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.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.