Turning the Perverse Nature of ‘The Bachelor’ Into Art

“We want to examine why people like us watch the show,” Ms. Niederhoffer said. “The things they put the women through are horrible, at times. It’s kind of nice to watch, in a perverse way.”

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From left, Liz Zito, Artie Niederhoffer and Janie Korn chat during a preview of “Here for the Right Reasons.”

Credit
Nicole Craine for The New York Times

In “Here for the Right Reasons,” more than a dozen New York artist-fans exorcise their own “Bachelor” issues. The video artist Liz Zito slips into the persona of an obsessed fan, painting the erstwhile bachelor Nick Viall as a merman on a seashell-lined canvas, then trying to sell the portrait to Mr. Viall over Instagram for $10,000. Her direct message to Mr. Viall, displayed alongside the piece, investigates the show’s aggressive rebranding of the Wisconsin software salesman into America’s most enduring eligible bachelor. (Mr. Viall has starred in four seasons of the franchise, including “Bachelor in Paradise,” appearing increasingly beefy in each iteration.)

“It projects a majestic aesthetic, which falls in line with your television persona,” Ms. Zito writes in her sales pitch, adding, “I’m not a weird psycho fan, I’m just a really good artist.” He does not respond.

Elsewhere, the illustrator Carolyn Figel recasts the contestant Corinne Olympios’s sponsored content for Casper mattresses and FitTea into delicate line drawings that emphasize the underlying fragility of her brash social media performance. Ms. Korn exhibits a set of ghoulish miniatures depicting Mr. Viall’s family members, who have appeared frequently on the show in support of his many love journeys, posed alongside the creepy star of internet scary stories, Slender Man; the piece draws parallels between two bizarre fantasy worlds that hold real people’s lives in their grasp.

A “Bachelor Nation” flag hanging above the proceedings places the show’s fixations on true love and TV stardom in sharp relief — it’s emblazoned with a diamond ring and inscribed with reality TV contract legalese. The whole place is covered in scratchy artificial red roses sourced from dollar stores.

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“The Final Rose Ceremony” installation by Victoria Niederhoffer and David Medley.

Credit
Nicole Craine for The New York Times

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