William Powhida

What Is Art?


Nearly half of the edition has sold but we are extending our Spotlight of William Powhida’s portfolio What Is Art? through October. Please email us if you’d like to add an edition to your collection.

“Last fall I was asked by artist duo Ghost of a Dream to participate in an artist trade project, Art for Artists.  The trade involved making a unique multiple, or a drawing that could incorporate some forms of reproduction. I used a stencil and airbrush to create a notebook paper ground, where the shadow and edge of the paper varied with the application of the airbrush to the stencil, creating some variation within the single outline of the sheet. On each of the grounds, I responded to a question I have been asking myself for years now, ‘What is Art?’ Each response was drawn in graphite on the stenciled pages after I added the blue lines in colored pencil. The responses reflect a growing suspicion that art may not be the social or cultural ‘good’ we'd like it to be, but perhaps the by-product of social and economic forces opposed to art. Making the drawings within a solidarity economy, trading not selling, opened up a less contradictory space to make the statements, but they were made for an audience of other artists."   (continued below)

What is Art? is a suite of 12 digital prints, with images measuring approximately 9 x 5.5 inches on 14 x 11 inch Inkpress Duo Matte 80 bright white paper, in an edition of 20, collected in a archival folio; individually signed, dated, and numbered. $800 plus shipping*


“I scanned the drawings to document them, but after I sent them off to Ghost of a Dream, I noticed  the lines and shadows on the notebook paper were blown out by the large format scanner. After restoring the lines and shadows in cyborg hand, which took longer entirely longer than making the originals, I felt justified in turning the multiples into a edition, which I could print in my studio. It seemed like the right project to show with the cloud-based iteration of Platform Gallery at a price that reflected the lowering of overheads (there is no monthly rent for the gallery; my studio is an a basement...) and my ongoing desire to find ways to sell my art, which I’ll risk admitting I try to do, a little more democratically, i.e., in the hundreds, not thousands of dollars. I recognize that it’s still not a cheap proposition, but you can frame all 12 prints for about $100, and display them to provoke your friends and enemies who may be deeply invested in the commonly held view that art is a net good for the world. I’m less certain, but I haven’t abandoned art for full-time criticism of art, yet.”

William received his MFA in 2002 from Hunter College (New York). He has had solo exhibitions in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, Copenhagen, Dallas, and San Francisco. His work has been included in countless group shows around the country and the world. His most recent solo exhibition, William Powhida: After the Contemporary, was recently on view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield, CT). He has been exhibiting with Platform since 2004 and he lives and works in New York.

*SHIPPING INFO: Please note that a domestic shipping flat rate of $25 is added for each portfolio. Our standard shipping timeline, from point of sale to delivery, is 3-4 weeks for shipments within the continental United States. For international orders, please contact Platform for a shipping quote.