This month we add another 20 to the growing list of the Powerless 20 we published last year to mark the painful rite of passage that is Art Review’s hilarious Power 100 list.

Here’s to hoping you’re not on it!

Left to right: James Franco is #1, Jeffrey “King of LA” Deitch reads a book about crystal meth, and the writing is on the wall. (fuck you citation & copyright)

1 — James Franco, where are you on their list honey? Bet you thought you’d be #1. Loser. It’s alright, you’re #1 on ours.

2 — Copyright. It’s over. Just accept it and stop hoarding.

3 — Dead Tree Art Media: Sure Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz may be on the power list (zzzz) but let’s just say you aren’t reading this in print.

4 — Female curators or dealers whose feet hurt too much to wear dominatrix-inspired 4-inch heels to openings. Flats are so powerless.

5 — Chinese Artists: Hmmmm … all the buzz has died down? Hath the art world’s ADHD moved on to other things? Ai Weiwei is the only one to make the list. Now that China is sure to become the world’s biggest economy (give it 10 years), their human-rights-violation-inspired performance art isn’t as compelling. We all know that the real human rights violation are the budget cuts preventing us from travelling to the Biennale next year!

6 — Anyone who hasn’t shown or been associated with Deitch Projects. Everyone knows Jeffrey Deitch has his MOCA employees recite the following mantra throughout the day: “MOCA is the new Acropolis” … though we’re personally not sure if it’s more Acropolis, movie set or trailer park yet. We’ll have to wait and see.

7 — Dealers who can’t at least greet a collector from the Gulf in their native Arabic (pssst: it’s “a salaam maleekum”). Sure, perhaps the UAE’s scads of new architecture is being constructed by South Asian workers with no legal rights (pssst: slaves), but hey, the rich live differently, right? (psst: the oil runs out in 20 years so sell NOW!)

8 — Caleb Gingham of Kansas. A born-again Christian conceptual minimalist, Gingham offered to create an altar for his local Baptist congregation — which, according to his proposal, would consist of a bucket,  a mirror, and gauze — but they thought it was queer, so he was asked to leave, and he joined a local Unitarian group. He periodically participates in group exhibitions at cafes in New Mexico and Colorado.

9 — Graphic Designers. Artists like Rob Pruitt don’t consider you worthy of recognition, hell, he probably doesn’t even think you’re artists. It’s the reason why he ripped one of you guys off for his recent panda paintings at Gavin Brown. Yeah, we know, he’s a douchebag, but he’s not on this list so he’s a powerful douchebag.

10 — Anyone without a conflict of interest. Tyler Green can explain it to you.

11 – Curators and artists without trust funds and expensive grad school networks. Yeah, you’re still on this list. Sorry. Now go back to New Jersey or Missoula or New Orleans or Orange County or wherever your ilk live.

12 — The Faux Art World. Sure there’s @fakedeitch, @fakedeitchasst, @fakegagosian, @fakejerrysaltz, and some other bizarre fakers out there but we all know that the art world doesn’t like faux … unless Jeff Koons signs it, in which case … cha-ching!

13 – Artists who can’t bitch to a bunch of insiders about the price of your useless education and the stifling academic hegemony. If you can’t complain about pedagogy, just give up and go back to 2005. You are extra powerless if you don’t know one of the Bruces. If you don’t even know who the Bruces are, then you’re extra extra powerless. [Hint: They’re #99.]

14 — Abdi Farah. The kid wins the Work of Art reality TV show, has a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum, doesn’t muster a single serious good review (granted, his stuff is dull), and now he’s nowhere to be seen. Looks like Adbi just invented the E list.

15 — Starchitects. Are the proverbial 15 minutes up for today’s elite cadre of architects? Is the next step for Rem Koolhaas a reality TV show? Wait, is that Zaha designing shoes? Hell, OMA’s CCTV tower still isn’t open. And Frank Gehry has a growing list of unbuilt and unloved NYC masterplans. Perhaps they will follow in the steps of the unemployed architects in LA who opened an ice cream truck? If you guys need a place to stay, you can sleep on our couches.

16 — Moishe Goldstein, a gay artist who grew up on Williamsburg’s South Side. He tried to start an alternative graffiti scene in the area’s Orthodox Jewish community tagging “G-D IS L-VE” but had to eventually move north toward McCarren Park, where he now lives with a sweet Mexican guy named Jesus. They own a large coffee shop on N10th Street and encourage patrons to tag the bathroom.

17 — Negative criticism. Dan Colen’s supposedly sold-out show at Gagosian proves that bad reviews have lost any semblance of power.

18 — Talent, see #17.

19 — Ideas, see #17.

20 — The art world online. With a new art website, blog, service, twitterfeed or tumblelog popping up at the rate of one per second, the pie of power is being cut up really thin. Honestly, who can tell the difference between your well-researched post and your idiot cousin’s tweet about Work of Art? And let’s face it, no one has time to read everything that begins with “Art” in the web address … [wait, by including this does it mean that those sites aren’t going to link to this list? Oh, then nevermind. We love you all.]

The Editors divide their time between Kinshasa, Brno, Goa, and Tikrit. They are fabulous and they will always be at the party you weren't invited to.

15 replies on “The 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World: 2010 Edition”

  1. The best part about #5 is that I won’t have to endure the always-abysmal contemporary Chinese art rooms in the Phillips de Pury auction previews. And the art is probably WORSE than I’m making it out to be, because I’m usually as drunk as a monkey king by the time I get to that section.

  2. Oh, don’t kid yourselves. Print still matters. A book, a movie, or even a magazine feature will generate scores of blog posts, not the other way around. Having the capital to put something into print, means having the power the validate a point of view without anyone else’s approval.

    1. I don’t know if that’s true as much as you might think. I think it’s a legacy thing. People think it’s more important but it doesn’t have the ability to drive conversation like it once did. The truth is that i goes both way. Print writes about online things all the time. Also, a book without online buzz usually doesn’t do very well in sales anyway.

  3. I wonder if a combination of any of these things makes you more or less powerful because what if the handsome, yet precocious James Franco started blogging from Missoula while curating at a Starchitect-designed museum that showcased Chinese artists who were still hot, if not simmering, from earlier in the decade? Just saying, it might be a good career move.

    1. I think the more Powerless marks you get, the better off you are. Like a multiplier or something, if you hit 10 of them at once, you’re pretty much set for life.

      Or until the NEXT Powerless list!

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