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Ugo Nonis, of Bravo's 'Work of Art,' talks about living in L.A.

October 13, 2011 | 10:59 am


In Wednesday's season-opening episode of "Work of Art" on Bravo, Ugo Nonis was known more or less as the dashing French one. The 33-year-old aspiring artist caught the eyes of a few of the female contestants on the reality competition show, who commented on his dark looks and accent. 

Nonis calls Paris his hometown, but for the past couple of years he has lived in Los Angeles -- and more specifically, Venice Beach.

"Ever since I was a kid, I told myself I need to be at the ocean at one point," Nonis said in a recent phone interview. "I moved to New York for five years, and then I was free to move.... I love surfing and to be by the ocean and have a community around me that I can connect to."

(Spoiler alert: This blog post reveals the outcome of Wednesday's episode.)

Unfortunately, Nonis' bid for reality-TV stardom was cut short when he was the first contestant to be voted off the show. "It doesn't feel great, especially in the moment," he said. "You do a replay of that moment about a 1,000 times in your head. You try to get positive things out of that experience."

His work of art -- a red line drawing inspired by a kitschy piece of Asian wall decoration -- failed to impress the judges, who thought it to be derivative of Keith Haring.

"I definitely understand the similarities between Keith Haring and my work,"  Nonis said. "But I think lines are something everyone can use. I think my work has similarities with his and a thousand other artists out there. I don't think his work is that original. I don't think a line can be owned by an artist."

Nonis said that he's been enjoying the L.A. art scene in the years since moving to the area. "There's more space [than in New York] and therefore more wall space, so there are more opportunities for young artists to showcase their work and be seen," he said.

The artist said he will be showing his work in a solo show at the SnP Gallery in the Atwater Village neighborhood starting in December.


'Work of Art' recap: second-season premiere

Bravo's reality series 'Work of Art' begins new season in October

Abdi's big upset and other random notes on Bravo's 'Work of Art'

--David Ng

Photo: Ugo Nonis on "Work of Art." Credit: Bravo