It’s recap time at the Dillon, and the anvils of foreshadowing appear as Dusty interviews that he wants to get back on track and not let his family down. Step up the drama, Dusty. Your mullet can only do so much work. Young farts on about how great it feels to win, but it still all sounds like flatulence. Maybe because he’s completely up his own ass. Michelle says the judges were disappointed with her, and Sucklord gets in a drive-by dig by calling her “the Golden Girl” but changes the subject before anyone realizes he’s being a dick because it’s time to cross names off the list.
Morning after her almost win and Kymia’s already worried about sucking in the next challenge. That’s the spirit, Kymia. I wonder how she’ll feel when she finds out her nipples are missing.
So the artists stroll into their studio and Sucklord yells out “I knew it.” And while he’s prone to saying shit just ’cause, I wonder if they’re getting some clues because who assumes that kids are part of a challenge. Meanwhile one little girl appears to spy Sucklord and looks horrified. Don’t be scared, he’s not that creepy. The little girl he’s working with just finds him funny. Mom and Dad, watch this one. By the way, he has a cat carrier at his work station. I don’t know why, I just report.
Dusty’s a grade school art teacher so he knows children aren’t unicorns and talks to them normally while the other artists try to bond with their child artists. Which amounts to standing around awkwardly or asking a ten ten-year-old if she’s heard of “the exquisite corpse” to which the ten-year-old shakes her heads and say “nope” because seriously Sara J, how self-absorbed can you be? Bayeté jokes that the girls he’s working with draw better than him, but it’s only funny if it isn’t true, Bayeté.
China, wearing another mod dress and clip on bangs for some reason, joins the artists and introduces Sarah Jessica Parker who’s still in the habit of doing her “Who, ME?”self-effacing walk. Oh SanDeE*, what happened?
She’s there to introduce the challenge and mentions that the young artists are NYC public school students participating in a program called “Studio in a School” which brings arts education back into public schools. We used to call that art class, but now it’s a non-profit program because public school budgets have been so gutted they need outside organizations to teach classes we used to take for granted. </rant>
Young’s little boy, Gabriel, waves and is so damn adorable with his perfect head of black curls I wish he didn’t get saddled with a drip like Young. Dusty’s excited (Well, as excited as Dusty gets. The man’s a human spliff.) because he teaches art to grade school students. This week’s challenge is for the contestants to make complementary pieces to the children’s work.
The children are quite talented and I will refrain from pointing out that several are more thoughtful and sophisticated than their adult partners, Bayeté. Zelda’s collage is my favorite but so many of the children show a depth I know I didn’t have when I was ten. I was too busy reading Tiger Beat. Hilariously, the two little girls who made the drawing Bayeté will be working from, Liora and Isabel, have already shown this piece in another gallery, and Bayeté chuckles because he doesn’t realize he’s a hack.
The two most engaging children are Reynie and Alana. Sucklord’s working with Reynie. She’s very enthusiastic as they sit on the floor sorting through his action figures and picking out their favorites. He doesn’t hold it against her that she doesn’t toss the Jar Jar Binks. Her painting is a willow tree.
Alana is Kymia’s child artist and is also insane. Her painting is a carrot on the beach. This does not inspire Kymia and Alana’s not helping until Kymia asks what’s going on just outside of frame. Then the glorious nutter comes out and it becomes the story of a little girl who ate everything she could but when she took the bite of the carrot she died. She tells this story like she’s recounting this week’s episode of Glee. Then she physically interprets the story so Kymia can videotape her. She is awesome.
The artists buy supplies and we get back-story and character development but other than the photos of little Lola with her mom’s then boyfriend, Al Pacino, who cares.
Back in the studio, the artists discuss their pieces. Sarah K’s making a shadow box, Dusty’s making a portrait that replicates his child’s black rectangle with doors that reveals pieces of the boys face, and Lola’s being a bitch and shit-talking her kid’s work. Young, as is his wont, looks at a mobile of birds and sees the power and glory that is half-naked Young. He bugs me so much. And because an episode wouldn’t be complete unless 20% of it is Sucklord, we learn that growing up he was just Morgan Philips, the cutest little Star Wars nerdboy, ever.
The anvils of foreshadowing settle over Tewz’ head as he says he’s pleased with what he’s doing. Meanwhile, Kymia relates another personal story about growing up a first generation Iranian-American in Durham, NC (not all fun) and Sara J keeps looking at Zelda’s exuberant and joyful collage while obsessing over her parents divorce and is so fixated on it she can’t remember how to spell divorce.
Simon comes for his visit but doesn’t really give anything away like he usually does so he’s useless. Except he does tell Lola that her drawing sucks. Then he says he’ll be auctioning off the winning piece, but it’s not to blow smoke up the winner’s ass like auctioning Abdi’s piece last season. Proceeds will go toward Studio in a School. And the winner will still have immunity.
Showtime! China wore this:
Anyway, no one was particularly tragic or self-important or even up his own ass so the show is relatively smooth and uneventful. Lola gives her pedestrian piece another ridiculous name, Nicole showed up because she so wasn’t an attention whore last season, and Dusty gets smurfy over a cute baby girl in a raspberry bonnet, but everyone seemed to have a great time. Even Bill Powers remembered to get high beforehand and didn’t make any ignorant and/or possibly racist comments. Sucklord, Tewz, Sara J, Kymia and Dusty are held back for the crit.
Kymia and Dusty are in the top, and Bill’s comment that Dusty’s piece is like an advent calendar is spot-on but he gets a little fruitier when he calls it a visual biography. Other than his Eraserhead hair, Bill gave a good crit. Kudos, Bill. Here’s a bong. I agreed with Simon that being so literal in interpreting Kei’s piece helped Dusty and I liked that he took the abstract and made it more personal to the boy he was working with. They were obvious companion pieces.
But Kymia takes the win for showing actual drawing skills and incorporating Alana’s insane story about the girl who died eating everything by drawing a dead girl covered in the detritus of her binge and the tiny piece of deadly carrot sticking out of her mouth. It’s creepy and gruesome in ways children love and is overall a successful piece so yay, Kymia!
This leaves Sara J., Sucklord and Tewz on the bottom. Sara J completely loses it, partly because she over identified and personalized the assignment, but also because she realizes she completely ignored Zelda and her work. The judges don’t disagree and don’t point out that hers looks anemic next to Zelda’s big, beautiful collage.
Sucklord gets nailed for being too literal, again, and he plays to the camera about how it’s a success because Reynie loved it, but Jerry threatens to kick Sucklord’s ass if he uses Star Wars ever again.
This leaves Tewz and while I kinda sorta saw what he was going for, he really didn’t achieve it. It’s grim and gray and, again, quoting Bill “a PSA.” Sucklord wants some more attention and defends it a little too vociferously, but Tewz seals his fate when he says he had not other idea on how to interpret the boy’s piece. Tewz is out of there. He seemed intent on proving he was more than a street artist which is fine, but he lost all creativity or thought once he decided to use unfamiliar media, so no great loss. He handles it well and removes his self-portrait, which I’d forgotten how much I liked. It was clever, personal and looked great. He has skills and a point of view, but he lost his way trying to prove he was a fine artist.
Next week: New York Times artwork where Sucklord wants to change something and Michelle becomes Little Miss Rules while Kymia is shown as struggling but she has immunity so…?