Nao Bustamante, “Deathbed”
Former local artist Nao Bustamante is “the bitch,” in the reality show sense of the phrase, on Work of Art, Bravo’s new Project Runway clone featuring visual artists. On the first episode, she wore a shirt with her name on it, ripped her peers’ work, and ended up in the bottom three because her portrait did not feature her subject’s face but rather her subject’s path around the room. Go Nao! Then she talked back to the judges, since they were all going on about how nobody could tell it was a portrait and blah blah blah —- she destroyed them, actually. Hopefully she’s still around —- episode three aired June 23 —- because her work is stellar. As proof, just head downtown: Her latest exhibit, “Deathbed,” lies in wait. It features an expired Bustamante seen through various media — video, photography, and installation. The powerful, affecting piece should haunt you, especially if the guy who painted a fucking clown on a wood palette makes it further in the show than Bustamante does.