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After all the studio flirtations, scatological subject matter and soggy breakdowns, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist crowned its second season winner Wednesday night. [WARNING: The following interview reveals the winner and details from the finale.] In her final exhibition challenge, Iranian-American painter Kymia Nawabi created an installation that examined the concept of what comes after death through detailed drawings, amplified with textured paints and accompanying burial sculptures. She beat out performance artist Young Sun Han and figurative painter Sara Jimenez to win a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum in addition to the $100,000 cash prize. Not bad for a waitress with only $50 to her name.
Dusty Mitchell was not only surprised to have been cut from Wednesday's episode of Work of Art, but he was also pretty upset. He stands by his portrait of a child made entirely out of candy as a winning work. "I don't really understand why the judges felt like it needed to be laced with conceptuality," Mitchell, 32, said. "It is a portrait. I think the combination of materials and image provided a sufficient amount of substance that went far beyond a gimmick." Mitchell, who works as an installation artist, sculptor and art teacher in Arkansas, opened up to TVGuide.com about his feelings toward his competitors' portraits, his problem with judge Jerry Saltz's critiques and what's next for him. Plus, his thoughts on having to wear Young's short shorts!
Some thoughts about what's on tonight, starting with the reality contests. Was CBS' Survivor just teasing us with that trailer that showed Edna the Meek possibly upsetting Ozzy the Cocky in the next Redemption Island challenge? We'll believe it when we see it, but it would be nice for something unexpected to happen. The final Upolu 5 have stayed boringly, rigidly loyal to their game plan the last few weeks, but now that it's down to the next-to-last episode (8/7c) — the finale airs as the usual multi-hour extravaganza on Sunday — all bets presumably are off. Could anything keep Coach from making the finals? And if Ozzy somehow is bounced as well, that would make the climactic tribal council more interesting — which isn't the same as memorable.
Jerry Saltz picked Work of Art contestant Michelle Matson to win the whole thing — her first two pieces "The Eternal Woodsman" and "Dirty Playground" made her a frontrunner early on. But when she was faced with having to create something out of the pieces of a Fiat 500, Matson's anthropomorphic vision of a happy/sad car got her nothing but the boot. While traveling abroad, the 29-year-old Brooklyn artist who specializes in unusual paper-based creations, told TVGuide.com via e-mail about what went wrong, the Kymia controversy and her obsession with poop.
The Sucklord entered Bravo's Work of Art a brazen supervillain, but left defeated by, among other things, his sentimental side. At the end of this week's episode, he went home after co-designing a colorless maze as street art, a project that he says was the result of having been beaten down physically and emotionally by the competition. "I didn't see it coming but once it came it made total sense to me," he says. "There's not a lot of sleeping that goes on in these things. I was practically half-asleep throughout the entire challenge so I wasn't totally cognizant of what was going on, as evidenced by the mediocrity of my art work. I failed the challenge, I failed the show, I failed the competition. It was time for me to get the hell out of there." TVGuide.com spoke to The Sucklord (nee Morgan Phillips) on Thursday about why he thinks the kids challenge crippled him and why he's working on a China Chow action figure over, say, a Jerry Saltz one. Plus, his thoughts on Lord of the Rings vs. Star Wars, Lola vs. Sarah K, Jerk of Art, penises, and more: