Nature calls on final elimination of Bravo’s ‘Work of Art’
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For its last episode before the big finale, Bravo’s ‘Work of Art’ took its remaining contestants out to the scary woods and left them there stranded. Anyone hoping that these precious art-world climbers would be picked off one-by-one, ‘Blair Witch'-style was in for a disappointment, though.
This week’s challenge had the contestants use elements of nature to create a work of art that reflected some aspect of the great outdoors. Host China Chow, who has provided the show with one surreal moment after another with her bizarre haute-couture costumes, topped herself by showing up in the muddy forest in an outfit that has likely never left a SoHo boutique.
Nicole expressed the most enthusiasm for the assignment, asserting that she spent her childhood playing outdoors and communing with nature. Meanwhile, Jaclyn projected a quiet despair due to a nasty cold and a general unfamiliarity with the splendors of Mother Nature.
Back at the studio, Abdi went to work on a self-portrait using gravel from the woods as an ersatz charcoal powder. Peregrine used tree branches and dead foliage to create what looked like a sculpture of human legs morphing into a tree. Miles was inspired by fungus to create a complicated installation project.
The mood among the contestants was a mix of apprehension and anticipation since two of them would be eliminated in this round. Jaclyn provided the most drama, curling up on a sofa and nursing her cold. Her lack of enthusiasm for the project left mentor Simon de Pury unimpressed and caused her fellow contestants to give her unapproving stares.
Miles, usually confident to the point of cockiness, appeared unusually anxious throughout much of the episode, fearing that he had over-conceptualized and gone overboard with his installation piece. In one scene, he mooned the camera with his naked derriere after exiting the bathroom (perhaps in reference to the episode’s au naturel theme).
In the end, the judges said they were impressed with the overall quality of work. Still, they selected two contestants for the chopping block. (Spoilers ahead.)
Both Nicole and Jaclyn were eliminated for works that didn’t measure up to the competition. Nicole’s bizarre sculptural piece brought together various textural elements that were intended to reference her (part) Native American heritage. Jaclyn’s minimalist work played with the notion of horizons and perspective by isolating a rock against an oceanic backdrop.
Heading to the final episode are Abdi, Miles and Peregrine. Abdi won the round for his self-portrait. After saying their goodbyes, the contestants performed a big group hug. Touching, isn’t it?
The final episode will feature an appearance by Dave LaChapelle and the return of executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker.
-- David Ng
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