asleep in her arms.
On a good note, I am finally in love with Seeeeemoahn de Pury. His Dr. Zhivago joke killed me. I can’t wait to tell the joke to groups of friends with a french accent. I might dress as Simon for Halloween so I can tell the joke to everyone I meet that night. Jaclyn just stood there, smiling, thinking to herself, “MY doctor’s name is Rubenstein. Or is it Steinberg? I like dogs. Oh, everyone’s laughing. I guess he’s done talking.”
Of course, you don’t need to read Dr. Zhivago to get Simon’s joke. By the way! Did anyone notice how most of the artists had not actually read their books? I mean, aside from Miles. Oh, Miles! Puffy lipped Miles. Sitting in a tiny dark space in the dirt, suffering from crippling OCD, reading Frankenstein with widened, hungry eyes. Actually, this episode, Miles didn’t have OCD. It just went away for a little while, like herpes sores, psycho ex-girlfriends, and the value of the dollar.
The best part about reading the book during allotted work time is the final product, which could have been made after watching the Wishbone episode about Frankenstein. None of the heartbreak, nor of the huge questions about humanity and morality, nor of the darkness made its way into that cover. Come on Wishbone! Let’s wag another tale!
Okay, I’m sure they know Alice in Wonderland: the movie, and maaaaybe, poooossibly, the novel, but probably not the dirty backstory of pedophilia, hard drugs, and political and social satire, and Abdi probably read Frankenstein at school at some point, but the rest were working hard to make up for the holes in their background. The holes that will eventually open up due to water percolating and eroding soil, and will swallow up entire houses, futures, turquiose necklaces, and dreams of ever showing at the Brooklyn Museum.
Overall, the work was pretty poor. Even Abdi stumbled, and only deep prayer saved him from the elimination round (well, prayer and his delicate, exotic facial features). Someone named Ryan appeared on the show (who is Ryan? has he been on the show this whole time? was he busy cutting his bangs and taking in his skinny jeans to be even skinnier, to be on the first two episodes?), and Judith got sent home. She deserved it- not for the work, but for rolling her eyes at Seeeeemoahn when he explained how important the challenge was. You can’t go to a Kodak party and tell everyone there that Kodak is a dying brand. Come on. Okay, and the work really failed, and it wasn’t flamboyantly, as Jerry Saltz would like. It just flopped, and it lay there all decomposing and smelly, until suddenly it wasn’t there, and Jessica rented that chopsaw for no good reason. Who took the dead guy? (If you’re not watching True Blood, you’re missing out. It’s fantastic).
Let’s hope the next episode features prominently the bag of shit Nao lights on fire and leaves on BillBobBrianStevePowers’ doorstep (and of course, Andres Serrano is in it). I invited my right hand, the inimitable Lissa Corona to write a blog about Episode 4. I can’t wait to read it.