One of the central themes of the art market’s explosion over the last decade has been a visceral resentment from many incumbent artists, critics and gallerists who feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of new and, as they see it, misguided buyers. The phrase “too much money chasing bad art” creeps up again and again. Here the artist and vocal opponent of the art market—and almost anyone involved it in it—extends his critique to the broadening audience looking to buy art online:
The downside, of course, is getting art lovers to connect with a piece of art viscerally through a computer screen, says artist and former art critic William Powhida.
“That’s harder to do online,” he mulls, adding that, in a hierarchical and elitist art world, it’s hard to see how online art sales will even work if they sideline critics, shows and the pleasure of seeing art with other art lovers.
“It becomes so much more transactional,” he says. […]
Powhida believes that much of the art sold online seems meant to appeal to a mass audience. As a result, it’s generally not particularly challenging. “Most of the work I saw was sort of colorful and decorative and had a strong visual appeal,” he says. “That’s probably the nicest way I can say it.”