Bravo's new reality shows skim the lowlights of the art world and celebrity photography.

What you're watching.
June 23 2010 2:41 PM

Strike a Pose

The aspirants on Work of Art, the celeb photography team on Double Exposure.

(Continued from Page 1)

From a psychological standpoint, Markus and Indrani are essential to each other's emotional needs in ways that would require all the quacks in Austria to explore. "I always encourage Markus to flirt," she says during one fashion shoot, as if unaware that providing such encouragement is a waste of her valuable time. Maybe she just doesn't really how subtle Markus is in his approach, as when he very subtly asks a model, "Are you single?" Naturally, the dynamic between Indrani and Markus creates a certain energy on the set.

It is not clear that this energy is clean. What makes Markus "hot" may well be contributing to global warming. Women's Health is a perfectly good magazine, and its photo editors are bright people, but snapping pictures of Eve for its pages needn't be a fraught existential adventure. Markus is a sadist by temperament and principle. Standing with a model on railroad tracks, he roars loader than the approaching train. "We could die right here," he says. "Who cares as long as you get the shot?" Well, there's the assigning editor, for instance, and the interns hoping for references, but he's a weird dude, and there you have it, and Indrani offers him a deconstructed shoulder pad to cry on. She even looks on supportively when Markus does an extremely strange thing by the standards of the glamour industries: Leaning in to give a young model an air kiss, he aims one at her left cheek—a rogue crossover move that a lecher or lover boy can work to his advantage.


None of contestants on Work of Art: The Next Great Artist (Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET), which is essentially Project Runway gone to the Saatchi Gallery, would ever attempt that shady lip maneuver. The majority are too polite, and even the megalomaniacs have a sense of politesse. The show is a civilized place—a salon where aspiring artists and judges discuss critical values and aesthetic issues directly, with concision and sincerity. Also, the contestants are saving their lips for kissing ass at studio crit.

The season began with 14 wannabe art stars scratching and gouaching and conceptualizing away in search of the big prize, which includes a solo show at the God-do-I-need-to-move-out-of-Brooklyn Museum. Try rooting for tireless Miles, the baggy-eyed installation artist. Go to Bravo's Web site to relive the dismissal of Trong, who tried to perpetrate a lame-ass metatextual autocritique that wouldn't have impressed any kindergartener familiar with the Postmodernity of SpongeBob SquarePants. Know that each of the artists here is a child of Pop, intuitively and definitionally. Each of them rolls the creative process, the finished work, and her public performance as an artist into an eager consumer package. They're all operators with soundbites on line one.

Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.