Here are some answers to questions viewers have had. I will try to answer as many as possible.
1. "Who did you view as your biggest competition throughout the show?" I knew from day 1 Miles would make it to the final three, but I felt like if I earned one of the other two spots I could beat him - I felt his work didn't suffer much from the time constraints, whereas if I had more time it would have made a world of difference. In the beginning I viewed Ryan as pretty direct competition due to the similarity of our styles. At the end, I didn't know what the final challenge would be but I thought it would come down to me, Abdi, and Nicole vying for the other two spots... and Abdi pulled through that challenge.
2.) "What food did you all eat during the show?" Lol. We ate very well... and I am one of the pickiest eaters on the planet! No five-star meals or anything, but our apartments were filled with all of our favorite foods (and lots of booze) and at the studio we got to order take-out and basically pick whatever we wanted. Jaime, Ryan and I drank diet coke incessantly. I'm vegetarian (but I eat fish and dairy) and I was always fine... I ate what I always do: a TON of greek yogurt, fruit, veggies, protein bars, salads, sushi, whole wheat bagels, and coffee.
3.) "Which artists are your biggest influence? What might be a surprise to people in terms of influence?" I've been influenced by many different artists at different points in my career. I LOVED Janine Antoni for years.. and she has a gift of using material brilliantly that makes me insanely jealous. Since I left art school I've been in a weird place because I was working full time for Jeff Koons, then did the Bravo show, and I think I wanted to experiment with more materials but didn't have the time. Now that it's all over I can see myself moving beyond painting (though I love painting too much to ever stop). Some other female artists that were a big influence were Jenny Saville, Lisa Yuskavage, Marilyn Minter, Vanessa Beecroft and Cindy Sherman, to name a few. The first artist that really "moved" me was Rembrandt: I was 15? or so when I saw his self portrait at the Met and I stood there for an hour in tears. I thought it was magical and had life in it. This happened again with Sargent's "Madame X" and later in Naples when I saw one of Michelangelo
's cartoons for the Sistine Chapel. His drawings look like they could come to life at any moment. I find Damien Hirst's work to be rather showy, but really appreciate the commentary his work makes on mortality and the irony present in it. Certain artists have also blown me away with a piece here or there, although I wouldn't consider them "biggest influences". I've really enjoyed the commentary in some of Laurel Nakadate's work and in Liz Cohen's Bodywork series. One day I really must own a Warhol diamond dust painting.
4.) "Did you find the challenges inspiring or limiting, overall?" It depends! I thought the public art challenge was a great premise and I'm sad it didn't turn out differently. I probably learned the most, as an artist, from the shock challenge. I felt the child challenge was too limiting (when I was a kid, I HATED children's materials and opted to paint with nail polish or makeup, I asked if I could use nail polish I had back at the apartment but was not allowed). I really didn't think the book challenge was appropriate for this situation. Not that it's not relevant, but it's not a determinant of who is a "great artist". In general, they would all be good assignments for a college student to get, but some were a bit too limiting, especially for working Artists.
5.) "You obviously have the talents to create many different types of art from all kinds of subjects. Do you think your collection of work will branch out after your exposure?" Yes. I will always love painting the figure which I have continued to do, but I have also been working on a series of explosion paintings. I'm reluctant to post "work in progress" but here are some images of what I've been working on:I also recently had a gallery show, and here are some figurative works from that: