What happens when artists go on reality TV:
After two hour-long episodes of ARTSTAR, not a single art object has been made. The Artstars mostly spend their on-air time around a boardroom table worrying about their marching orders, hearing about more auditions (naked ones!), and getting mini-lectures on recent art history. They do literally get marching orders, as Deitch decides the contestants should collaborate on an "art parade" rather than have a standard gallery show. But what's a wood sculptor to do? And the rest of the cast, despite some less-than-conventional art practices, clearly had their hearts set on a conventional gallery show. But not so fast, Artstars. Like Donald Trump, Deitch is the boss.
The real products, of course, are the Artstars themselves. They are diverse and competent people who seem hardworking and nice, so it's hard to say what's wrong with them, except that they are dull. Much of their speech sounds like prerehearsed art-school talk—discussing "issues of gender and representation"—and they come across as docile in their opportunism. They frankly discuss their practical reasons for being on the show, and you feel for them. The problem is that none of them want to make good television. They want "budgets." They want to be able to support themselves only with art. They want a good gallery to promote them. To get all this, they keep saying they need "access." But what will they do to get it? And will it be entertaining?