Artist Adam Wallacavage Lives Seaside in South Philly

Part Victorian, part baroque and all Jack Cousteau, Wallacavage’s meticulously nautical living room is absolutely eye-popping.

Artist Adam Wallacavage Lives Seaside in South Philly: Adam Wallacavage's South Philly liviing room.

My house is: My sketchbook.

Wall color: I was trying to go for the color of the Art Nouveau Paris subway stations, the dripping green patina. And seaweed.

Mural: That was painted by an artist for the previous owners in the ’40s. They had a nautical theme.

Light fixtures: I saw a photo of a glass jellyfish chandelier from the 1800s, and I started making cast-plaster octopus chandeliers. I’m addicted to making them now. I changed my career from being a full-time ­photographer to being an artist, and now I show my pieces all over the world.

Fish: That’s from Obscura Antiques in New York. It’s an antique swordfish. I’d say I collect fish. And I always buy myself a piece of taxidermy for my birthday. But I don’t like to consider myself a collector, because I feel like that means you’re attached to things.

Porthole: I found some in the basement of this house. It looked like a ship down there.

Furniture: Most of it is stuff I found at thrift and antiques stores. I painted the black sofa.

Moldings: I found old architectural pieces and made plaster molds of them. I did all the mirrors, wainscoting and crown molding. It was so fun to do.

Gallery: If I’m having a big show of my lighting, I’ll hang everything in my house first and have a party.

My inspiration: If the Addams Family, the Munsters and Pee-wee Herman lived in a castle by the sea. It’s anti-modernist.

See more of Wallacavage’s work at his upcoming exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, May 17th to July 15th.

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  • http://hart2heart.typepad.com Kelley Hart-Jenkins

    LOVE this room! Your chandeliers are just perfect. Wish my spouse was so adventurous with design.

  • Barry Corrigan

    From your first attempts on making an octopus while in Wildwood Crest to your present beautiful home, your talents have far outstripped my imagination!

  • irene mueller

    Love the combination of green, blue and orange; think I will go design a necklace in those colors.