Tonight, Game Show Network debuts the new reality series Skin Wars: Fresh Paint. A spin-off of the hit show, Skin Wars this new series is hosted by one of the show's judges RuPaul. In each episode, three of Skin Wars top former contestants mentor six new, highly accomplished artists. These artists are at the top of their game in their own disciplines, but will leave their creative comfort zones to compete in body painting for the first time, attempting to win the $10,000 prize at the end of each show and become a Skin Wars: Fresh Paint Champion. The show is judged by Emma Cammack and Mat Gleason who TVmaze exclusively caught up with ahead of the premiere.
Can you tell us what the show 'Skin Wars: Fresh Paint' is about and what makes it different from the main 'Skin Wars' show?
Fresh Paint really describes what we get here: The contestants are all new to Body Painting. "Skin Wars" features some of the world's best body painters. On "Fresh Paint" those very body painters are mentors to the newbies in the competition.
Do you have any experience in body-painting?
None at all. I'm a critic and curator specifically because nobody on earth wants a brush (or in this case, an airbrush) in my hand.
Is it hard to go from different art forms into body-painting?
No, art is art. You can break it down to the formal elements, add a layer of concept and judge how the finished product appears to the eye and appeals to the senses. As for the artists, I think talent rises to the top.
Is there any particular art forms that the contestants come from that have benefits in body-painting, that perhaps other contestants don't have?
I noticed the contestants with airbrush skills had a little more polish to their pieces, but sometimes artists that feel too comfortable never take risks, so it is not the greatest advantage in a competition.
Were you involved at all in the selection process of which all-stars and professional artists were chosen to take part in the show?
Not at all. My job is judging the finished product, something I have done for years as a critic and curator. So someone else decided who would compete, I just came in and picked what was best.
Do you get along well with your fellow judge Emma Cammack?
Fabulously. My background is in privileging raw expression and hers is in making technical marvels of aesthetics so you might think we were doomed to opposition, but we hit it off backstage, a good chemistry where the differences make for an interesting tension instead of boiling over. Our artistic sensibilities are different so the viewers may see some friction in our assessments of the finished body paintings but we enjoyed learning from each other.
And what about RuPaul?
I have an endless admiration for the man. The kindness and professionalism he showed to us judges, to the contestants, the mentors and to the crew was an inspiration. He might perform as a diva but he is the furthest thing from one at call time.
Had you worked with Ru or Emma before this show?
No. I had never even dreamed of working with an icon like Ru. To show you how far apart my world (the international gallery scene of contemporary art) and Emma's world (world-class body painting) are, when we met for the first time, it was shooting the pilot almost a year ago, after like an hour she went to add me as a friend on FaceBook and we had no mutual friends at all. 3,000+ curators, gallerists and artists and NONE of them friends with the world's top body-painter. Well a year later and that has changed!
Do you have a favorite contestant who features throughout the series and what can you tell us about them?
I wanted to know two things going into the show: Is Dutch as arrogantly aloof as he came off in Season One of Skin Wars and is Cheryl Ann as horrorshow as she was portrayed in Season Two. The answers: Yes, Dutch kinda is arrogant and aloof and it all comes from an enviable self-confidence he carries. Number two, though, no, not at all, Cheryl Ann was a sweetheart in person. My wife and I had rooted against her so hard in Season Two and I had to bring my wife with to the set one day to show her how cool Cheryl Ann was. We all went out after that night's taping and my wife and Cheryl Ann were inseparable fast friends, it was eye-opening to how editing on a show can shape our perception of a person.
Catch Mat Gleason in the premiere episode of the show tonight at 10 on GSN, new episodes will air every Wednesday at 10pm.
Written by TomSouthwell on Jun 15, 2016