Work of Art: Ripped from the Headlines

It’s 5:30 a.m. This man is not human.

Dillon time means time for Young to let us know just how deeply and meaningfully he feels things.  This time, it’s about how he wants his roommates (Sucklord and Tewz) to stay but he just doesn’t want anyone to go. Guys, he feels so many feelings.  I’d like him to feel the feeling of my hitting him on the head with a whiffle ball bat.  Sucklord’s feeling the heat of constantly being told he sucks but in his words he’s from New York, he’s tough, he survives. He’s “like a cockroach.” He doesn’t add disease-ridden, though.

Kymia’s happy she won but a Frankenbite of Lola implies she isn’t.  Although, they couldn’t even edit in any evil because all Lola says is she’s competitive with Kymia which, duh.  But I won’t try to explain that to her, she’d probably just blow smoke in my face and then give it an annoying title.

Simon swans down the hallway at 5:30 a.m. and this is our first clue that he is, in fact, a cyborg because he looks the same as he always does and at some point everyone looks like shit, and 5:30 a.m. is usually that point.  To wit:

Pretty boy…pretty boy.

Anyway, he’s taking them on a field trip to the New York Times printing facility and they’re squealing with excitement, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that it’s too damn early to realize the newsroom is not in some industrial building in Bumfuck, Queens.

Lola yaks about how her mother made her read the front page of the Times instead of watching cartoons like any normal little girl would do.  Ah the asshole apple didn’t fall far from the pretentious tree.  Michelle takes a more normal attitude by being amazed at how everything is automated and a printing press of that magnitude is pretty impressive.  Bayeté tells us he started as a photojournalist but that required actual work so now he farts around with whatever bullshit he’s doing.

China’s waiting in another of her mod dresses but without the clip-on bangs to give them their next assignment.  They have to create a piece inspired by a headline, but this is reality TV, so they also have to use newspaper in the final project. Why?  Just ‘cause.  Kymia does UNC and UF proud when she admits she doesn’t read the paper.

Simon jumps in to tell them that there will no longer be immunity but this challenge does come with a $20,000 prize.  The artists genuinely squeal at this.  Young overacts his enthusiasm because he never met an honest human emotion he didn’t put through the Younginator to amp up by 15% just to show us just how many feelings he feels.  I would like him to feel the feeling of me throwing a Frisbee at his head.  Dusty mumbles about how he could really use that money because he and his wife are teachers and no matter where you live, teacher will always get paid shit.  Because we don’t want to leave any child behind.

Lola is the Miles

Utrecht where nothing happens except we have now pinpointed the Miles, and she is Lola.  Called IT!  Then she flashes a peace sign and, seriously, stop that.

FYI, Here are the headlines:

Bayeté Different Church, More Sequins
Dusty New Poll Shows Darkening Mood Across America
Kymia Careful and Sadistic: Profiling L.I. Killer
Lola Inferior Arms Hobble Rebels in Libya War
Michelle What Proof Would You Require If She Had Her Appendix Out
Sara J. Revisiting Ghost Towns While They Still Can
Sara K. Darkness Invisible
Sucklord B.P. Agrees to Pay $1 Billion for Start of Gulf Restoration
Young China’s Case Against Artist Cites Taxes, Paper Says

Sarah K’s article is about the Styron biography by the same name, so she probably didn’t realize she was using the book’s title not a headline, but her idea to layer the words and cut out the spaces between creating a jumble to represent “madness” sounds great in theory. Wonder if she’ll be able to pull it off. Bayeté, as is his wont, stops at the headline and then builds a great story about some bullshit that won’t even remotely appear in his hackneyed junior high piece.

Young doesn’t understand how bleach actually and thinks he can “bleach” away the print to represent censorship, which, by the way, not at all what his article is about, but he’s Young and he farts rainbows so it doesn’t matter.  He ends up dissolving the paper. Dumbass.  He over-thought the whole thing when all he needed to do was take a Sharpie and “redact” whole swaths of text because that’s how the government “censors.”

The artists bond over what they’d do with the money and it’s basically the Barenaked Ladies song, If I Had a Million Dollars, but is pretty cute because they joke about Michelle buying a used yacht with a hole in it.  Then Lola tries to get in on the cute, but she’s annoying, so I’ll just point out that a milliner is a hat maker.  Harking back to the top of the episode, we get a Frankenbite from Kymia seemingly enjoying what an asshole little Lola can be but then, after an edit and off camera, says it’s childish.

Aiming for cute, landing on asshole.

Michelle is doing a piece about insurance companies needing “proof of injury” to settle claims, because lord knows why actually cover people when you can bleed them dry whenever they have unexpected medical costs</rant>.  Dusty’s creating a 3D map of the US with downtrodden silhouettes.  Bayeté’s a dumbass and suggests raised fists with the silhouette but somber isn’t the same as defiant.  Dusty doesn’t think of that and says, he’s “not a Black man,” so, yeah.  Southern.  But Bayeté just says Black people don’t have a monopoly on fists so it’s a draw in the asshattery on that one. Actually, no.  I think Bayeté’s still the bigger idiot because the silhouette is iconic to the Tommie Smith/John Carlos picture from the ’68 Olympics.

Kymia’s making a coffin out of newspaper and making casts of her feet poking through because she’s is macabre. Young wants to make a piece about censorship and Ai Weiwei’s disappearance which, no. He wasn’t missing, he was in jail, idiot.  That’s why the article was about trumped-up tax charges to keep him in prison.  But why read when you can fart out something utterly incongruous to the headline but pings the judges self-important response.  He’s even changing his headline to read “Where Is Ai Weiwei,” which, still sitting in a jail not missing, persecuted not censored.  Words have meaning, Young.  Sara J. is making a spooky watercolor about farmers and their livestock melding together after the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima plant.  It’s actually quite lovely in its creepiness.

One of these men is so very wrong about this piece.

Time for Simon’s visit. He gives Lola positive feedback and she has to turn it around to being terrified because, much like Young, she has so many feelings.  All of which bug me.  He also tells Sucklord, whose piece was the front page glued to a piece of wood and whitewashed, Rauschenberg-style, with the photos cut out to have oil oozing, not to be so literal since that’s the judges big complaint.  Wonder what Sucklord will do.

He wants to change his headline but Michelle vetoes it, and as we learned last season, deviating from the directions requires unanimous approval.  By the way, she isn’t physically incorporating the newspaper into her painting, she painted the newspaper into her painting which I think falls outside the directions, but hypocrites never notice these things.

Unable to change his headline, and at the encouragement of that wizened sage, Lola, he decides to chuck it because he doesn’t even like Rauschenberg. (I’ll ignore that.) Instead he decides to glue photocopies of money to wood blocks and then use the newspaper as money bands.  Because that’s not literal.  By the way, Sucklord, “wanting to bang her” is not a good justification for taking advice from Lola.

Not relevant, this just amuse me.

Not enough foreshadowing has happened so let’s check in on Bayeté.  Even though he originally had his doors laid out properly, and his piece shouldn’t have taken more than an hour to make, he somehow flipped one of the doors and they’re now misaligned.  Really, there’s “half-assed” and there’s “doesn’t give a shit”.  Bayeté is clearly in the second group.

Last minute scramble scenes don’t amount to much except Young talks about his awesomeness some more, Bayeté’s screwed and Kymia’s coffin is so heavy it almost cracks, but doesn’t.

If Lyle Lovett had a baby with Eraserhead, even that baby’s hair wouldn’t be this ridiculous.

And it’s time for the show! This week’s guest judge is Adam McEwen and I don’t necessarily “get” his art but everyone else there does and he nails Bayeté’s lack of effort (SPOILER), so I’ll accept that his work probably reads better in person.  Nothing of interest happens during the show, except I think Bill may have switched up the type of weed he’s been smoking because he’s extra stoner and punny. And Bayeté makes a joke about how much his piece sucks because he doesn’t realize how much he sucks.  Sucklord, Young, Sarah K, Dusty, Lola and Bayeté are held for the crit.

So Young wins, but here’s the thing.  A) Ai Weiwei was in prison so his faked headline is wrong B) The original headline had nothing to do with Ai’s imprisonment, it was about the trumped-up tax charges they were using to hold him, C) This was straight up pandering to the crowd and D) This crowd should have known how off the mark he was but instead he gets praised and $20K for not just being literal and obvious but for being wrong.   Plus, this piece was probably the bane of the Times staff as long as it was on the floor tripping people on their way to get coffee and a bagel.

Of the top three, this was the one should have won (although my favorite was Sara J’s) because it had everything they wanted for the assignment, has wall appeal and was one hell of a prescient piece considering how quickly OWS has grown and spread.  But Dusty doesn’t have that art-crit speak wank down so I think he might minimize the impact of his work.

And Bayeté loses.  No surprise because he’s been making half-assed shit all along.  He doesn’t try to defend the piece, so points for that, but like McEwen said, he didn’t do much more than come up with an idea and called it art.  He couldn’t even explain the lopsided doorknobs because there is no explanation.  He built a frame, painted a couple of doors and then glued on some letters.  That doesn’t take all day.

No loss that Bayeté’s gone, I just wish he didn’t have immunity when Leon got shit-canned.  But looking back, I just wish the judges had realized what a creatively bankrupt hack he was when they canned Ugo. At least Ugo and Leon can draw.

Next week:  Street art and Sucklord tags China’s pretty white dress, but she doesn’t kick his scrawny ass so it was probably planned.  And Lola may or may not be mean-girling Kymia.

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3 Responses to Work of Art: Ripped from the Headlines

  1. DianaRita says:

    This was your most hilarious recap to date. I was laughing so hard I teared all over the keyboard. Thanks for a great morning start.

  2. Bill Meyers says:

    I liked Young’s piece. It made me read about an artist I had never heard of before. His story is still ongoing it seems. I googled the article, and I think during the time of filming, the artist’s exact whereabouts were still unknown. He was arrested but his family and the media weren’t told where he was being held, and if there was other shady business going on. I also liked Lola’s drawing.

    • Dina says:

      But, to me, the very fact that the story was considered front page news by the New York Times as well as the Guardian somewhat negates the presumed idea behind Young’s piece since Ai was clearly considered a big enough story for two very large papers of record to cover it. Plus, someone else noted elsewhere that by blacking out the page with the article that Young, not the NYT, was censoring Ai Weiwei.

      And it was indicative of the work Young’s done to date. It has an immediate impact that suggests deeper meaning but scratch the surface and there isn’t much there. Other than encouraging you to investigate the story on your own, what more did his specific piece contribute to your understanding of Ai’s situation?

      I will accept, though, that my personal distaste for Lola and the fact that her style of drawing for this challenge might have rendered her piece less effective on TV rather than in person.

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