Ever wonder what’s right and wrong with the art world? William Powhida has some ideas. I thought it would be nice to post the stuff that’s “right” but it’s fun to read what he thinks is “wrong.”

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

4 replies on “An Artist Ponders What’s Wrong & Right With Art World”

  1. Powhida is an interesting guy. We met up for coffee in Brooklyn last year to talk art, etc.— I do believe our chat got me uninvited to his studio, which I took as a compliment. It’s interesting to create lists saying what’s in and what isn’t. I did one myself three years ago, before I went full-time. Since doing it for real, I’ve discovered one underlying truism: any success in the art world is a success for us all. There truly are enough collectors, museums, dollars and opportunities to go around. So, though he (rather hilariously) unfollowed me on Twitter some time ago, I salute Powhida and hope he one day achieves his ultimate goals in the art world. Keep up the great work Hyperallergic.

  2. This is great! I usually compare the art (world/market) to my ideals and focus too much what is wrong with it. These lists make a good mix of realism and idealism that we all need to contend with. Art is sometimes worth a fight for but always worth a thoughtful discussion. Thank you guys

  3. my wife and i are in our mid-50s and have worked virtually every day since early childhood in the visual arts, writing, music. yet despite decades of trying to break into the new york gallery scene… if every dime we’ve ever made in the arts were on the table; wouldn’t pay a months rent…

    in fact, i have never been treated so cruelly and insultingly than i have by gallery trash here in my town. at great expense over the years, have bought fine portfolio and filled it with expensive large-format prints… dropped one off once at holly solomon gallery on 57th street and was told i could pick it up with a commentary in a week. then they lost it for weeks. finally got a call to come pick it up. when i did so, found it had been deliberately drenched inside and out with coca cola and coffee then had dirt put all over it, even into sleeves… ruined, over $1,000 down the drain… and not even an apology. i took it that this was their idea of a ‘comment.’

    tried for years to get into the biennial at the whitney… handed my portfolio to one christianne paul who was their ‘tech maven’ and when i got it back, also weeks waiting, there were 9 pieces missing! when i told her so, she screeched that she would sue if i said so to anyone there. and when i did so anyway, the director also told me that they would sue me for slander, libel, defamation!

    went to a trendy new chelsea gallery where i was told that by the owner that he “doesn’t like art made by a computer.” (rather like telling keith richards that one doesn’t like music made by a guitar! and what was he showing but 4 pieces by vacuous karal appel. these were 95% white with just some grumbachers smeared in the middle. 3 of these atroities had already sold for $75k apc and while i was there the larger 4th was bought for $125k… $350k for what could easily have been done before breakfast! charlatanism to the max.

    cy twombly is dead? sorry, who cares? his most famous pieces, those pencil scribbled circles are just plain vapid!

    this is all ‘the painted work’ the fine depiction of the modern art world’s business scam that has not a thing to do with art.

    and who tries to crush the street artists?

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