William Powhida is boring. If you missed the opening of Powhida’s site-specific shtick at Marlborough Chelsea on July 27th, you were lucky.
Did I spoil this review for you? Not enough finesse? Good. Now you have star Powhida’s technique in a nut shell. For any boxing fans still out there, Wile e. Pow-Powhida could be cast as the classic Great white hope. A one dimensional manufactured champ who telegraphs his punches from a mile away and plays it safe by only stepping into the ring with worn out has-beens. Well this is not boxing and being heavy handed is not seen as an asset in the realm of art.
I can picture Powhida in a stand up routine "...This is serious, but seriously folks, don't take me seriously!..."
I’m not going into the details because we’ve all caught this flick before. You know, the old institutional critique thing and in this context it’s just too painfully trite to revisit, kind of like watching Rocky V. So here is an excerpt taken from an article written by art critic Brian Sherwin detailing the scene:
“For the installation Powhida played on arrogance. He arrived at the opening of his exhibit in a classic car that drove through the retracted front window of the art gallery. The car stopped near a large sheet of paper that had Powhida's name written in bold. His departure from the vehicle reminded one of a red carpet
Hollywood event. Powhida -- sharp dressed with shades glaring -- played the role.
A roped off VIP area -- including a couch and eventually female company-- awaited the artist. Powhida sat in his celebrity space -- his back to a stylized painting of himself releasing a dove with champagne bottle in hand and a woman at his feet-- while indulging himself with Starbursts and champagne…”
Mr. Sherwin continues, "Id say that Powhida's installation captures what is going on inside the head of individuals who truly think they have ascended beyond the rest of us. This form of high arrogance does not know geographic or social boundaries." ... On that last point I must add - this form of high arrogance is very aware of geographical and social boundaries!
What Brian Sherwin might not know is that back in 2010, Powhida was invited to be part of a modest group show at the West L.A. college art gallery called "The Artis's guide to the L.A. Galaxy" I was informed that he was even on the roster but as the time drew near and after many unreturned confirmation emails from the curator, Powhida never stepped up and the show went on without him... might modesty be mistaken for arrogance in this case? My guess is not a chance, I do detect a whiff of genuine snobbery coming from camp Powhida.
Well, there it is. Pound for pound that’s all I can give. If the artist can be lazy so can I (those in the know will know what I mean) After all, it is vacation season.
- see ya in the fall
link to Brian Sherwin's article:Here
Note: For those enamored of Mr. Powhida's weak antics including long time supporter Jerry Saltz, may I suggest reading my good friend Klaus Ottomann's remarkable release: "Overcoming the Problems of Art: The Writings of Yves Klein" (2007) just for starters.