As I watched this episode, I was so genuinely hurt. I had no idea Miles had said those things and it hurt because, 1.) It’s simply not true that my painting was his idea and 2.) I have been an advocate for Miles up until this point. I really admired his work on the show and had a great deal of respect for him as an artist. I am still really confused that he would be so disingenuous and I can’t believe he would try to take credit for my project.
It was my intention from the beginning to do a classical, nude image of a woman that was universal yet had a contemporary feel. THIS was the concept, and was entirely my idea.
Miles then presented his idea of control/loss of control and I agreed it was an interesting way to make our pieces tie together, and I thought, “Sure, I can work with that.” Control was a running theme in both of our work, and I didn’t see a problem with this compromise. Miles and I then engaged in a long discussion about both of our pieces, offering mutual suggestions and feedback with ideas being shot down on both ends.
Regarding Miles’ comments: I find it difficult to believe that ANYONE would actually think I would have difficulty with this challenge, considering that my work for the PAST FIVE YEARS has been primarily about women and/or female sexuality. When I randomly picked male/female I was THRILLED!!! I was excited about this challenge and viewed at as an opportunity to build upon my typical body of work.
There were a few moments where I seem uncomfortable on the show: While I had no issue making a piece involving nudity or sexuality, I had a bit of a cold at the time (recall the children’s museum a few days ago…) and admit that part of me was not excited about being nude in front of video cameras. There is a very different kind of vulnerability in that situation.
The image I made feels sexual yet spiritual simultaneously due to the central composition, the white color (symbolizes purity), and by adding a wood structure that makes it feel like an altarpiece.
The reason I hung sheets around my work space was to protect my painting from the enormous amount of sawdust in the room which accumulated do to Miles not having a separate area to cut wood.
The majority of Art throughout history is about sexuality, spirituality, or both. Reconciling these two elements in my work is a running concern of mine. Nudity in Art is a beautiful form of expression. Some of the most enigmatic paintings and sculptures ever created have been of the female nude. . I am proud of the final image that is produced in this challenge and find it to be thought provoking and critical.
Based on the work alone, I think Miles and I deserved to win. The individual pieces were harmonious in their contrasts and had enough ambiguity to prevent the narrative from being didactic. However, winning isn’t everything – and it certainly isn’t worth what I’m feeling right now.
***MUST READ ARTICLE!!!! http://femalepersuasion.blogspot.com/2010/07/bravos-work-of-art-in-defense-of-jaclyn.html
***UPDATE! Miles Mendenhall called to apologize.
I will keep our discussion confidential, but I am glad that after seeing the episode he felt compelled to contact me.
A short pictorial ode to sexuality in Art: