Adam Wallacavage Exhibiting Photographs For the First Time in Over a Decade


Ship on rock

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.”

Sticking with his familiar theme of fantastical nautical escapades, “Shipwrecks” is a collection of still-life images depicting ocean craft that have met their end in a variety of ways: sinking in shallow, foamy waters; crashing into rocks; mysteriously being abandoned on shore. The shots are void of humans, so it’s difficult to tell how large or small the ships actually are. The question of time is unfathomable, too. The photos certainly look antique, with their hazy, sepia-toned finish, but anything can be made to look old with a good filter on Instagram. This sense of unknowing sparks all kinds of imaginative thoughts: Are the ships still there, deteriorating in the sand? What happened to the crew? Were there treasures left aboard? Why were there so many shipwrecks on Unicorn Beach? Is it like a Bermuda Triangle kind of place?!

That’s part of the draw to Wallacavage’s work, that childlike sense of mystery and adventure it evokes — even if you know his octopus chandeliers aren’t really creatures crawling out of the ceiling, or that his Monster Sized Monsters are a bunch of misfit stuffed animals sewn together. The images in “Shipwrecks” were staged on a beach in New Jersey with model ships. Wallacavage even debuted them on Instagram in 2014, which explains the whole filter theory. But like LMNL writes in their description of the exhibit, “Even knowing the truth, each photograph begs to be investigated closely for clues and stories, and the hope remains that the scenes are real.”

Check out a few more images from “Shipwrecks of Unicorn Beach” below, and then go see it for yourself when it opens with a special reception on November 6th, from 7-10 pm. After that, you can see it by appointment only through November 30th. LMNL Gallery is located at 1526 Frankford Avenue. You can contact them by phone at 267-639-9956 or via email at [email protected].