Outside a leaky old candy factory in Juniata, the season’s first snowstorm is caking the sidewalk in slush. A fire-engine-red door opens with the push of a tattooed hand belonging to artist Alex Da Corte. He ushers me inside a cavernous space the size of a basketball court, past a series of installations in mid-assembly, up a flight of stairs, and into a room that has the makings of a David Lynch dream sequence. There’s a bushy-tailed dog ablaze in peach-hued sunlight, propped up on all fours, staring at me from the perch of a plywood table. It’s stiff as the Sphinx. “That’s Nicole Brown Simpson’s Akita. It’s the dog they say found the bodies,” Da Corte explains, showing me its scraggily wire innards with gleeful delight. The pup will soon be placed on a mechanical track and rotate in circles, as if searching for something. To add a touch of dementedness, Da Corte has adorned the replica with a rubber Halloween dog mask. The dog is wearing a dog mask. “It’s maniacal,” Da Corte says. “It’s just not right.”
The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s International Pop exhibition starts on February 24th. To promote it, an Art Museum staffer posted the image above — Belgian artist Evelyne Axell’s 1964 painting “Ice Cream” — on Facebook. It’s on loan to the PMA from the Collection of Serge Goisse.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show kicked off its 39th year with a glitzy gala on Wednesday night. Ellen Caplan, chair of this year’s show, welcomed guests to the event before introducing Timothy Rub, the museum’s CEO. He presented the 2015 Craft Show Awards to 10 of the outstanding artists participating in the show, determined by a panel of judges. Each winner received $1,000 from the sponsor of each individual award, with the Best of Show winner — Agnieszka Winograd, a jewelry designer — receiving $1,500. Presented by The Women’s Committee and The Craft Show Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the craft show is the single largest fund-raiser for the museum. More 1,000 applicants apply to show at the annual event, but only 195 are chosen. Proceeds from the show support educational programs and exhibitions and fund purchases of art and contemporary crafts for the permanent collection. To date, the committee has raised over $10.9 million for the museum. The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is at the Pennsylvania Convention Center through Sunday.
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.
Going with the idea of our city being on a world stage while Pope Francis and the World Meeting of Families are in town this week, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Association for Public Art will unveil a Spanish/Latin edition of Robert Indiana’s famous Love statue on Tuesday morning. This one reads in similarly designed, red, six-foot-high, aluminum letters: Amor.
Placed prominently on the east terrace, the Spanish/Latin version of the culturally iconic pop sculpture is sure to photo-bomb its way into lots of the papal coverage during this week’s festivities with its message of red-hot love. It faces the parkway toward its english-speaking counterpart, Indiana’s Love sculpture, in JFK Plaza, (aka Love Park), across from City Hall.
Photographer Dave Heath’s start in life wasn’t easy, but maybe it provides a clue to understanding his soulful, empathetic and moving body of work, on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art beginning this Saturday, September 19. When you look at the work, the loneliness and gentle observation clearly stand out as artistic motifs. His black-and-white photographs are gorgeous and stark, and yet so deeply human that they easily connect the viewer to subject. Heath taps into our collective identification with times of loneliness, self-absorption and longing. These images are not ironic. There’s no arch cleverness. And that’s one of the strongest qualities of this work. Read more »
The deal gives TrustHouse, a top-six contract food service company in the United States, a firm foothold in Philadelphia, New York and Miami.
Starr Restaurant Catering Group will continue operating under the Starr Catering banner and will be continue to be led by Simon Powles, who was a co-founder in Starr’s catering arm back in 2007.
Starr Catering is the exclusive catering partner of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, New York’s Carnegie Hall and a host of other venues in New York, Philadelphia and Miami.
For more on the business end of the deal, check out our sister site, BizPhilly.
Stephen Starr Sells Catering Group [Biz Philly]
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is helping to raise a region of highbrows thanks to the reinstallation of Art Splash.
For its third year in a row, the popular family program offers a variety of activities that is engaging for both kids and grown-ups alike, and this year the museum is offering some new and improved perks. Read more »
This past Saturday, I wrote about the doctored Philadelphia Museum of Art photo that showed rainbow banners displayed on the iconic building, and the insane social media outlash that came with it. Your comments about the fake rainbow were pretty great (My favorite: “I know the feeling, I spent days trying to find those rainbow Oreos…”), but this picture from a reader truly summarizes exactly how we feel about the entire situation:
Let’s get this out of the way: It’s fake.
The picture of rainbow banners draped from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to celebrate the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision is a doctored image, a Photoshop gone wrong that confused and downright infuriated a good number of the Museum’s Facebook followers who thought the picture was real.
Sure, the Museum admitted that the image was “a digital render and a symbol of our support,” but that was hours after the initial picture was posted with the following caption:
“The Museum is flying rainbow banners in celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision on same sex marriage. ‘Like’ if you support #MarriageEquality for everyone!”