Whitehot Magazine

July 2009, Sarah Jessica Parker to produce reality TV show about contemporary art


"Magical Elves (Peabody Award-winning Project Runway, Emmy Award-winning Top Chef) and Sarah Jessica Parker (Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winner) and her production company, Pretty Matches, are teaming up for an hour-long creative competition series among aspiring contemporary artists who will create and compete to conquer the art world!"

Reality TV has spawned a host of franchises adapting a variety of topics to the small screen. Whitehot got word that Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex in the City fame is producing an untitled contemporary art reality TV program. Here we talk to Nick Gilhool head of casting for the company to get some info about the show.
Noah Becker: There’s not a lot of information out there about the program beyond the press release. Would you like to give us some additional info that is not out there yet?
Nick Gilhool: I could speak of what I’m in charge of, which is finding the engaging people who will be in front of the camera. That's the life blood of any program like this. We’re looking for some seriously accomplished artists or going to be accomplished, headed for an amazing career or in the midst of one. Because the viewing public- the general viewing public has to be impressed. We also feel like the art world people for whom it’s their everyday life have to be impressed too for this to have some longevity. So we really want some exciting people. We are really looking to break some unknown talent and that’s what the people who are producers get excited by and we hope that this means something in the art world. There’s understandably a lot of skepticism about “reality” meets art.
Noah Becker: Do you think that contemporary art is going to be as easily translatable to reality TV as say fashion or cooking? There are certain similarities between the international scope of the art world in comparison to the fashion world.
Nick Gilhool: I think there are some similarities and some differences. One reason this show hasn’t been done yet is that I think it takes a little more of a sophisticated touch to tackle the art world. There’s not as ready made a language in the pop culture side of things or what goes on in the art world as there is in the fashion design world, it’s not as accessible. I think that’s part of our challenge is to make is so for the people who are going to be watching. But the other part of that is I think we have to do that a little less than we’ve had to do in the past. Audiences are more sophisticated then they were three years ago. That’s another reason why we are excited about it working.
Noah Becker: Viewers are now more familiar with the reality TV format than in past years.
Nick Gilhool: Yeah so it can get a little more complicated.
Noah Becker: Right, it would be challenging for someone to take something like contemporary art or something that hasn’t been adapted for reality TV and kind of present it in that way.
Nick Gilhool: Yeah but there are lots of great people involved. They are up to the challenge.
Noah Becker: Good.
Nick Gilhool: We’re excited and there has been a lot of buzz about the open calls in the four cities we’re going to.
Noah Becker: How many contestants are being cast?
Nick Gilhool: Thirteen.
Noah Becker: And is it going to be one winner or three winners?
Nick Gilhool: We’ll get it down to one winner out of the thirteen.
Noah Becker: Have you picked the panel of judges?
Nick Gilhool: That’s a work in progress but I think everybody in the art world will recognize the people who we are talking to.
Noah Becker: Is it focused on a specific medium?
Nick Gilhool: We’re welcoming all comers at the moment. We are encouraging painters, sculptors, multimedia, installation, video, photography, things that might fit in the traditional gallery world. It’s a challenge for us to come up with appropriate challenges that will present a playing field that all those kinds of things can play on. Somebody with some versatility amongst all those things is going to be well served. Just like somebody with a fairly impulsive or less meticulous process might be served simply because of the time constraints people creating will be up against under these circumstances.

FOR COMPLETE CASTING INFO: www.BravoTV.com/casting.  

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Editor-in-Chief: Noah Becker

Noah Becker is founder and editor-in-chief of Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, a visual artist, jazz musician and writer.
Web: www.noahbeckerart.com       
email: noah@whitehotmagazine.com



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