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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

BBC Two’s Art Reality TV Contest “Show Me the Monet” Begins Second Season

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We are embarrassed to admit that until today, when the Telegraph published profiles of its second season contestants, we had never heard of BBC Two’s art reality TV contest “Show Me the Money,” on which amateur artists vie for a chance to sell their works in a London gallery. The new season began last night, and the incoming batch of contestants includes a just-out-of-art-school portraitist, a former costume designer, a jazz musician, and a pro hockey player.

The show’s triumvirate of judges is markedly more impressive than their States-side equivalents on “Work of Art,” and includes art historian Charlotte Mullins, art critic David Lee — who edits the satirical art journal The Jackdaw — and writer and dealer Roy Bolton. The season two contestants vary in age from 21 to 63, and work primarily in photography, painting, drawing, and sculpture.

So far this season Mullins has proved the harshest judge, giving negative votes to both episode two contestants — a Dürer-style cityscape by Adrian Sykes and a bull sculpture by Brendan Hesmondhalgh. The contestants’ artworks are available for perusal online — including ARTINFO office favorite Robin Storey’s fiery painting of the London riots.

Episodes of “Show Me the Monet” air every weekday at 3pm, London time, and can be watched online from within the U.K. For the rest of us, there’s always “Gallery Girls.” Sigh.

— Benjamin Sutton

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