One of the works available at auction this weekend. | Lauren McGrath.
InLiquid is one of Philly’s best-kept secrets: The nonprofit organization, based in the Crane Arts building in Kensington, is a hub of art-world resources and a huge support to the local visual art scene. (Insider tip: Did you know you can visit the offices and they’ll show you some 200 pieces and help you figure out what to hang on your wall? Fledgling collectors: Do this.) This weekend, InLiquid hosts its annual benefit, a buzzy event that’s part party and part art auction.
I got the chance to check out the selection yesterday afternoon and curate my favorite pieces. It was incredibly difficult – there are 350 works, ranging from photography to jewelry – but after a few loops around, here are the ones I’m dying to hang on my walls (or slip on my finger – I couldn’t resist a Wonder Woman ring). Click here to bid on my picks directly if you can’t make it to tomorrow’s benefit. The auction ends tomorrow at 10pm. (Get ticket and event information here.) Read more »
Left: British Parliament member Nadhim Zahawi in official British government photo. Right: One of the Warhol paintings in question.
UPDATE 2/22/2016: British Parliament member Nadhim Zahawi has withdrawn his lawsuit against Philadelphia gallery owner Nathan “Nicky” Isen.
The transactions of prominent Philadelphia gallery owner Nathan “Nicky” Isen have long been the subject of speculation and controversy, as detailed by Philadelphia magazine’s Steve Volk in this August 2015 feature. Last year, Isen was sentenced to community service and probation in federal court after pleading guilty to money laundering, and now he has raised the ire of a prominent British politician, who is suing Isen for fraud. Read more »
Work by Amberella | Photo by Conrad Benner
This months marks the fifth anniversary of Conrad Benner’s terrific photo bog, Streets Dept, which he’s used to document and celebrate Philadelphia’s street art. Benner is celebrating the anniversary with a show at Paradigm Gallery, where he will be featuring the work of 10 of his favorite artists.
Wednesday, Benner announced who those artists will be: Nosego, Kid Hazo, Old Broads, Ishknits, Joe Boruchow, Bines, Harlequinade, CERA, Amberella, and NDA. Read more »
Photo courtesy of Sarah Frank
Sarah Frank, of Blue Bell, Pa., was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March of this year. Upon first hearing the devastating news, the 23-year-old was told her chances of being cured were 80 to 90 percent. However, she relapsed back in August and was forced to go on leave in her last year at Drexel University when her chances of survival dropped to around 40 percent. Frank has since undertaken a form of art therapy to help her cope.
An example of one of Frank’s floral paintings.
“I long for a sense of control, but it’s hard to find it in much: not in my own health, not in others’ reactions to my situation, not in how I feel physically and emotionally day-to-day,” says Frank. “Making art takes me out of my own head and gives me a break from the chaos of the outside world. It gives me the chance to focus on something totally my own, totally within my control.”
The young artist first stumbled upon finger-painting a few years back when she was suffering with depression. She turned to acrylics as a method of escape from the chaos and anxiety. “Its an activity kindergarteners embrace. I figured I couldn’t fail, and I had the potential to surprise myself.” Surprise herself, she did. Frank continues to embrace the craft today in her more recent battle with Hodgkin’s — and come to find out, she has a real talent for it.
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Photo courtesy Allison Krosnick
Right now, I am staring at a watercolor print that is one of the only things that brightens up my rather depressing cubicle. It reads “Beyond fear there is joy” and, I kid you not, I stare at it at least once a day to try and remind myself that being an adult — and doing adult things like paying my bills and not spending my entire life watching Gilmore Girls — doesn’t have to be so scary. If I accept it, it could even be, I don’t know … joyous? (I am not totally convinced, but I’m getting there.)
The print was painted by Philly artist Allison Krosnick, who helms the company Hand-Painted Yoga, which she launched out of her Bella Vista home in early November. The words are local yoga instructor Emile Sorger’s — words he often says in his classes, and words that Krosnick feels can help people take their yoga practice off the mat and into their lives. In my case, it’s totally working. Read more »
Local art blogger RJ Rushmore is behind Amazon’s new Fine Art venture.
Over the weekend, Amazon launched an online gallery showcasing limited-edition prints from seven international street artists. They’ll be available for purchase starting December 7th.
This is the mega online retailer’s first foray into commissioning and selling one-of-a-kind works of art. I know what you may be thinking: Amazon choosing to begin with street artists was a bit presumptuous, considering the art form and commercialism don’t exactly go hand in hand, but organizers were smart enough to hire a curator who could bring some credibility to the project while still being able to cull a group of artists who could attract buyers.
That guy was RJ Rushmore, a Haverford College graduate, creator of street art blog Vandalog, and co-founder of a great new gallery space in Fishtown called LMNL. For his day job, he serves as social media and marketing manager at the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.
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If you’re an impatient type of person or easily bewildered in art museums, we’ve made things easy for you — with the help of Kathy Foster, head of the American Art Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We’ve assembled a list of the essential works to seek out at the Art Museum’s recently opened major exhibition, “Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life,” which explores the tradition of American still-life painting. Nearly 100 artists are represented — from the Philadelphia Peale family of the late 18th century to 20th-century pop icons Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The exhibit is an abundant feast for the eye. Here are our essential 15, with images when they were available.
Venus Rising From the Sea — A Deception (1822), Raphaelle Peale
The Peales were a Philadelphia family of artists and naturalists who created their own museum here. The father, Charles Willson Peale, an artist himself, wasn’t taking any chances about the future careers of his sons and named them accordingly: Rembrandt, Raphaelle, Titian and Rubens. Raphaelle committed himself to the still life genre that examined objects and our relationship to the material world — much to the displeasure of his father who would have preferred he take up the more illustrious narrative painting to teach morality. This painting is a beguiling trompe l’œil, depicting a coy conceptual deception. The painted handkerchief appears to be placed on the artist’s easel to block the image behind it of a nude Venus. Peale has even painted the Venus in a different style from the handkerchief superimposed in front. All we can see peeking out from behind the handkerchief is a slender foot below and a delicate hand above. The picture conveys the idea of temptation and attempts to entice you into the picture. It is a perfect welcoming painting to begin the exhibition.
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We all know Adam Wallacavage‘s octopus chandeliers, the whimsical light fixtures that decorate ceilings from here to São Paulo and beyond. It’s been a long time, though, since the local photographer and sculpture artist exhibited photographs. Like over-a-decade long. That’ll change soon, when Fishtown contemporary art space LMNL Gallery opens his new exhibit of photographs called “Shipwrecks of Unicorn Beach.”
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Papal Plagiarism?: Franco Origlia’s photo of Pope Francis (left, via Getty Images); Perry Milou’s $1 million painting (right, via Peter Breslow Consulting & Public Relations)
With the pope’s Philadelphia visit quickly approaching, anyone with an ounce of hustle is trying to cash in. There’s Holy Wooder beer, Pope Francis onesies and even a $1 million pope Pop art-style painting by none other than Perry Milou, son of restaurateur and former federal prisoner Neil Stein. But now the international photo agency Getty Images is investigating Milou’s pricey pontiff portrait due to its similarity to a Getty photograph. Read more »
Left: Illustration by Peter Strain. Right: The I. Brewster Gallery near 21st and Race. Photograph by Christopher Leaman
The stakes are so high, everyone wears funeral smiles — gray grins, barely there before they’re gone. The courtroom falls silent when Nathan Isen walks in, looking a little sheepish. A small group of friends awaits, including Ralph Yaffe of Boyds and Scott Isdaner, whose family co-founded Pep Boys. They shake Isen’s hand, wish him luck, awkward because no one knows if this is hello or goodbye.
The third-generation descendant of a prominent Main Line family, Isen has, for more than 30 years, sold artwork to Philadelphia’s doctors, lawyers, the well-to-do and the purely aspirational. And he is here today, in federal court at 6th and Market, to be sentenced on a money-laundering charge. Read more »