Reality TV to Tackle the Art World

Reality TV to Tackle the Art World
Laura Feinstein
  • 1 july 2009

In a new TV concept which would make Andy Warhol grin-ear-to-ear in his grave, the Bravo network has decided to add a new art-based reality show to their roster. Instead of vying for fashion contracts or the title of Top Chef, 13 aspiring artists will be competing against each other for the chance at a gallery show, cash prize, and a yet undisclosed other perk. The show is the brain child of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Pretty Matches Productions and Emmy-nominated Magical Elves, Inc., and casting calls will be held in the coming weeks throughout the country at some of the most prestigious art institutions including School of the Art Institute of Chicago and NYC’s White Columns Gallery. According to the press release available at

In each episode of the series, contestants will create unique pieces highlighting art’s role in everyday life, while they compete and create in a range of disciplines including sculpture, painting, photography and industrial design (to name a few). In working beyond their preferred mediums, artists will have to adapt quickly in order to succeed. Completed works of art will be appraised by a panel of top art world figures including fellow artists, gallerists, collectors, curators and critics. The finalists’ work will be showcased in a nation-wide museum tour.

While there is no reason the art world should be exempt from the reality TV show madness which has engulfed everything from the modeling business to the hairdressing industry, for some the fine arts still seemed like the last genuine refuge for creative expression. However,  the fact that many of the world’s top arts institutions have been strained to the point of collapse by the current economic recession, and are most likely in dire need of capital, might explain the willingness for established galleries to attach themselves to such a dubious project.

Regardless of how you may feel about the upcoming program, one thing for certain is that in true Bravo fashion the show is sure to be filled with A list celebrities of the art world and most likely some exciting field trips for its would-be Matthew Barneys.


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