Get some #CLASS: Take on the art industry at Winkleman in NYC, starting Sunday.


William Powhida and Jennifer Dalton organize a month-long lab — and I’m part of it. (Image courtesy of Winkleman Gallery.)

Needless to say, the last few months in the art industry have been highly entertaining. There was William Powhida’s Brooklyn Rail cover last November, which picked apart the internecine machinations of a buncha high-powered types at the New Museum. Then, there was the announcement that a major commercial gallerist has been named director of a super mongo museum in L.A., an institution whose obscenely-rich trustees saw fit to spend its endowment into the ground. And then, of course, there’s Jerry Saltz’s Facebook, which is keeping the art establishment’s hairs on end wondering who the heck he’s gonna call a ‘dick’ next. In other words, there’s been a LOT going on. And most of it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Which means that #CLASS — a think-tank about the art industry — organized by artists Powhida and Jennifer Dalton and hosted by the Winkleman Gallery, couldn’t come at a better time. This special project will turn the city’s artistic gaze from its navel to the art industry through a month-long series of events that will include a raft of insightful happenings: guerrilla gallery tours, frank Q&As with established art dealers, work sessions, panels, beer-drinking, chalkboard-writing, art-shredding, motivational speaking and even art yoga (led by me). In other words, the plan is to terrorize Chelsea for a month. (I’m not positive that this is indeed the plan, but it’s certainly my plan.) The best part: anyone is welcome to be a part of this. And it’s all FREE.

You can find the entire schedule of events at the dedicated #CLASS website. But here is just a taste of what’s to come:

  • Sunday, Feb. 21, 4pm: The party gets rolling this weekend, so peel your ass off the couch and get down to Chelsea for the first official #CLASS social. An Xiao will serve as social media paparazzi paparazzo. :-p
  • Friday, Feb. 26, 6pm: A session on Bad Curating by Stamatina Gregory and Jovana Stokic. (I believe that attendance is required if you work at the New Museum.)
  • Saturday, Feb. 27, 2pm – 6pm: All kinds of juicy stuff is going down on this day, including a guerrilla gallery tour being led by William Powhida and a how-to on collecting by blogbuds James Wagner and Barry Hoggard.
  • Sunday, Feb. 28, 5pm: Debbie Ainscoe leads a session in Second Life — from the UK. Nerdarrific!
  • Wednesday, March 3, 2pm: ART SHRED is an on-site shredding service that will help artists and other participants liberate themselves of important works of art, meaningful love letters and one-of-a-kind photographs.  This session will be led by my partner-in-crime, Celso. If you have something of consequence that you would like to have shredded, e-mail him at celso[at]elcelso[dot]com. Walk-ins welcome.
  • Thursday, March 4th, 4pm: A discussion/rant/12-step program about art school and the ivory tower, organized by Sharon L. Butler.
  • Friday, March 5, 2pm: Art Yoga with C-Mon: Bow to the Art Industry. Get body and mind ready to navigate the hazards of the art world with a 75 minute yoga class geared at those who want to re-contextualize the nature of liminal space while remaining lithe enough to be considered for possible art/fashion spreads in T Magazine. Class will be led by yours truly, a certified yoga teacher (Om Yoga Center, class of 2003 — seriously). The session will begin with sun salutations to Marina Abramovic and quickly spiral downwards from there. Bring a mat and an open mind. Class capacity 18; first come first serve. Later that same evening, at 6pm, artist Nic Rad will present his ‘Celebritist Manifesto,’ a defense of celebrity culture that will make clear that James Franco is the most important artist of the decade.
  • Saturday, March 6, 6pm: Rod Verplanck, a motivational speaker who, among other things, will teach you that “the very smallness of your ideas is the key to wild success.” Sounds like a must-do. (Courtesy of Schroeder Romero.)
  • Wednesday, March 10: Again, all kinds of good happenings will occur on this day, including balloon-popping with Man Bartlett, a kindergarten class tour of Chelsea with Jennifer Dalton, a feminist tea party and a merciless ask-the-dealer session with Postmasters gallerist Magda Sawon in which she vows “to truthfully answer any and every question posed to her as long as it does not involve her weight, social security number or other people’s money.”
  • Wednesday, March 17, 4pm: Art World as High School. Which class of retainer-wearing nerd are you? Find out with this helpful and informative session.
  • Saturday, March 20th: Another full roster on this day, including art gift wrapping with Zoe Sheehan Saldaña, assessing assessments with important-sounding people from Princeton, and a closing-night event that’s all about ranting!!!

There’s much much much much more going on, and it’s all listed HashTagClass, so get over there already. Plus, you can read more about it at Art in America and the Wall Street Journal. Update: And ArtNet!!

14 comments

  1. Marc

    C-Monster, a certified yoga teacher? For reals? Damn, is there anything you can’t do? If I lived in New York I’d sign up pronto. That, and Art World as High School.

  2. c-monster

    lol. for reals… and trust me, there’s plenty i can’t do… like eat fire and swallow swords… and understand what they’re talking about in ArtForum…

  3. Ian Aleksander Adams

    This event, since I first heard of it, has been the only thing in the past couple years to make me feel sad I don’t still live in NYC. I wanna be involved in this one so bad. Ah well, a couple more years a thousand miles away, then I think I might move close enough to visit at least.

  4. Lainya

    This is probably the best “art-like” event I’ve ever heard of. Ever. Thanks for providing me with another reason to kick myself for moving out of NYC. That city plays heaven and hell to the art world. Some of the most innovative art movements begin there, and some of the most inspiring artists create there, and some of the finest institutions – capable of bringing it all to the world’s attention – stand there, amidst all this flurry, remaining rigid, motionless, stone-cold, and bloodless. Good for you guys for balking at their uninspired ways. If I mail you some art, will you shred it for me??

  5. cam

    can anyone record any of these and post to youtube? living in LA now officially sucks. wish i could attend.

  6. c-monster

    @lainya: celso can absolutely shred your art. get in touch with him at celso[at]elcelso[dot]com to arrange it… and be at the show in spirit!!!

  7. Howie

    I was reading the Saltz Open letter OMG. Hilarious. Isn’t Facebook like so 2008 anyway? Plus since I am an art snob with many, many reprints of Thomas Kinkade all over my home, and the fact I attend Spin Art classes on Thursday nights I am thinking of asking Saltz to hire me as an art critic.

    Responding to CAM I think LA has a superior music scene because of the weather. Nothing like a desert rave. But I do think NYC has a superior art scene I think because of the public transportation and more nooks and crannies to paint and have galleries in. Plus C-Monster and El Celso choose to reside there instead of Iowa.

  8. guero

    Dude, why you gotta have the Yoga class in the day time? some of us have jobs we gotta work at…
    i thought this might be my change to try the yoga but then i realised it was at 2pm. super lamesauce.
    have fun though

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