Bravo’s Gallery Girls brings reality TV to New York City art scene

Bravo TV shows once again that the contemporary art lifestyle has a broad appeal.

Cable television channel Bravo will debut a new documentary-style reality show Gallery Girls on 13 August 2012. The show follows seven twentysomethings around New York City as they try to make a name for themselves in the art world.

Stars of the upcoming Bravo reality television programme Gallery Girls.

Stars of the upcoming Bravo reality television programme Gallery Girls.

The show’s “cast” includes Maggie Schaffer, Amy Poliakoff, Angela Pham, Claudia Martinez Reardon, Liz Margulies, Kerri Lisa, Chantal Chadwick and Liz Margulies, daughter of collector Martin Margulies. Though Bravo has been tight-lipped so far on the details, one scene from the trailer shows a cast member interviewing at the Chinese contemporary art-focused gallery Eli Klein Fine Art.

The show follows the girls as they try to make it in a world that can be unforgiving to young professionals. One major plot point seems to be the clash between the posh Manhattan scene and the more edgy Brooklynites. The show also focuses on how the girls got involved in the art scene; some are self-made and some born into it.

One testimonial from a woman who was approached to be on the show (and declined) revealed that most of the participants were scouted from Craigslist and did not have much experience working in the arts. The show was said to be arranging internships for them.

This is not Bravo’s first foray into art-centric reality television. They previously produced two seasons of the elimination competition-style reality programme Work of Art aimed at finding upcoming contemporary art superstars. With Gallery Girls, the channel seems to be aiming towards a more documentary style a la The Real Housewives or The Hills.

Though they are aiming for a more mainstream viewership, the last few years have seen a wave of new television shows focused on contemporary art, ranging from academic documentary-style programmes to lighter fare and even some that focus on Asian art.


Related Topics: art resourcesart media, art in New York, democratisation of art, gallerists

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