The Top 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World

powerless20badgeA few weeks ago Art Review announced the Top 100 power brokers in the art world but we thought they missed the real story. So Hyperallergic has released its own list of the people who have never received their moment in the sun.

We present “The Top 20 Most Powerless People in the Art World!”

We haven't seen him for a while, which begs the question,
We haven't seen him for a while, which begs the question,

1 – Everyone entirely unknown to Hans Ulrich Obrist – If the kingmaker isn’t on your cell phone, well, at least your mother is.

2 – The guy in the bunny outfit who year after year protested in front of Gagosian’s 25th Street gallery — hey buddy, how’s the career?

3 – Independent curators without trust funds – There’s a saying, “No trust, no love.”

4 – Artists who can’t speak English, French, German, or Spanish. While the world is filled with approximately 6,800 languages, artwork must adhere to the linguistic realities of economics.

5 – That man at all the openings who might be homeless. Wine at gallery openings may be the art world’s only form of social service to people outside their realm, but hey, it’s something.

6 – Beleaguered Administrative Assistants at MoMA – This is a group that knows what it’s like to be underpaid, under-appreciated and powerless — the trifecta!

7 – Assistant Curators living off $27,000 salaries, with $80,000 in grad school debt from a fancy curatorial studies program. (When students enter MBA programs, professors often talk about the negative investment they make in their futures as they spend money to eventually make six or seven figures upon graduation. In curatorial programs, discussions of economics that don’t reference Marx or Negri are just gauche.)

One city just ain't enough.
One city just ain't cool.

8 – Anyone living in only one place, as opposed to “between Berlin and Beijing,” or “based in London, Amsterdam, Sao Paolo, and Los Angeles.” Where have you been, mono-urbanity is so 20th century. How do you expect to address globalism by staying put? You probably feel even more like a failure if you were born and grew up in the same city that you currently live in. If that’s the case, you should just fake an accent.

9 – All Chelsea gallery interns, working for no pay but needing to buy the latest dominatrix heels for the upcoming opening. (On the plus side, poverty breeds rake-like thinness which in turn ensures job security. As the late great Mary Boone used to say, “Eat a donut and get a pink slip.” Oh wait, she isn’t dead. Never mind.)

10 – Chinese pop-realist painters (Mao, McDonalds—we get it.)

11 – Macrame Club of Minsk, Belarus – Established in 1974, Minsk’s once burgeoning club of hard-core macrame artists has dwindled to only two members, both named Ivan. The group achieved world renown when they macramed their club house and then shellacked it as a tribute to the durability of the art form and the greatness of Vladimir Lenin. Unfortunately, the group never counted on the severity of Belarusian winters, which have caused the structure to leak and eventually be condemned by the city. The two Ivans currently gather at a local tea house for monthly meetings to discuss the gossip-plagued world of macrame.

12 – The faceless miners in Sierra Leone who procured the 8,601 diamonds for Damien Hirst’s sparkling skull – they may fear for their lives every day as they work in hazardous work conditions and subsist on less than 1% of the value of a pencil in a Hirst installation, but they sleep well at night knowing that a silly sculpture that represents the pinnacle of the latest gilded age exists.

13 – The anonymous frog that Martin Kippenberger crucified – Remember high school biology class? Well, so did Kippenberger. The frog’s family has contacted PETA and they are still pondering if legal action is the best way to resolve the contentious issue.

14 – Darren Johnson, security guard at the Main Street Art Museum, Mobile, Alabama – When he’s not protecting the posters in the gift shop from shoplifters, Mr. Johnson is attempting to stop visitors from trying on the museum’s rare collection of pre-Civil War slave shackles.

15 – Prison inmates – Considering they are all doing the exact same performance that Tehching Hsieh did in his SoHo cell, and then some, the fact that they didn’t get a MoMA show for it just highlights their failure.

16 -Jesus Christ, because he’s just too old to show at the New Museum.

17 – Candida Home, blind art blogger. While unphased by a ban on photography in many major galleries and museums, Candida disastrously tried to cover the Lakeland Ceramic Fair in Derbyshire, England and caused over £80,000 in damage because of her proclivity to touch the art. She has since been banned from most major art fairs and institutions and is only writing about public art.

See you at Reena Spaulings?
See you at Reena Spaulings?

18 – Anyone who shows up to a Lower East Side gallery opening non-ironically wearing a button-down shirt and ironed khakis, or eyeglass frames that aren’t from 1983 and gigantic. Pariah!

19 – Rosalind Krauss – we included her on this list because we couldn’t remember who she was and we were too lazy to Google her.

20 – Art critic for the wacky right-wing World Net Daily who floated the idea of McCain inspired art as a weapon against the deluge of Obamart.

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