The Jeff Koons cut-up poem is now a work of art by William Powhida
In my short career as a blogger and critic, I can’t claim to have ever inspired a work of art. But the cut-up poem I composed for Jeff Koons, out of the reviews of his show at the Whitney Museum, has inspired just such a thing: Brooklyn-based artist William Powhida has made a drawing out of it, and, if I say so myself, it looks pretty rad. But I’m biased: I (sort of) wrote the thing.
Powhida is known for diagrammatic pieces that read like a combination of political cartoon and infographic. And he frequently uses these to poke a stick at the intersection of money, art and power (hence the interest in Koons).
In 2011, he produced the mega-drawing “Griftopia,” which documented the links between the architects of the financial collapse (inspired by Matt Taibbi’s book of the same name). And, two years later, he explored the idea of nakedly commercial art-fair art in an exhibition at the Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles. (Leah Ollman reviewed.)
Powhida is an artist obsessed with text, and he gives the critical phrases in the Koons poem an added punch with bright colors and special typographical treatments.
[Full disclosure: I’ve been mentioned in Powhida’s drawings in the past, in much the same way artists, curators, random oligarchs and other members of the art industry have figured in them too.]
The artist, who is on a residency at Casa Maauad in Mexico City, says he drew the #Koonstpoem (what I’m calling it) because, well, he “couldn’t resist.”
Well, I can’t resist either.
Need to see it bigger? The artist has posted a large version to his Tumblr.
From the Oscars to the Emmys.
Get the Envelope newsletter for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes stories from the Envelope podcast and columnist Glenn Whipp’s must-read analysis.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.