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Thread: Charles Saatchi hunts for new star on artists' answer to X Factor

  1. #1
    the color nine
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    Charles Saatchi hunts for new star on artists' answer to X Factor

    The BBC series School of Saatchi, which is set to be the X Factor for aspiring artists, will give a group of unknowns the chance to be plucked from obscurity by art collector Saatchi, who has launched the careers of some of the world's most famous contemporary artists including Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.

    Over three months, six unknown artists living in an art studio in east London, were challenged to produce a series of ambitious public art projects.

    They included a commission by Saatchi for large-scale pieces on the seafront in Hastings. Two artists rose to this challenge by building a "zoo without animals" consisting of a fake rock and a climbing frame for monkeys, complete with a hanging tyre, on the boating lake site in the town.

    At another site, two other finalists worked together to build a "ghost hut" made from scaffolding covered in mesh wire, on the site where a former fisherman's hut had burned to the ground.

    A panel of art experts, hand-picked by the reclusive Saatchi who will not appear on camera, assess their work throughout the series, often delivering damning critiques at their attempts to impress.

    The winner will be given a studio in London for three years and an exhibition at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, home to one of the most celebrated art collections in the world, where Saatchi showcases his most cutting-edge acquisitions.

    The four judges are Emin, Matt Collings, an artist and contemporary art critic, Frank Cohen, a multi-millionaire art collector and Kate Bush, the head of art galleries at the Barbican in London.

    Collings said: "Saatchi is a sort of king maker and his patronage can have the effects on an artist's career of shooting that career into supersonic stardom."

    In the first episode, broadcast tomorrow night on BBC Two, 40 artists gather at a warehouse in London, hoping to make it on to the judges' shortlist of 12, from which Saatchi selects the final six to enter his art school.

    One contestant who is seen unsuccessfully pushing the boundaries of abstract art is C. James Fagan, whose work involves placing headphones on the judges.

    Attempting to explain his bizarre work, he said: "This project is based on the idea that the chemical which started the big bang is the chemical responsible for love in the human mind. I will now expose them to short-wave transmissions."

    Mr Fagan's work is dismissed by Collings: "I think you're nice but you're just too weird."

    Another contestant who failed to impress the judges was Andrew Sims, a multimedia artist who stacked blue plastic chairs in a circle on the floor.

    When questioned why he thought it was art, he said: "My work is an attempt to, er, filtering the imagery and experience through this process of human experience."

    Emin delivers a withering critique before telling him he has not made the cut. "This is the biggest load of bull**** I've ever heard in my life," she says. "You are not convincing me. You are winging it and you've done it really badly."

    Other submissions that failed to impress the judges included a whistle hanging from a handrail submitted by Eugenie Scrase, a 19-year-old fine art student, and a spinning tractor wheel on a treadmill by Samuel Zealey, 23, a recent art school graduate.

    But in the true spirit of reality shows, both artists were given a second chance to show their potential, and have made it on to the shortlist.

    Collings said that School of Saatchi exposed the lack of talent among many aspiring contemporary artists. He said: "It's worth the public watching this. They should be thinking about where that utter s*** comes from that those poor little young artists are spouting."

    Rhys Himsworth, 28, an art school graduate from London, submitted a work entitled New Life to secure his place in the final 12.

    The work involved a cardiograph machine reprogrammed to monitor the activity of the website mydeathspace.com, which takes the details of people's myspace.com pages and creates a deathspace for them after their physical life has ended.

    One artist who elicited rare praise from a judge was Suki Chan, a practising artist since graduating from Goldsmiths College in 1999. Miss Chan, 32, works from her bedroom in a flat above a shop in east London.

    To secure her place on the shortlist, Miss Chan presented an installation consisting of a video projected behind a cityscape built from upturned glasses and another video of starlings taking flight.

    Emin said that her work was better than some established artists. "The film's flipping brilliant," she said. "There's a few artists' names come to mind when I saw it but this knocks spots off them."

    Ben Lowe, another contestant who made the final 12, described appearing on the show as "a dream ticket".

    Mr Lowe, 33, a commercial artist who has never attended art school, said: "If Charles Saatchi subscribes to what you do, it is like having the Simon Cowell effect. To get a gold star from him is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    "The competition was pretty gruelling though, and the critiques were tough. There was no pulling the wool over the judges eyes."

    Miss Bush said: "We're not looking for something that's completed and perfect already," she said. "We're looking for the potential for change."

    Saatchi has explained his decision not to appear on the show, saying: "Sadly, I don't have Simon Cowell's looks or charm, so it's best if I don't push my luck."
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/6624377/Charles-Saatchi-hunts-for-new-star-on-artists-answer-to-X-Factor.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member delta9's Avatar
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    Re: Charles Saatchi hunts for new star on artists' answer to X Factor

    I wonder what it is exactly it is monitoring?

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    Senior Member Hayalet's Avatar
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    Re: Charles Saatchi hunts for new star on artists' answer to X Factor

    Damn i would of watch it if i'd known, the advert made it look boring and Tracey Emin makes me want to   . [s]I think its over now[/s], i also wonder what the was monitoring...

    ETA only 3 have been shown and you can watch them on the iplayer but i doubt it works outside uk

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p8fj0

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    Senior Member Hayalet's Avatar
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    Re: Charles Saatchi hunts for new star on artists' answer to X Factor

    This is the art work-

    http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/4ns/artworkDetails/new-life/503880#rules

    the piece is made of a cardiograph which, instead of monitoring heartbeat activity, measures the activity of an internet site mydeathspace.com a site which logs the details of peoples myspace pages along with the circumstances of their death. As people di *the discription stops here...*


  5. #5
    the color nine
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    Re: Charles Saatchi hunts for new star on artists' answer to X Factor

    Thanks Lozz

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