Work Of Art‘s Michelle Matson Reviews Last Night’s Episode: Hasty Decisions

As this season of Bravo’s Work Of Art nears its conclusion, Crushable has been talking with contestant Michelle Matson about how the show is shaping up.

Michelle exited the show a few weeks ago, but she has plenty of opinions about how the finale is shaping up. This week, the judges picked the final three contestants who will be creating a show for the Brooklyn Museum. Unlike the judges, Michelle did not care for fellow competitor Kymia’s art this week. And she thinks the judges made some unfortunate and quick decisions with their final choices. (And actually, so does Jerry Saltz.)

There have been a lot of tears this season. Why so much crying?
I think it’s a really stressful situation, being in that environment. Picture your worst/best most stressful day ever, now picture it happening day after day after day… It feels like you’re on a roller coaster. People love your work, people hate your work, people you respect say terrible things about you (to your face), people constantly criticize you, you win tons of money, you lose tons of money, you’re away from your support system, away from your loved ones, you have no control over your environment and cameras are following you everywhere.

Everyone has stress-induced freak outs in private, it’s just that there is no privacy in that sort of situation, so the crying is public- along with everything else.

They showed a lot of Kymia’s reactions during Lola’s defense of her work. Is there a lot of tension between those two?
There was some tension- all the footage is real. I think Kymia felt ruffled by Lola.

Also, it seems like everyone universally liked Kymia’s portrait. Did you?
I absolutely DO NOT agree.  Richard said that Kymia’s portrait made him want to throw up inside, and then she was voted as the winner?  What happened in between?!? I didn’t like that portrait. I agree with Richard’s quip [ed note: He originally said it made him want to barf], Kymia’s piece was like a bad G-rated knockoff of Robert Crumb.  Barf.

That portrait the Cold Spring artists Terence Donovan made in 20 minutes was pretty awesome. Do you agree with the judges that it was better than the piece of art Young created around it?
Young is a gifted artist and a quick & innovative thinker- watching him going through the bed & breakfast tour was excruciating!! I thought he was going to be axed for sure! I think Young has played this show very well- I don’t love all of his pieces, but I’ve always thought he would be making it into the finale. I think that exhibiting Terence Donovan’s piece alone would have been very daring and ballsy.

I would have loved it, but I’m not sure that the judges would have actually liked it (though they claim they would) they didn’t like Lola’s conceptually strong portrait, so why would they like Young’s conceptually strong portrait? Oh, because it’s a “portrait-y portrait”… well maybe. Young played it safe by including the photos, and I think that it guaranteed him a spot in the finale. Good for him.

Do you think the final three artists have grown (more than other contestants)?
Not necessarily. I think Kymia made one of the most conventional portraits that one could make. Maybe Terence Donovan should have made it to the final three.

Do you think Lola got robbed this episode?
Yes. Totally. I wish Lola could have made it to the final three, if she’d had three months to develop her work I think it would have been staggeringly impressive. We were all robbed, swindled and bamboozled by this unfortunate turn of events. We are all losing out as viewers- watching Lola complete a full body of work would have been wonderful. Now we’ll just have to go see her work in a gallery instead. Eh. I guess that’s not too shabby.

Anything that you really disagreed with from last night?
Well, obviously I didn’t like that Lola was sent home. I don’t know if this came across on the show, but she is a smart, witty, thoughtful artist I feel like the final three artists make good work, but also they make safer work- in my opinion the judges might have made some hasty decisions.

On to the Brooklyn Museum next week!

(Photo: Lola, Bravo)


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