August 19, 2012

"Gallery Girls" + The Arts

Last week, I caught the series premiere of Gallery Girls, the latest reality TV show on the Bravo network. It's about a group of young women -- many of which "come from money" -- who aspire to have careers in the New York City art scene. Most of them are working in galleries as interns. Some of them want to be art dealers/buyers. Some of them are working to open their own galleries.

The NYC art blogosphere has blown up in response over this past week -- in fact, some NYC artsies have invented drinking games to go along with the show.

And in spite of my appreciation for the girls' sense of style, I have to admit that I side with majority of commentary from the artsy blogs I've read. The tragic flaw with these girls is that they want the money and the fabulous life of the NYC art world, but don't seem to be willing to do much of the work that it takes to get there. I have to laugh at the absurdity of the girls sweeping gallery floors in mile-high Louboutin heels. I shake my head at those intern girls who balk at the idea that they might actually be expected to do things and show up on time while they are at work.

Not to mention the fact that when it comes to working in any type of art (and in that, I include writing, music, and other mediums besides paint or sculpture), it takes time to be successful. In fact, most artists do not see financial success in their lifetimes. If you know your art history -- as many of these art-history-degree-holding gallerinas should -- then you know that many of the greatest artists did not see monetary success in their lifetimes. So many artists throughout history have spent their lives in poverty while they struggled to make livings for themselves through their art. As a result of the frustrations brought on by this struggle, many of them succumbed to depression, drug/alcohol addiction, and other demons ... which is part of the reason why one sees so many great artists who died at age 40 or younger. And then, of course, after the artist's death is when their work will actually start to bank.

But none of this matters to the gallerinas. They go on blowing their parents' trust funds, thinking that the money will just continue to fall into their laps -- and then they act surprised when people are upset with them for showing up late (or not at all), or when they're otherwise not willing/ready to work. (They also act surprised when Mom & Dad cut them off.)

That's my two cents (or more) on it, anyhoo. There's more vids where the trailer came from on Bravo's Gallery Girls webpage, if you wanna check it out and get the full extent of what I'm talking about. The next episode will be on tomorrow night as well; check your listings.

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