Somehow, Miles loses Work of Art.

I liked this show way more than I thought I would.

Photo: David Giesbrecht/Bravo

No disrespect to Abdi, who was one of my faves throughout the entire show.  His charcoal drawing in the last regular challenge was magnificent and a couple of his final pieces were really incredible.

But how could Miles Mendenhall possibly lose this competition?  Anyone watching this show from the beginning would have put money on his eventual victory, not because he was so much more talented than the others (although he was among the best in every challenge) but because the show seemed made for him.  All actual artistic considerations aside, he was easily the most  adorable, versatile, confident, and telegenic.  Isn’t that how these things work?

My personal expectations aside, I do think Peregrine had the best final showing by far.  Even more than Miles, she was the artist who cultivated a unique, charmingly depraved aesthetic that carried well from challenge to challenge and medium to medium.  Her wax sculptures were eerie and cheery all at once, her vomiting ladies were so cute, and the twin fawns – what a perfect piece.  She knew it, too, she cried whenever someone talked about it.  She knocked it out of the park.

So how did Abdi win?  Was it something that didn’t register over the TV, or am I really that disconnected from the opinions of the judges?  I think the upset comes down to Abdi’s obvious growth throughout the series and the opinion of guest judge David LaChapelle.  My embarrassingly vast experience in watching shows like this tells me that the opinion of the guest critic will always push an indecisive panel toward their choice.  But if the panel truly wanted to reward growth then Abdi, being the youngest artist in the crowd, would have started with a natural advantage (not including Erik the hack, of course.)  Shouldn’t it be about your final work?

Who knows.  I am not a critic (see my last post), I am only a lowly Bravo viewer.  But this isn’t the first reality show finale I’ve been disappointed by (let’s shed a tear for Kevin Gillespie’s beard) and I doubt it’ll be the last.

1 Comment »

  1. Thing is, it was clearly a VERY tight race between Abdi and Peregrine, so I wouldn’t scratch your head in confusion too much on this one. But, if it helps shed any light for you, I agreed with the judge’s call because I felt that while P’s work was excellent, it was excellent in its effect but I didn’t find it to be thought provoking in any way, it was all about how it made me feel. Whereas with Abdi’s work, it made me feel so much AND it made me think and look deeper and deeper into it. It also had a more Brooklyn Museum friendly aesthetic going for it, meaning more specifically it looked more sophisticated. Also, while P’s work was haunting in a creepy way, Abdi’s work was haunting for the heart, which I think is always going to win in a competition. AND also in my opinion, though I think in the judges’ opinion too, Abdi’s work had been more intriguing and well made as a whole throughout the competition than P’s which has to count for something. It may have no been better than Miles’s work, but….I’m sorry, I agree with those judges, I thought Miles’s show was an excellent idea but was not as effective as the other two.
    And because I am undercutting your blog, I am clearly the righterer of us two.
    -Braden

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