Bill Powers

Judge Bill Powers gives props to Art's first guest judge, and critiques Nicole's technological still life.

on Jun 16, 2010

 

When artist Terence Koh stopped by one of our gallery openings he said that Miles should win because he’s the cutest. Now, of course, Koh was being provocatively superficial in the Warholian tradition, but there’s no doubt Miles remains a serious contender. Lots of New York art world types did drive-bys at our weekly openings. Art Forum’s Linda Yablonsky is seen for a split second in the first episode as well as the actor/ jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia. In episode two, you might spot me talking to Rashid Johnson in the background. I bring up these blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameos because I think it’s important to let people from the “real” art world participate if they want to. In fact, if we do another season of the show I would ask producers to let the gallery events be made open to the public because that’s always been a great thing about contemporary art in America - if you do the footwork, any art lover can attend any opening and meet the headliners. Can the same be said of Hollywood or the fashion industry? I don’t think so.

This week’s episode covered all three R’s of the recycling movement: reduce, reuse and…ridiculous! Major props to our first guest judge Jon Kessler whose work I’ve followed for years. He did an amazing installation at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center a while back, which you should look up online. Viewer interaction is such a critical component of his work; although I’m not sure stills do it justice. I believe Jon has an album coming out this summer with Robert Longo from their band the X-Patsys. The other thing I really admire about Jon is his commitment to teaching. He’s on the staff at Columbia University here in New York. In other countries it’s considered a huge honor and responsibility to give back to art students, no matter how famous the artist. Whereas in the United States, at times there’s a stigma attached to artists ("Oh, you have to support yourself on the side by teaching?"), which is just a terrible attitude. Kudos to Jon!

Two comments really fast. First off, Miles hid all the electronics he didn’t use from the junk pile under the bed, which I feel adds another dimension to his sculpture and is worth noting. Also, while the cement anuses might have been overkill, I appreciate the symmetry they offered, almost acting as bookends for his main work. Secondly, Nicole’s piece looked better in person than it did on TV. I love the discarded television as time capsule idea especially when it’s going to be a sculpture included on a reality competition series. Nicole made a technological still life her digital vanitas. Well done!