William Powhida Turns Koons-Themed Poem into an Artwork

William Powhida's A Dingy Poem for Jeff Koons*. Graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper, 2014. *Based on Carolina A. Miranda’s ”A Shiny Poem for Jeff Koons”. Photo: William Powhida via Tumblr

Less than two weeks into the current Whitney retrospectiveJeff Koons fever has officially come full circle.

The inevitable hype has inspired a frenzy of media coverage (yes we are part of that) with no shortage of previews, reviews, predictions (lots of selfies and Instagrams), market analysis, and practically its own  language (Koonstagrams, Koonstastic).

We thought things had already reached an apex of sorts last week when Los Angeles Times writer Carolina Miranda (aka, @cmonstah) got inspired by all the various reviews of the big shiny show and turned them into a fascinating poem.“The reviews are so good—bursting with evocative turn of phrase, political metaphor and references to lady parts—that they’ve inspired me to make a poem” writes Miranda.

This week, Miranda revealed that artist William Powhida, “known for diagrammatic pieces that read like a combination of political cartoon and infographic,” has turned the poem into one of his signature artworks. “He frequently uses these to poke a stick at the intersection of money, art and power (hence the interest in Koons).”

As Miranda notes, the artist, who is “obsessed with text, gives the critical phrases in the Koons poem an added punch with bright colors and special typographical treatments.” Powhida, who is currently on a residency in Casa Maauad in Mexico City, told her he drew the #Koonstpoem (what she’s calling it), because “he couldn’t resist.”

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