Getty Images Investigating Perry Milou’s $1 Million Pope Painting

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)

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 »

The Curious Case of Nicky Isen

Left: Illustration by Peter Strain. Right:  The I. Brewster Gallery near 21st and Race. Photograph by Christopher Leaman

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 »

Spotted: Philly’s Cityscape Captured Through Paper Sculptures

A photo posted by Drew Leshko (@drewleshko) on

Philadelphia-based artist Drew Leshko is doing something really cool. Using paper and wood, he carves, cuts, and layers the materials to create replicas of buildings, news stands, and other features in his neighborhood. His raison d’être? His artist statement makes it clear:

… Leshko creates documentary studies of architecture from his neighborhood in an attempt to create a three dimensional archive of buildings that are in transitional periods. The work examines gentrification and history, how historical relevance is determined, and most importantly, what is worth preserving.

The paper sculptures – done at a 1:12 scale, we might add – are crafted from observation and photographs, with Leshko not shying away from minute details like city detritus and acid rain deposits. We’ve included photos of some of his pieces from his Instagram below, although you can see eleven of the seventeen in person.

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The 5 Coolest Projects Pew Just Funded


One project includes a PHS pop-up at the Philadelphia Rail Park. | Rendering via Friends of the Rail Park

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage was founded in 2005, and has given out more than a thousand project grants and named more than 300 fellows. One project it funded was Zoe Strauss’s 10-year retrospective, which produced one of the greatest pieces of art in recent memory: The scowling woman on the billboard at the corner of 10th and Reed. So I’d consider it a success already.

It recently announced its 2015 grantees. 34 projects will be funded. 13 fellows were named. Three achievement grands were given out.

We perused the list and found our five favorites. Read more »

So Fetch: Mean Girls Art History May Be the Best Instagram Account Ever

From the @meangirlsarthistory Burn Book Instagram.

From the @meangirlsarthistory Burn Book Instagram.

Trust us when we tell you that this is, like, so fetch: There’s an Instagram account that makes majoring in art history (unlike being in the mathletes) so popular that you’ll become high status man candy before you know it.

We’re pretty much in love with the Mean Girls Art History Burn Book (@meangirlsarthistory) that juxtaposes classic works of art with quotes from the popular movie. It’s genius, and it’ll surely prevent you from becoming a fugly slut. Unlike butter, we assure you that it’s not a carb, and we suggest checking out the gallery of images from the Instagram account below before we call you a home-schooled jungle freak. Of course, head over to the Instagram account yourself and follow it for more fetch updates.

And we promise we won’t tell anyone that you smell like a baby prostitute.

Rare Paul McCartney Artworks Going on Display at XFINITY Live

Paul McCartney‘s upcoming show at Wells Fargo Center is sold out, but promoters are giving fans another chance to experience the former Beatle—and this one’s free. At 4 pm on the day of his show, across the street at XFINITY Live, an exhibit will open displaying a series of rare, hand-signed lithographs that he’s made throughout his career.

McCartney's Beach Towels will be among the lithographs available for purchase at XFINITY Live!

McCartney’s “Beach Towels” will be among the lithographs available for purchase at XFINITY Live.

The collection comprises five of McCartney’s seven released lithographs, including Chief Rug, his first art piece in 10 years. The other works include Big Mountain Face, Egypt Station, Ancient Connections, and Beach Towels.

All the pieces will be available for purchase, but you better hurry if you’re interested. The exhibit closes on the same night, an hour after the curtain comes down on his show at Wells Fargo Center.

If Beatles art interests you, you may want to head down to Ocean Galleries this week, where you’ll find a display of the artwork of John Lennon that was curated by Yoko Ono. More info here.

Glowing Pedicab Sculptures to Hit the Parkway in 2016

Digital rendering of “Fireflies” on the Parkway, courtesy of Cai Studio.

Digital rendering of “Fireflies” on the Parkway, courtesy of Cai Studio.

It was announced this week that 50 local artists and cultural organizations will receive a total of $9.6 million in grants from the Pew Center for the Arts and Heritage, which means several projects that have been living in the heads of local artists will finally have a chance to see the light of day. Keep your eyes out for announcements from local organizations, including this cool idea from the Association of Public Art (aPA).

Read more »

InLiquid’s Art for the Cash Poor Kicks Off Tonight


A snap from last year’s event. | Cat Smith.

Buying art can be a tricky proposition, and to less-than-savvy shoppers it seems pretty black and white: Either you invest thousands in a museum-worthy piece or you frame that crappy caricature you got on the side of the road. Enter InLiquid, a nonprofit organization that’s become a comprehensive hub of information on nearly 300 independent, local artists. Even better? The organization hosts an annual art sale, Art for the Cash Poor, which kicks off tonight at Crane Arts in Kensington. Here, you’ll find more than 100 artists, all selling work (from paintings to ceramics to jewelry) that’s priced at under $199.

Get first dibs by checking out the ticketed preview party tonight from 5:30pm to 9pm ($30; half of all proceeds benefit AIDS Fund). You’ll also get to shop a special installation of The Artemisian jewelry — impossibly lovely, one-of-a-kind jewelry that’s crafted from repurposed antique pieces.  Read more »

Philadelphia Museum of Art Puts Its Famous Artworks on the Streets

Diego Rivera’s Sugar Cane

Diego Rivera’s Sugar Cane at 12th and Wharton streets in South Philly. | Photo by Josh Middleton

The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) has hung 60 replicated masterpieces along Philly city streets, making onlookers across the region do double takes.

PMA and the Knight Foundation teamed up to bring a unique outreach program to Philadelphia called “Inside Out,” which hopes to break down the intimidating barriers of the Museum walls, and bring a more casual and approachable feel to classical art.

Twenty-two local neighborhoods will take part in the project within the next two years. The comprising works will span five different areas for three months at a time and then be relocated to five new areas throughout the city. The first five neighborhoods and towns to host the works this spring are East Passyunk, Newtown, Chestnut Hill East/Mount Airy, Haddonfield and Media. Each community hosts up to twelve classical pieces at a time.

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Local Teens Record Audio Tours to Get Youth Interested in Philly’s Museums

Many teenagers would argue that museum tours don’t exactly scream cool … up until now. The Philly museum scene is gaining youth appeal with the help of The Greater Philadelphia Culture Alliance’s Students At Museums in Philly (STAMP) program.

On Thursday May 28th hundreds of Philly teens will flock to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to partake in the debut of the teen-crafted STAMP Audio Tours. After special announcements by the STAMP Teen Council and  Mayor Michael Nutter, hundreds of youth will be released to partake in a free scavenger hunt that will take participants through five different museums along the Parkway.

Read more »

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