‘ARTSTAR’, Gallery HD’s Groundbreaking Reality Documentary Series, Searches For the Next Great Contemporary Artist

Eight Finalists Vie for a Solo Show
with Renowned New York Art Dealer Jeffrey Deitch

High-Definition Television Series, Seen Nationally on DISH Network, Premieres June 1 at 9PM ET

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – For the first time ever, television viewers will get an inside look into the colorful and competitive New York art scene with ARTSTAR, an original reality-documentary series that offers an intriguing, tense, and sometimes hilarious look at what it takes to make it in the art capital of the world.

Premiering June 1, 2006 at 9PM ET on GALLERY HD (available nationally on DISH Network, Channel #9472), ARTSTAR (shot in high-definition) challenges eight aspiring artists to impress leading gallery owner and art impresario Jeffrey Deitch and a team of top critics, collectors, curators and artists. The ultimate goal: to be named the next ARTSTAR and be selected for a solo exhibit at Deitch’s trend-setting SoHo gallery.

Deitch serves as master of ceremonies for the series of eight, one-hour episodes, and gathers some of the art world’s “inner-circle” to participate in the process, including critic David Rimanelli; critic and curator Carlo McCormick; art historian, Rose Lee Goldberg; photo editor Cary Leitzes; and musician Alan Vega of “Suicide.”

ARTSTAR’s finalists, ranging in age from 21 and 67, were selected from over four hundred hopefuls who attended an open call in New York City on a frigid winter morning last March. Over the course of the show, viewers will gain a deeper understanding of what drives this talented group of creative visionaries, each with distinct personalities and vastly different artistic styles: a video artist, a photographer, an FIT undergrad, a retired social worker-turned sculptor, an animator, a performance/Internet artist, an action stylist/puppeteer and a painter.

Unlike reality shows that eliminate one or more people each week, ARTSTAR requires that the finalists participate as a group throughout all eight installments of the series. During each episode, the group is presented with a task that tests their artistic muscles and will put them on the road to becoming the art world’s next critical darling: Each task provides the artists with an opportunity to get a bird’s eye view into one of the most uniquely competitive industries in New York and the world. Over the course of the program, participants collaborate on a New York City public exhibit called the Art Parade; delve into the practical art of sign-painting at Coney Island’s famed amusement park; meet world-class artists and critics including Jeff Koons, Ryan McGuinness, Jon Kessler, Kehinde Wand and Barbara Pollack; and bring their artistic talents to life during a stage performance in the penthouse suite of the Soho Grand Hotel. If selected by Deitch, internationally recognized for his ability to spot and nurture new talent, one of these talents could realize their dream and get a shot at stardom.

According to Deitch, “ARTSTAR reveals a lot about the inscrutable process of making it as an artist, and shows how much that world is changing. When I first started out, in the seventies, the very idea of a self-respecting artist standing on line to be on a TV show would have been impossible. No one would have done it. Now, we have really talented people who show up with a clarity of purpose and a willingness to work.” Known equally for his daring showmanship as for his taste, he adds that, “There’s a tendency for art to be deadly serious and I’ve always embraced an approach to art that’s more fun, more real. The opportunity to create is truly open to everyone, and I think that anyone with a dream will be inspired by the ways people invent to be an artist.”

GALLERY HD’s Executive Producer, Tamar Hacker comments: “Artists from all over the country and all over the world flock to the New York art scene, which has always been a little mysterious to outsiders. ARTSTAR is the first reality-documentary series to explore the nuances of the creative life in the City. It’s also fascinating to watch a group of fiercely independent people who are used to working entirely on their own, when they’re thrown into the very unfamiliar territory of collaboration. That we are able to carry out this groundbreaking project under the aegis of a legend like Jeffrey Deitch is an honor and a pleasure.”

ARTSTAR is a production of GALLERY HD, the first and only 24-hour arts channel, which is available nationwide on DISH Network (channel 9472). GALLERY HD is one of 15 high-definition channels offered by VOOM HD Networks. With breathtaking content that brings television to a new level of experience, VOOM is TV made for HD, with commercial-free programming as diverse as movies, sports, animation and family fare, fashion, music and art.

Tamar Hacker is Executive Producer of ARTSTAR for GALLERY HD. ARTSTAR is produced for GALLERY HD by Executive Producer Abby Terkuhle from ABORIGINAL Entertainment, Inc. ARTSTAR was created by artist and Executive Producer Christopher Sperandio (Grennan and Sperandio) and art dealer / Executive Producer James Fuentes. Production services are provided by Optic Nerve Productions.

GALLERY HD is the first and only 24-hour high-definition visual arts channel featuring unique programming profiling artists as well as displaying their creations available nationwide. GALLERY HD is one of 15 high-definition channels offered by VOOM HD Networks, available nationwide on DISH Network (channel 9472).

About Deitch Projects
Deitch Projects specializes in producing ambitious projects by contemporary artists. The gallery is global in its outlook, and since its opening in January 1996, has presented 140 projects by artists from more than 20 countries. The gallery is known for projects that blur the boundaries between art, music, fashion and design.

About VOOM HD Networks
The VOOM HD Networks are the largest and most diverse suite of high definition channels available anywhere. Produced exclusively in true high definition and 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound for distribution in the U.S. through satellite and cable operators, the 15 VOOM HD Networks carry programming in categories as diverse as sports, movies, fashion, music and art. The VOOM HD Networks are commercial-free and available nationally on Echostar’s DISH Network. Developed by Rainbow Media to meet the growing demand for quality high definition programming, the VOOM HD Networks build on Rainbow Media’s history of original programming innovation.

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
A leader in the entertainment industry, Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation. Rainbow creates and manages some of the country’s most compelling and dynamic programming with linear networks including national networks – AMC, fuse, IFC (The Independent Film Channel) and WE: Women’s Entertainment; its regional programming service – Rainbow Sports Networks; on-demand networks including Mag Rack and sportskool; and the largest suite of high definition channels available anywhere – the VOOM HD Networks. Rainbow’s other businesses include its film distribution, production and exhibition division – IFC Entertainment; in addition to its advertising sales division – Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation – and its full service network programming origination and distribution company – Rainbow Network Communications.

Press Contacts

  • Leah Sparkes/Stephanie Baumoel
    FerenComm for VOOM HD Networks
    (212) 983-9898