Why You Should Buy Art
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When I was in Miami during Art Basel last December, I conducted an interview with New York Times journalist Damien Cave, who repeatedly asked, "What's the alternative to the art market?" The question is not an easy one to answer. Short of radical social and economic reform, which seems incredibly unlikely in our pro-Capitalist, market-trusting society, I struggled to articulate my thoughts surrounded by the spectacle of Basel. While I was down there, I also saw Jen Bekman's booth at PULSE and it reminded me that one of my answers to Mr. Cave should have immediately been "access." Access to contemporary art is often restricted by high prices, including my own, that put it out of reach of the majority of people who love art. 20x200 offers a way to make art and the experience of buying art accessible to the broader public than the limited pool of collectors who have the means to buy unique and often wildly expensive art objects. Art, in many ways, is a luxury commodity, and the larger question remains, "What is enough?" I believe that it's a matter of scale; prices leap from hundreds to hundreds of thousands based on branding and marketing. I hope that established artists who command hundreds of thousands of dollars for their art will consider what it means to sell to a very small collector class. Are they really reflecting their own creative expression, or the tastes of the ruling class? I don't begrudge their wealth or values, but I do believe that art is made freely and for more than those who can afford to own it. -William Powhida, Maker*
*Please see my bio for William Powhida the "Genius"
William Powhida | See All Editions
William Powhida (b. 1976, New York) is a G-E-N-I-U-S and habitual critic of the art world. Powhida lives in Bushwick, has a studio in Williamsburg and exhibits in Chelsea. He studied painting at Syracuse University, where he easily received a BFA with honors, and scored an MFA from the cheap-assed, famed Hunter College program. (Getting honors there was a joke.) He has exhibited internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, London, Madrid, Miami, Chicago and Copenhagen. Recent shows include Dirty Kunst at Seventeen Gallery, London; I Like the Art World and the Art World Likes Me at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York; Readykeulous: The Hurtful Healer: The Correspondance Issue at INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, New York; and If These Walls Could Talk– A Conversation, a contemporaneous exhibition at Marine Art Salon and Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles.
He has organized exhibitions including #class and #rank with Jennifer Dalton, and Magicality with Eric Trosko. He also collaborated with artist Jade Townsend on the Lemonade Stand and the ABMB Hooverville drawing. His work has been discussed in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, the Brooklyn Rail, ARTnews, ARTINFO, Artnet, Hyperallergic and Art Fag City, among others. #class was discussed in depth in C Magazine. He completed a publishing residency at the Lower East Side Printshop in spring 2010, and he was the lead artist at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center during a four-week residency on memory in July 2011. Other exhibitions include From Memory at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in May, a solo project, a #class production with Jen Dalton at Contemporary Dublin in fall 2011 and a New York solo exhibition. He is represented in Seattle by Platform Gallery and in Los Angeles by Charlie James Gallery. He has completed negotiations with an awesome Chelsea gallery. Follow him on Twitter, @powhida, if you can handle strong language.