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Reality show focuses on girls more than galleries

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
'Gallery Girls' stars, from left, Amy Poliakoff, Angela Pham, Maggie Schaffer, Liz Margulies, Kerri Lisa, Claudia Martinez and Chantal Chadwick.

Just about everything you need to know about Bravo's reality series "Gallery Girls" bubbles up within the first few minutes like an overflowing glass of pink champagne.

No fewer than two of the seven wispy 20-something women featured on the show, which premieres Monday, proclaim that "Sex and The City" inspired their desire to live the supposedly glamorous New York City life.

Surprise? Not really.

"Gallery Girls" is a product of Magical Elves, the production company that teamed with "Sex and The City" star Sarah Jessica Parker to create "Work of Art," Bravo's creative competition show. (Magical Elves also produces "Top Chef.")

The new series takes a detour from the world presented in "Work of Art" to chart the heady, fashionable, scene-infested milieu of Manhattan art galleries.

But not surprisingly, in the usual manner that reality series are never about what they purport to be about, "Gallery Girls" reveals little about the actual machinations of the high-end New York art market — a notoriously private and circumscribed world.

Instead, it's the self-created social drama of the young women that propels the show's trajectory. And maintaining any interest in the show will be dependent on whether viewers find the nearly interchangeable girls interesting.

And to begin with, the fashionable pretty things who typically sit at gallery front desks already make for a stereotype in the art world. Usually they're the distaff of wealthy families, hired (often for no pay) more for their wardrobes than their knowledge of art. To wit: Two of the "Gallery Girls" cast live off their daddies' largesse.

While we see the ingenues vie for internships, open their own clothing boutique-cum-gallery, continually change outfits and even head to Art Miami Basel — the ne plus ultra of international jet set art fairs — we see little, if any, art or art business.

But, oh, Carrie Bradshaw would have loved the parade of the fashion the "Gallery Girls" wear.

Contact Jeanne Claire van Ryzin at 445-3699

"Gallery Girls"