The Management of Dreams
25 October 2015

 

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My new show,  Mediations, opened Saturday at Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles.  The show wasn’t just a negotiation between the satirical voice in my drawings, my grating social media presence, and some of my thoughts about being an artist, but also between myself and my dealer Charlie.  I sent Charlie about 22 paintings for a specific installation and 30 works on paper.  I had intended to hang these as distinct bodies of work, but Charlie ended up curating the show.  I think the show he organized ‘looks’ great fwiw, but it is a different show than what I had intended.  After seeing the work he selected and making a few interventions of my own, I suspect Charlie may have saved me from my anxiety-filled overproduction of images, I caved and did not stand up for the show I intended. Now that the show is open, as it is, I will post images of all of the works* I made for Mediations in an order that might suggest a slightly different vision of the show that will exist here. There is a PDF of Charlie’s show available here.

Working with galleries often requires a bit of negotiation, a push and pull between interests, but I don’t think art dealers need any more encouragement to focus on “financial performance.” Magda Sawon, my New York art dealer, and I wrote a fairly long critique of Magnus Resch’s book “The Management of Art Galleries” for Hyperallergic. I also offered a few thoughts about the book in the Art Newspaper just after it was published.  Being an artist is difficult proposition and offers a life of precarity for most of us (OK, almost all of us), and the last thing we need to do is to start accepting less of a share of sales in the only part of the art market US artists can really earn any money.  Having seen Adam Lindemann’s cavernous warehouse of a gallery in LA, it’s pretty clear that not everyone needs to worry about selling (or understands how big a difference a few hundred dollars can make), which is all the more reason artists ought to.

*Half of the works on paper remain unphotographed to date.

Mediations runs from October 24th through December 5th, 2015 at Charlie James Gallery in LOS ANGELES. 

WILLIAM POWHIDA
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