Just when you thought that reality tv surely couldn’t produce another American Idol style spin-off, Jeffrey Deitch of Deitch Projects dreamed up Artstar, television’s first and only “Who wants to be a famous artist?” playoffs. It must be said that if anyone were to pull such a stunt Jeffrey Deitch is the most appropriate — perhaps even forgivable? — offender. He certainly knows how to stay firmly tongue-in-cheek while selling to the masses (At the 2005 Armory Show he lured buyers by transforming his gallery’s booth space into a Deitch-branded bakery selling limited-edition sweets).
Artstar, as you can probably surmise, follows a group of aspiring (mostly young) artists as they compete to become THE NEXT BIG THING. While no one gets voted off the island in this show, a panel chaired by, among others, Paper magazine’s Carlo McCormick and art critic David Rimanelli, plays the time worn role of mixing barbed criticism with benevolent support in the way only a team of reality tv mentors can.
If you don’t find whole idea of watching art celebutants compete for the limelight distasteful (or if its just distasteful enough for your taste) you’ll have to get some mega-powered cable access to get the show, which is only available on the obscure Gallery HD channel.
While the show may only be in its first episodes on air, it seems that it may not be too difficult for attentive viewers to divine the winner. For a hint, just check which of the eight contestants had a solo exhibition at Deitch Projects late last year.