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'Work of Art' recap: All the news that fits

November 10, 2011 |  8:45 am

Bravo Work of Art
Episode 5 of Bravo's reality show "Work of Art" was, as host China Chow explained, "ripped from the headlines." The nine remaining contestants were taken to the printing plant of the New York Times and given 10 minutes to rummage through piles of old newspapers. They were asked to find a headline to inspire and incorporate into their work of art.

Although mentor Simon de Pury announced that immunity would no longer be given to the winning artist, he had some good news: The winner of the challenge would receive $20,000. The stereotype of the starving artist was proved true as the contestants spoke emotionally of what the prize would mean to them.

The artists also were told the winning work would be displayed at the New York Times headquarters in Manhattan, though later in the show the winning work appeared to be in some kind of meeting room, not in the building's lobby.

Most of the artists were drawn to news stories, but the headlines they selected ran the gamut, including stories about the economy, the war in Libya, a serial killer, madness, health insurance, the nuclear meltdown in Japan and a review of "Sister Act."

When the judging began, the fashion forward Chow appeared in an on-the-mark black and white dress that looked like flowing newspaper pages.

Not surprisingly the judges pulled out countless newspaper puns, including saying of one artwork that "someone buried the lead on this."

(Spoiler alert: stop reading now if you don't want to know who won and who was eliminated in the  episode.)

The judges' favorites included two artists who had been in the top before, Dusty and Young Sun, plus Lola. The winner was Young Sun for his painted sculpture of newspaper stacks that paid homage to artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Judge Jerry Saltz called it "real simple, brutally direct."

The judges again were not happy with Sucklord's effort. Bayete and Sarah were also disappointments, with Bayete sent home for his ill-conceived doors that attempted to comment on religion. Even he admitted, "My piece was such a bad piece, I'd have felt guilty with someone else getting eliminated."

-- Sherry Stern


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 Photo: The artists run to the newspapers. Credit: Bravo