11/10/2011 10:01 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Work Of Art : Episode 5, An Invigorating Challenge

Reading the New York Times reorganizes my daily thoughts, and often shifts my morning's priorities. Though it does not feed my work, (like Richard Prince or Adam McEwen), I'm addicted to the obituary section. Weeks later, Steve Job's obituary remains on my desk (for inspiration?), and on Monday I spent an hour looking up famous boxing images of Joe Frazier. In the middle of Sotheby's triumphant yet slow auction last night, I day-dreamed about being served ham at the eccentric Beckett scholar's home, Ruby Cohn. When there is no time to read, I devour book reviews as Cliff Notes, and have imagined rapid fire political and economic debates with Gail Collins... filled with social consciousness and reason to start my day.


So, I related more to Sucklord quietly sitting down to read the paper, rather than the pillaging of papers from his fellow contestants. Any random day is chock full of nuggets for inspiration. Perhaps Jerry was wrong to clip his wings last week- as now the Sucklord is clearly stuck. Let him play with his G.I. Joes and Ken dolls! By now his persona—a kind of Guido pose, which is just another form of drag—has cracked, and we all like him a lot. But clearly his days are numbered.


The mid-contest challenge was solid, with the perfect guest judge in Adam McEwen (though I wanted more of him). And the peek inside the Times factory was especially fun seen through Michelle's lens—robots, and all. Her work looked good enough to be in the top 3- especially taking on the most unpopular subject as health care. I would have kept Bayete and sent home Sara, whose ideas of madness seemed more to be an exercise in autism. Bayete just could not defend himself in front of the judges, choosing honesty and modesty rather than fighting for his place. Plagued by those cheap doors, he tried to give them integrity and bling- but ran out of time. He is smart- but perhaps too slow of a thinker for this contest. Lola's delicate drawing and Dusty's graphic map were definitely good enough to win, alongside Young's Where is Ai Wei Wei. Though, I question his use of a slogan that has clearly been used in the media, and by several other artists, including this banner designed by Rirkrit Tiravanija accompanying Ai Weiwei's 2011 installation at the Neugerriemschneider gallery in Berlin. I would have urged him to write his own.

Did you notice that during the credits China announces that you can now buy a print by one of your favorite artists? Go Bravo! I hope the artists get their 50%....

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