The Village Voice Is a Designer-Toy Accessory

Gary Ham's SUCKset, complete with miniature Village Voice
NYC-reared antihero Sucklord may've been banished from BRAVO's Work of Art 10 days ago, but the self-proclaimed jerkbag looms larger than ever among his designer-toy colleagues. So much so that last week, fellow designer toymaker Gary Ham released a handmade wooden tribute, the SUCKset, a cartoon rendering of the man Morgan Phillips, complete with literal "rat tail" interpretation of Morgan's haircut and a tiny copy of the Suckadelic-splashed September 28, 2011 Village Voice.

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Sucklord "Jerk of Art" Street Art Appears Downtown

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courtesy The Art Hustle

It's been a monumental week in the Suckadelic quest for world domination. Last Wednesday, the Sucklord found himself unceremoniously banished from BRAVO's Work of Art, after the endearing reality-TV character failed to impress judges in a street-art challenge. The masked Voice cover star's immediate real-world response was to flip his failure into a commercial win by releasing a Morgan Phillips born-loser action figure that mocked the Sucklord persona versus the person, his nationally televised loss, and the absurdity of a contrived competition, all in a three-inch resin sculpture. But that's not all.

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Q&A: The Sucklord on Graffiti, His Work of Art Failures, and Why He's Like Darth Vader

The Sucklord
Earlier this year, New York magazine's culture blog, Vulture, asked Work of Art co-producer Sarah Jessica Parker, after this season's shooting had started, if she foresaw any breakout characters. She laughed. "Um, I suspect there might be one."

The one is Sucklord, who went from the designer-toy world's biggest jerkbag to a defensively blunt antagonist to a softer, genuine, teary-eyed art-builder, all in the course of six episodes. Evidence of his real-world rise has already started to trickle into his day-to-day: he's selling more work online, his brand-identity is through the roof, he's been recognized publicly, (at a recent visit to the art-supply store, the manager "backwards to help me find something they didn't even have because he knew who I was") and even sold work to someone who'd stopped him on the street.

Last night, the Sucklord was eliminated from the show. (He responded by making a self-mocking Jerk of Art Morgan Phillips action figure.) We spoke with him this morning, via BRAVO monitored phonecall, about the street-art challenge that did him in, what he has in common with Simone de Pury, and how his Work of Art arc related to Star Wars.

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Sucklord Gets Kicked Off Work of Art, Releases Self-Mocking Jerk of Art Action Figure

Last night, the gallery world's Top Chef eliminated our man Sucklord, the Chinatown-based bootleg toymaker we splashed on the Village Voice cover in September. Throughout the course of the first six episodes, the Sucklord was the reality competition's clear breakout personality: the Sucklord got the most airtime, the most character development, the most massaged subplots, the most televised quotes about "balls," and even a chance to spraypaint China Chow's (clothed) breasts.

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Q&A: Chicago Artist Michael Tewz on His Work of Art Elimination, His Buddy Sucklord

Tewz on Work of Art

One of the more intriguing aspects of Work of Art, the BRAVO reality show we've been following, is that the show's producers chose a handful of cast members who'd already had a presence in the world, whose self-propelled careers could exist apart from the reality-television lens. Along with Sucklord, who's semi-miraculously managed to survive four rounds, there's also Tewz 1, an accomplished street artist, painter, musician, urban explorer, printmaker (and a lot more) from Chicago whose work tends to get lumped into the lowbrow-art genre. Last week's episode saw Tewz's dismissal from the contest, along with Sucklord emotionally defending his pal's piece before the judge firing squad. (In true Sucklish: "I think this thing has balls!") We spoke with Tewz about making a friend cry, his pal Sucklord, and how Work of Art was a little like jail.

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Ugo Nonis on His Work of Art Elimination: "I Don't Think Keith Haring Owns Lines"

Andrew Eccles/Bravo
Ugo goes bye-bye

Last week on the season premiere of the BRAVO reality show Work of Art, the first contestant eliminated was Ugo Nonis, a tall, dark, and handsome Frenchman whose thick-lined pop-art squiggles the judges' repeatedly derided as aping Keith Haring. "They say good artists borrow and great artists steal," offered gallery owner Bill Powers. "This feels like something borrowed." Tonight, the second episode airs at 9pm, and stars Voice cover subjects Sucklord and Michelle Matson.

We spoke to Ugo about what it was like to be the first man eliminated, the Keith Haring comparisons, and his roommate Sucklord.

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Michelle Matson Wins, Sucklord Rules: Your Cheat Sheet to Bravo's Work of Art 2, Episode One

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Actual poll currently running on the Bravo site

There is a Bravo show called Work of Art: The Search for the Next Great Artist. As we've told you before, it's a reality-TV competition ostensibly about searching every gallery nook and gutter grate for America's Next Great Artist--not a Very Good Artist or an Eventual Great Artist or even anything superlative and exonerated like America's Next Best Artist, but simply a Great One, which is good enough for TV. Sarah Jessica Parker produces. A very pretty lady named China Chow hosts. The judges are important art-world people like Bill Powers, who co-owns the Lower East Side's Half Gallery with James Frey (yes, that James Frey) and Kate Spade CEO Andy Spade, and New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz, who I once sat beside in an editorial meeting at the Village Voice once or twice and seems like the kind of guy who would not find such juvenile asides amusing. The second season's premiere aired last night.

I know, I don't have Cable either.

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Sucklord on Art Critics: "If the Jerry Saltzes of the World Don't Like My Work, I Don't Give a Shit"

Dustin Fenstermacher
"Who the hell is this guy? Get him out of here."

The second season of Bravo's Work of Art: The Search for the Next Great Artist, the gallery world's Top Chef, premieres tonight at 9pm. Completely randomly, the 14-person cast stars two recent Village Voice cover-story subjects: bike-accident victim/artist Michelle Matson and bootleg toymaker, the Sucklord.

As anticipated, the judges didn't know what to do with the latter, a huckster performance-artist who's made a name for himself by telling his collectors they're assholes for buying his work. In fact, at least one thought the 42-year-old who insisted he be called Sucklord was a practical joke.

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