William Powhida

Post image for It’s the Political Economy, Stupid: The Global Financial Crisis in Art and Theory

It’s the Political Economy, Stupid is alternately a depressing, frustrating, and inspiring call to action for the left in the face of the diminishing economic and social returns of global capitalism.

Continue Reading →
Post image for What Is the Labor of Art Writing? (Part 2)

At one point, Arts & Labor member Blithe Riley, who was in the audience at the round table, made a comment about “freaking out a little.” This highlighted the disconnect between the political and social aspirations of Arts & Labor and the general role of art critics for me.

Continue Reading →
Post image for What Is the Labor of Art Writing? (Part 1)

Last Thursday night at Housing Works Bookstore, Occupy Wall Street affinity group Arts & Labor organized a panel of New York art writers to discuss the labor of art criticism. Village Voice and New York Times critic Martha Schwendener opened the round table with the question, “What is the labor of writing?” Schwendener and Arts and Labor proposed a discussion about the working conditions of art criticism in an effort to dispel some prevailing myths, which she framed as power, authority, and allure. She then started things off with an open question to the panel about how they became art critics.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Why You Should Read Sarah Thornton’s Top 10 Reasons Not To Write About the Art Market

This doesn’t happen very often. It’s highly unusual for someone in an industry to critique its inner workings.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Artist Payments at NYC Nonprofits, By the Numbers

As a supplement to “Why Are (Most) Artists (So Fucking) Poor?” here is some of the data from the 2010 W.A.G.E. survey of payments received by artists who exhibited with nonprofit art institutions in New York City between 2005 and 2010.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Why Are (Most) Artists (So Fucking) Poor?

On Friday evening W.A.G.E. presented the results of its 2010 survey of payments received by artists who exhibited with nonprofit art institutions in New York City between 2005 and 2010. The survey found that 58% of artists who responded received “no form of payment.”

Continue Reading →
Post image for Dispatch from Sheboygan: Week Three

On Wednesday evening at 6 pm CST I was standing in a domestic violence shelter introducing my project “Everyone We’ve Never Met from Memory and Imagination” to a group of about twenty women. They listened politely as I showed them drawings of people like Gene Simmons, Brittany Spears (Snarling, head shaved), 1950s Elvis vs Vegas Elvis, Martha Stewart, Oprah and shared some of the memories other people had written about the subjects. After I finished the introduction, I passed out some brainstorming worksheets. One woman completed her list almost immediately.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Dispatch from Sheboygan: Week Two

Sheboygan, Wisconsin — Today marks the second week of my residency here in Sheboygan, a place which remains elusive to me. I have become familiar with the stretches of road between my cabin, the Arts Center and the Piggly Wiggly Supermarket on a highway named Business 28. I like going to the “Pig,” as the locals call it, to buy coffee and admire the vast selection of frozen pizzas they sell. The freezers filled with pizzas alone would choke a bodega. I admit, I bought one and ate it while watching the Matrix on the small TV/VCR combo here.

Continue Reading →
Post image for Dispatch From Sheboygan: On Memory

This morning I stood frozen in private terror facing a room full of smiling senior citizens with various stages of memory loss, feeling ill-prepared to ask them to draw someone who they had never actually met.  That is the conceit of my memory-based drawing project, here on the sunny shores of Lake Michigan north of Milwaukee: to get as many people as I can to draw a person or character relying only on their memories and imagination.

Continue Reading →