15 March, 2008

Trumped Art

Most of you would never admit to watching reality shows, would you? I do. Since I've been indisposed, I failed to watch my fave last week, The Apprentice. That was my bad, since the episode I missed featured a NYC gallery opening, entitled "Painting by Numbers". I don't own TiVO, and my little TV may be obsolete in a few months, but there's always good old You Tube for catching that missed episode.

The pure voyeurism of watching a big city modern art opening is yummy enough, but the whole reason I watch the Trump show is to get my fix of cut-throat business competition and social psycho-drama. Add the art gallery part and that's the cherry on top.

The premise of The Apprentice is Donald Trump pitting contestants against one another during odd business tasks. The hopefuls are vying for rewards, and scrupulously trying to avoid being the target of Trump's famous, "You're Fired!" screed. More interestingly, the Celebrity Apprentice has celebrities winning large purses for their favorite charity.

What a gas to watch these famous persons struggle in the world of fine art! In this episode, the celebrity apprentices are Carol Alt, Supermodel, Lennox Lewis, World's Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Piers Morgan, Talent Show Judge, Trace Adkins, Country Music Star, Stephen Baldwin, Actor, and Omarosa, Reality Show Celebrity.

They operate as two teams of celebrities, and their challenge is to select and represent a modern artist's visual art at a high end NYC gallery opening, and sell the highest dollar amount of art. The task involves selecting the artist's work that they trust they can sell best, and the rest is pure promotion and on sight salesmanship.

Here's the rub. These celebrities express their own ignorance regarding contemporary art. In a funny and revealing way, this episode displays how intimidated these stars are to have to represent art.

The gallerist seems suitably snooty, although he may be just feeling the stress of spoon-feeding these celebrities through this task. The fine artists are nowhere to be found. They are, Shirley Shor
and David Kramer. The gallery is the Moti Hasson Gallery.

What I gleaned out of these was that even the elites are hopelessly lost when it comes to art, which is a bad thing for us artists who wish to reach our audiences. Also, promotion is indispensable to getting the message out about one's art. Limited edition tactics created more wealth, and a higher per-piece price was a factor, too.

The full episode can be viewed here, although you endure a commercial. Otherwise, I have embedded three YouTube segments that cover the show.

Trump's Blog

Blogs About The Celebrity Apprentice:
Wordpress On Topic


Unknown said...

Very interesting Casey. Art appreciation or the appreciation of fine art is a declining concept. How are folks going to develope any appreciation for the arts if not taught about it or even exposed to it. I could go on about this for days, but won`t. Blood pressure you know!

Casey Klahn said...

Har! I have little understanding of the culture's take on art, in general, because I grew up interested in art myself.

This show was a window on the state of art in America now.

Further, I get to meet and interact with collectors once in a while, so I see the good side enough that the general state of things isn't in front of me. Maybe, though, this show explains why so many people walk by my booth at the art fair and (insert really crass remarks here).

I thought it was great once when Alyson Stanfield mentioned that one of her friends didn't know what colors mix to make green. School failure?

Unknown said...

Thanks Casie! That was a really fun watch with my morning coffee!

I actually REALLY like the new media artists work.

I think the sad thing about it was it was just about the celebrities having contacts, not about the art much at all.

My kids learned how to mix colors before I even touched on the alphabet!

Casey Klahn said...

The artists were from the gallery's stable, and so the collector base was solid, too.

Trace Adkins and Piers Morgan are the final two! Woo Hoo!

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism