Lastly, Play the Odds (But Just for Fun)

Photo: Courtesy of the Artist, Schroeder Romero Gallery, and the Artist of the Month Club

Call it anticipatory Schadenfreude. Or Survivor: Market Crash. Critics, curators, dealers, artists—everyone is speculating over which of the boom’s hot young things will make it past the bust. Emerging artist William Powhida decided to take the game to the next, inevitable level. With his print Post-Boom Odds, he placed bets on a handful of the most hyped young superstars’ “chances of mattering in ten years.” Sure, it’s sensational and silly and oversimplified, as Powhida admits, but “I’m just trying to have a little bit of fun with the notion that any of us are going to matter,” he says. “Kind of like that thing where you can go back and look at the covers of Artforum from 1970 to 1990 and not recognize the vast majority of people on there.” We took Post-Boom Odds to experts in the field and asked for their anonymous comments on the predictions. (By the way, the original drawing for Post-Boom Odds is for sale, too. The price: $2,500.)

1. Dana Schutz
Nearly everyone surveyed concurred with Powhida’s odds for Schutz.

2. Ryan McGinness
Most thought Powhida was too generous. “20-1. His work seems quite hollow and about branding imagery.

3. Terence (correct spelling) Koh
Some thought more like “5-1.” Others said Powhida’s odds nailed it: “Emperor’s new clothes.”

4. Dan Colen
Responses were all over the place. “2-1,” said one. More like “100-1,” countered another. “Dan Colen is in the same vein as Dash Snow. His work seems less significant as time goes by.”

5. Matthew Day Jackson
“2-1” said one respondent. “25-1,” said another. “Took the wrong exit off the Whitney Biennial highway.”

6. Jules de Balincourt
Respondents gave a general thumbs-up for Powhida’s prediction.

7. Adam Cvijanovic
“Going to pass on answering because he is a close friend. But it should be noted he survived the last market crash and came back strong with his anti-gravity series, one of which New York magazine called one of the best paintings of 2005.”

8. Kehinde Wiley
Respondents generally agreed with these odds, but some gave Wiley much better chances. “2-1: Wiley is totally great. He merges art-historical context into contemporary culture.”

9. Assume Vivid Astro Focus
All kinds of odds were offered up for avaf, the alias of Eli Sudbrack. His highest rating: “5-1. Imagery aside, avaf tackled a very significant formal issue of the dematerialization of the art object. The owner of avaf artwork has a voice in the objects’ physical reality. Never has this happened before.”

Lastly, Play the Odds (But Just for Fun)