Post-Opening Malaise
11 April 2009

Wow, thanks to everyone who made it out last night for the opening of my second solo show with Schroeder Romero.  The reception was amazing, and watching people pour over my painting, “Relational Wall” was a blast.  I’m humbled by the intense reactions people had with the show, and it was wonderful to hear feedback from real people with names and faces.  My anonymous hater really doesn’t have a clue what it’s like to produce this work and the level of identification people have with it.  While it’s one thing to toss anonymous stones at me, I prefer to heave cinder blocks into the system with my name scrawled across them.  Ed Winkleman and Paige West continue to be huge supporters of my work, and in particular their ability to see it in the broader context of the art world.   Ed continues to admire Dana Schutz’s paintings which have never really been part of the critique.  I’ve just been fascinated with the way painting continues to re-invent itself as the standard bearer of contemporary art despite the continuous critical and theoretical assault on Modernism and traditional aesthetics.  With Schutz it’s also the way her work skyrocketed in value, even as her most recent show looks markedly like someone trying to develop a new language.  I don’t envy the pressure to continue to produce half-million dollar paintings and find room to grow.  While I continue to deal with similar themes in my new show as the last one two years ago, there are different modes of representation from the “Relational Wall” to my narrative series “Withdrawal” that continue to explore new aspects of narrative in art.  Plus, I never expected to have as much success as I’ve had, so I’m always a little surprised to continue to have opportunities to exhibit and explore the ways in which we construct value in the art world.  Last night was something of a balm for the self-doubt I always feel about getting specific with my work.  Thanks to Thomas, Tom, Josh, Jen, Max, Lisa, Sara Jo, Jade, and Bill for helping me get the show together at various points along the way.  

WILLIAM POWHIDA
Scroll →