MTV and Hirshhorn’s Artist Contest Focus on Self-Portrait –

(Spoiler alert: This article contains information and plot points from episode six of The Exhibit, a documentary produced by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and MTV.)

As the first season of The Exhibit comes to a close, the artists are tasked with creating a self-portrait that captures who they are today – a tall order with only eight hours to complete the final task.

As Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu encourages participants to expand their definition of a self-portrait, she presents this week’s inspiration from the museum’s collection: Andy Warhol’s 1986 self-portrait, which questions the superficial nature of celebrity identities, and Ragnar Kjartansson’s Video work from 2015 Me and My Mother 2015 (detail) in which the artist instructed his mother to spit on him.

Related Articles

Joining Chiu as guest judges are writer-artist Kenny Schachter and collector Keith Rivers. They judge the works according to their originality, quality of execution and work concept. All pieces will be reviewed as usual for this week’s challenge and then three artists will be selected to present another work they will be making at home over the course of two months for the annual Hirshhorn Ball in Washington, DC. including a display case at the Hirshhorn and a $100,000 prize purse, will be announced at the event.

Immediate highlights include two paintings by Clare Kambhu showing her birthmark and scar from a medical procedure gone wrong, Frank Buffalo Hyde’s black-on-black profile of herself, and Jillian Mayer’s video selfies.

“If you take a picture of yourself, it’s yours. But if you upload it to the cloud, who ultimately owns it? The company,” Mayer says of her resulting work. “My parents also filmed my birth. So, I’m on VHS – I didn’t even agree to that… I have to think about my existence in a very mediated way.”

READ :  Solving the care crisis of the aging population via the Metaverse

Baseera Khan also focuses on her likeness in a fragmented photo collage that uses scans of her face, while Misha Kahn continues to bring humor to the studio – this time putting his face directly into a mold which he then puts into a continental breakfast and turns it into one Bust paired with a virtual reality painting.

Jennifer Warren revisits the hearse driver while simultaneously painting a self-portrait in her workspace. For his latest project, Jamaal Barber returns to linocut with a cheerful portrait of himself and his family.

This episode didn’t leave much time for the final challenge and felt rushed as contestants worked to secure one of the three spots for the ball. Chiu, Schachter, and Rivers led this week’s crit. She felt that Khan’s collage lacked some of the depth that others presented, while Barber’s print made her wish he had shown the linocut himself.

Warren’s oil paintings have been well received for their blending of the personal and the historical – a leitmotif she has followed since the competition began. Kambhu was celebrated for her courage to proudly paint her scar and birthmark and for telling her story.

The jury felt that Mayer’s video really draws attention to the responsibility we have for ourselves and that it would become more and more thought-provoking over time. With Kahn’s sculpture and virtual painting, they felt like he got it right – the more they looked, the more they saw.

However, it was Buffalo Hyde’s subtle yet powerfully subversive painting that earned him the win. In his black-on-black work, with the words “Invisible Indigenous” written on his shirt, the piece speaks of this process of annihilation being felt in the indigenous communities.

READ :  How Augmented Reality Will Help You Manage Your Data Center

“I don’t do self-portraits,” says Buffalo Hyde. “So a rarity. And the way I did it, I tried to render it in a simple way.”

Misha Kahn cast his face in the sixth episode of The Exhibit. COURTESY EXCEEDS

After a quickly celebrated win, with everyone expressing good feelings about challenging themselves over the last six weeks, three finalists – Kambhu, Kahn and Khan – were chosen to continue on the ball.

Kambhu, who feels she now has an arsenal of new techniques from the competition, presents a large painting of two upside-down school chairs. The jury noted that she presented intelligent and strong pieces throughout the show.

In a surprising selection, although Kahn hasn’t won any of the challenges, he advances with an unconventional diptych of a 3-D printed lamp with a collaged painting.

Similarly, Khan is also presenting a 3D printed self-portrait inspired by an 18th-century Naro Dakini goddess of liberation in Hirshhorn’s collection. “I’ve waited my entire life to do the work I’m doing now,” says Khan. “The ideas flow through me like a hurricane.”

At a pop art themed ball, the three finalists mingled with guests and art world personalities before receiving a final critique from Chiu, Schachter and Rivers.

Presented with a sense of humor and pain, Kahn’s diptych lamp and paintings capture an unsettling sense of never quite belonging. It is his imagination and his ability to create his own world that make him a true artist according to the jury.

Kambhu, who paints within a dehumanizing system in order to “feel human,” as she explains, has grown in size with the size of her painting. Her ability to illuminate systems and institutions through her lived experience in a vivid and thought-provoking way is her strength, according to the jury.

READ :  Invention by Cooperstown Resident Getting Interest from Military

In her sculpture, Khan has captured a sense of timelessness by using the past to express contemporary issues. The jury felt that Khan’s work inspires others to think about how they fit into the world. Ultimately, it was her ability to speak on universal subjects in such a personal way that earned Khan the win in the competition, as well as presentation at the Hirshhorn and the $100,000 prize.

Kahn and Kambhu hugged Khan, who stands stunned by their victory and begins to cry.

“[Baseera]did such an extraordinary job in this final sculpture, bringing together many important personal themes, and she transformed them into her art,” says Chiu. “I really think this is an opportunity for her to grow in a really, really important way.”