Powhida’s scathing, hyperbolic analysis is clear, clean, and powerful, not to mention masterfully drawn and designed (the facial expressions, especially the creepily self-satisfied smiles on the faces of Trump, Shkreli, Duke, and Hitler, are highly effective; so are such grace notes as the reflected light in the shadow engulfing half of Michael Myers’s face). The drawing’s formal sophistication coupled with its levels of meaning and layers of context remove it entirely from the realm of political cartooning, but where does it land? And how will we address it once the threat of a Trump presidency (presumably November 9th) is over?

-Thomas Michelli, Hyperallergic, The Shelf Life of Political Art



Democracy presents us with choices, and based on his campaign platform to address wealth and income inequality that could fund programs to support more Americans, I’m voting for Bernie Sanders in the New York State primary. What are the issues that will inform your choice? Make sure you’re registered at canivote.org

These participatory drawings were commissioned by Spring/Break co-founders Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly for their #BernNYBern rally in the spirit of engaging in democratic dialog about the differences and similarities of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ campaigns.  No matter who wins the Democratic Primary, we should all be aware of were the candidates stand on the issues that matter most to us.  Not voting in November because your candidate didn’t win the primary is definitely not an option in the face of the Republican candidates.  We can’t afford four years of destructive and regressive Republican policies, or whatever insane free-market nonsense Donald Trump continues to sell to undereducated Americans motivated by fear of difference and social progress.  Please keep an open mind and show the rest of the country that New York Democrats will be coming out to vote in droves.

Some Names for Drumpf

Support the 7th Annual Smack Mellon Kentucky Derby Party and Art Auction Sunday May 7th.  Buy a ticket now and you might *win* this drawing.

Powhida_AFC_DonationIt’s basically spring in New York and that means it’s benefit season until summer gets here.  I’m happy to be making an effort to support ARTFCITY, Momenta Art, and Smack Mellon this year.  This painting is available through Paddle8 or at the ARTFCITY Spring/Brk Fundraiser at Otto’s Shrunken Head Tuesday March, 15th.  Even if you’re not able to layout $2k to support Paddy and the blog, you can still support these awesome arts organizations by purchasing a ticket.  Seriously, as museums increasingly rely on commercial galleries, we need non-profit arts writing and exhibition spaces, so we don’t see the same artists from the same galleries.
Now that Art Fair Week Part 1: The Destruction of the Middle is over, think about spending a fraction of what it would cost to buy my garbage awesome art or any art fair art and buy tickets for these great events.  Paddy’s hosting a wet t-shirt contest for manboob, Momenta and Smack Mellon’s tickets guarantee you a piece of art and with a bit of luck you might get something you can live with! If you’re really luck you’ll have something you can sell at auction in ten years to help me you move out of New York into small home in upstate New York…Sorry! I’m just thinking out loud here.  I’ve got to get out of New York City before I kill someone at an opening with a corkscrew or broken beer bottle.


Image Caption:

10:07 PM – 30 Sept 2010, 2015
Acrylic on panel
22 x 17.5 x 2 in (55.88 x 44.45 x 5.08 cm)
Courtesy of the Artist and Charlie James Gallery




Artist statement on the occasion of participating in PULSE Miami 2015 with Gallery Poulsen:

The art world isn’t quite as separate from the rest of the world as you might imagine, although it may seem rather alien to outsiders . What happens in the art world from the spectacle of the Miami Art Fairs  to the proliferation of biennials is representative of a particular set of values and preferences, our global elite. As the International Art English of the art press release reveals with its acrobatic and impenetrable language, these values are embodied and performed by everyone looking to participate in the art world.  It is within and through these systems of distribution, production, and reception of art that I create forms of oppositional critique.

Relying on humor, satirical analysis and performative parody, my work draws attention to the vertiginous and absurd paradoxes of the art world’s social and political values. Art is a radical concept embedded in a deeply conservative social order based on growing wealth inequality that belies the art world’s progressive self-image.  Using the art market to deliver this criticism further reveals art’s dependence on the concentrated wealth of our global elite, who are after all, the subject of my critique.  As critic Clement Greenberg noted in 1939 “The paradox is real,” but the crucial difference today is that the elite is not rapidly shrinking as Greenberg observed, it is in fact growing wealthier.  This unbridled accumulation of capital poses an existential threat to democratic institutions across the globe.  Art should respond to that threat. 

William Powhida