First Friday Picks: An Arty Block Party on Frankford Avenue, Something New From Zoe Strauss, and More

Provocative LGBT Images Up for Grabs in Zoe Strauss Silent Auction

"Women Kissing" is one of the LGBT-centric images available in Zoe Strauss's silent auction for First Person Arts.

“Women Kissing” is one of the LGBT-centric images available in Zoe Strauss’s silent auction for First Person Arts.

Out Philly photographer Zoe Strauss has released a series of images from her 2007 documentary project, “If You Break the Skin, You Must Come In,” to a silent auction benefitting First Person Arts. The project was inspired by a sign she saw off the interstate in southwest Philadelphia advertising an AIDS prevention clinic. The original image, which was included in her 10-year retrospective in 2012 at Philadelphia Museum of Art, is included in the auction.

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What Happens When You Let Gay Philly Activists Into the White House [UPDATED]

Last Friday, an attaché of important gay people from Philadelphia made a trip to Washington D.C. as invited guests of President Barack Obama for the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception. There, they danced to the sounds of a Marine Corps band; they dined on crab cakes and canapés; they hand-delivered letters from concerned citizens like this 18-year old who has had four people close to him gunned down, and noted rhyming raconteur CA Conrad; and some of them took advantage of photo opportunities to give the late President Ronald Reagan the middle finger. Read more »

New Orleans Photographer Matthew White Accuses Zoe Strauss of Plagiarism

It’s been quite a run for self-taught, Philadelphia-based photographer Zoe Strauss, who went from selling her work for $5 per print under I-95 to being the toast of the town, which I’m pretty sure is defined in the local edition of Webster’s as “someone for whom Roots drummer ?uestlove will show up and DJ.” The New York Times has had plenty of nice things to say about her Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibit, a culmination of a 10-year photography project, as well as the dozens of accompanying Zoe Strauss billboards throughout town. The South Philadelphia resident clearly has lots of fans, but award-winning New Orleans photographer Matthew White isn’t so happy. Read more »