Can Reality TV Save the Fine Arts? Body Painter Robin Slonina (Skin Wars) on Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #47

Fine art and real­i­ty TV are typ­i­cal­ly rat­ed our high­est and low­est forms of enter­tain­ment, yet cre­ative com­pe­ti­tion shows com­bine the two. Robin Sloni­na grad­u­at­ed from Chicago’s Art Insti­tute and lived in the gallery world doing sculp­tures, paint­ings and instal­la­tions for sev­er­al years before dis­cov­er­ing body paint­ing and open­ing Skin City Body Paint­ing in Las Vegas, per­haps the fore­most insti­tu­tion of its type in the world.

Robin then served as a judge (along with RuPaul!) on the show Skin Wars for its three sea­sons (2014–2017) before The Game Show Net­work decid­ed that the whole thing was too expen­sive to pro­duce. She joins Mark, Eri­ca, and Bri­an to  fig­ure out the degree to which the com­pe­ti­tion real­i­ty show for­mat lets the art shine through.

To learn more, scan these rel­e­vant arti­cles:

Learn more at This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion with Robin about pub­lic art and the protests that you can only hear by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts or start with the first episode.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.