Abdi, don't hide. You won! And somehow Peregrine took second and Miles was third.

By Gina Carbone
opus619@gmail.com

Awesome! Abdi Farah definitely deserved to win season 1 of Bravo’s “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.”

I admit, I was on Team Miles Mendenhall at the start of the season, but Abdi won me over with his quiet, consistent talent and positive attitude.

Abdi's I.E.D. piece on "A Shock to the System" was one of my favorites of the season. He's the only one who made a lasting, meaningful work of art from this challenge. Everyone else just went for cheap sex, as if that's "shocking."

Miles is the prototypical art school kid. Having said that, his work was always more interesting and exciting than anything Peregrine Honig did.

The finale should’ve come down to Miles and Abdi. But at least the right artist won.

***Stream of Consciousness Recap***

The final three get three months and $5,000 to put on a show? Really? $5,000? Did I hear that right? I did. Wow.

Adorable mentor Simon de Pury visits the finalists, just like Tim Gunn on “Project Runway.”

Peregrine’s husband is a jazz musician and horn sculptor. They have a really cool place in Kansas City. She went with a carnival theme for her show. Simon loves her drawings of people vomiting. That’s my problem with this show in a nutshell. People vomiting is seen as impressive.

Abdi’s mom meets Simon at their home in Dover, Pa. I thought he was from Baltimore. No? He said she pushed him like a stage mother. He has a nice space to work in, too. No Christian Siriano closets so far. He was inspired by his last winning piece, the nature challenge. Simon was not dazzled by Abdi’s work. Simon said his technical prowess is his strength and weakness.

There’s snow on the ground in Minneapolis when Simon visits Miles. Everyone on this show has nice big spaces to work in. Whatever happened to the classic starving artist? He grew up making death traps for animals. And last week he wanted to make mustard gas. THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND ABOUT MILES. Just sayin’. Something about a homeless man freezing to death in front of White Castle. Now that homeless man is part of Miles’ art?

Simon likes what Miles is doing so far. So is this a red herring? Simon meets Miles’ parents. It’s like they’re dating on “The Bachelorette.” His family is so white middle-class suburbia. His parents are music teachers. Simon kisses his mother’s hand. I love Simon.

I still think Abdi should've won the first challenge for this arresting portrait of fellow contestant Ryan. Maybe if he had captured Ryan's crazy laugh he would've won.

Back in New York together, Abdi gushes about how much he loves Miles and Peregrine. This is not like “Project Runway” anymore. Usually at this point they are trash-talking.

Ha! Miles said after Simon left his house his mom ragged on him about how poorly he dressed. I bet his mom also ragged on his dad about not kissing her hand every day.

Miles has never been to the Brooklyn Museum, but every time it’s brought up Abdi and Peregrine go nuts. So Miles is above this, too. I used to love him.

Never loved China Chow. Or any of the judges.

Ha! China is excited to see what they made. Miles is excited to see what she’s going to wear. Miles calls her “double whoa.” Nicole is going to be jealous. China looks like a tiny purple version of Big Bird. Little Bird, maybe.

One work from the winning artist will be included in Simon’s art auction house Phillips de Pury & Company.

How is it that these three get along so well? Miles loves Peregrine’s stuff. Peregrine thinks Miles’ stuff is a little too obscure.

Elderly White Castle patrons? Really? Did he get their permission or does that not matter?

Is Miles chewing on cotton candy during the show? OK, a lot of people are.

Ryan is back!

Sarah Jessica Parker is in the house! She’s the executive producer of the show. She seems to be drinking the Miles Kool-Aid too.

“Do you see the face of Jesus?” “No.”

“It looks like art, but what is he saying?”

Peregrine’s stuff continues to do nothing for me.

Except for the cotton candy. That’s her best thing.

“I think they’re all vomiting.” Yes. Me too.

Abdi has sculptures on the floor. Humanity has been covered up in so many ways.

“Makes you want to cry.” “It’s really moving.”

SJP is really so proud … of what? She doesn’t seem to complete the thought.

Abdi’s mom is very proud of him, though!

A conceptualist, feminist and someone taking on issues of race? Are those their boxes? Just because Peregrine is a woman and Abdi is black?

Cell phone video camera photos of an alcoholic homeless man who died. Seriously.

David L. seems to love it. The judges are gushing.

Here's Peregrine's fawns image. It is eerie, but striking. It has impact. If art can be analyzed at all it's for sincere emotional impact as opposed to "look at me!" shock value. Definitely her strongest piece in the finale, but I still don't think she earned her shot to be there. Also, lose the vomiting chicks. And that horse's "energy" did nothing for me.

Why would Abdi’s work be about Haiti? “It kept shifting my mind. … it’s like a film, the narrative kept changing.” Bill Powers thought it was “art school”? This guy annoys me.

Taxidermied unborn twin fawns???

That’s Peregrine. Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn’s feels the love from it.

Upon reflection, this is the most memorable piece in the show and it definitely makes me want to look again, and look closer. It has a haunting power. But the rest of her work leaves me empty.

The judges are gushing again. Uh oh. I’m worried. But Powers thinks Peregrine could’ve edited her work. Thank you for mentioning the people vomiting as a not-so-great thing.

Jerry Saltz, possibly my least favorite judge, says Miles has grown enormously. They are more pretentious than the artist/contestants, by far. Why has Saltz wanted Abdi out of the show for so long?

OH MY GOD, Saltz calls Abdi dramatic and self-indulgent? Have you met Miles yet?

Peregrine. Ha! “And look at that horse. That horse has a lot of energy coming off of it.” Please.

Miles is third place? Wow. That I did not see coming. Peregrine had better not win…

THANK YOU! Abdi wins. But Peregrine shouldn’t have been in the finale at all, never mind second.

Now Abdi gets a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and a cash prize of $100,000. Did Abdi and Peregrine take first and second because they gushed more about the prizes and the guest artists and seemed more into the whole thing than Miles? Miles has always appeared to be above everything.

Man, this show has a lot of issues. But I like it. I hope they find 14 (or more) fantastic artists for season 2. Make it work!

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