It was a year of utopian thinking with ambitious new venues run by young artists just out of school. In addition, several community-spirited galleries found their voice. Welcome to all of you builders of a better world: Bobos, Basho, Rebecca Templeton, FluxSpace, Yo!, Little Berlin, !, Midwives Collective, The Other Woman, The Seed Collective, etc. etc. etc. These real collectives put Second Life to shame and show it to be a chimera of the internet.
We at artblog are realists and activists. We know the Philadelphia art world has blossomed into an international art destination and we’re here beating the bongos! And we know we’re right about this because Art Review approached Roberta to write a story about Philadelphia which she did…and the New York Times ran two stories about what was happening in Philadelphia. It’s really hot!
THE 2007 LIBERTA AWARDS
Brave new space award
The creators of this multi-use space don’t know the meaning of the word no. The team, Nike Desis, Joseph DiGiuseppe, Chris Golas and Josh Kerner, made a brilliant move reaching out to internationally acclaimed artist, art activist and utopian thinker, Oliver Herring. They’ve made friends with their neighbors in a rough neighborhood. They’re becoming a real community art center without sacrificing quality and experimentation in their gallery, FLUXspace. They’re explosive.
Artist residency from left field award (tie)
They bring people in who are brilliant and unexpected.
For his personal artist in residency program, an extension of his self-marketing get up and go. (story to follow)
Martha Stewart award
For her ingenious decoration of Powel House in her Puerto Rico-power installation. She put Karen Kilimnik‘s installation at Powel House — some sound, objects and pictures — to shame.
Martha Stewart award runner up
For her ephemeral bower installation at Moore College, the best work we’ve seen by her to date.
The Missed Opportunity award
Whitney Biennial 2008 curators
With all the action and wonderment going on in Philadelphia they choose a 70’s era Philly phenom — Karen Kilimnik — as their token Philly artist in the big show. Wake up to what’s happening here now, guys!!
Golden Rickshaw award
Philly Car Share and POST
For superb shuttle service in Philly’s third world country north of Girard during the open studios event. This overcame unmanageable distances and parking hell for art lovers.
B Boys award
The Belknap Brothers
In a one-night performance at FLUXspace, the brothers spun to a slow White Stripes drumbeat atop a spinning giant disc. They looked like sexy supersized Little Bo Peeps. Can you please get out there with more art, gentlemen?
Sid Sachs at Rosalyn Drexler’s opening in March at Pace-Wildenstein. Drexler is one of the Pop artists Sid will talk about.
Look! It’s Sid Sachs award
For his internet video series on Women of Pop, UArts.
Gimme more award
Ups fellowship money by $10,000. Big whoop.
Smack Down award
Judge Stanley Ott
Orphans Court judge rebuffs Friends of the Barnes for grandstanding. Thumbs up!
Mired in Turpenoid award
Broad Street Review
For continuing to review academic realism and eschewing what’s really happening here.
Mired in Turpenoid award, runner up
In the Philadelphia Inquirer, the newspaper that refuses to acknowledge what’s happening on its doorstep.
Perfect wave award
Surfing curator catches the big one to Melbourne, Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria. PAFA‘s loss and ours.
Expanding his West Philly Green Line Cafe empire — this time adding a gallery.
Best public art you’ll never see in Philadelphia
Jaume Plensa and Anish Kapoor
In Millenium Park in Chicago. What do we get? A hand-me-down di Suvero. We just want to slap the powers that be for the low-energy decision passing for exciting public art.
Urban Renewal award
319 N. 11th Street
A building that houses Vox, Copy and Screening singlehandedly changed the center of gravity of First Fridays. The new FF orbit now includes Space 1026 and soon the FWM, all nearby. Liberta would be very happy if more galleries moved into this burgeoning art neighborhood.
Exhibit Titles We Wish We’d Thought of Ourselves awards
Handjob (DIY show at Space 1026)
Voxxoxo and its predecessors Voxennial and Voxumenta (Vox Populi).
Nobody Knows What These Titles Mean awards
Morgellons and Street Button (Fleisher Ollman)
What’s with this, Fleisher Ollman?
Anne d’Harnoncourt award
For continuing excellence in the role.
Bob’s Your Uncle award (tie)
For bringing German photo-superstar Candida Hofer to Philadelphia on a photo shoot and instigating the foreign artist residency at UArts.
Dina and Jerry Wind
For bankrolling the Fleisher Challenge exhibitions and the new PMA lecture series, starting with William Kentridge.
Naughty Liberta award
Live Cinema videos from Asia include sex on horseback! lots of licking! of egg white meringue on body parts! Heavy breathing, too!
Liberta’s Stalking Victims 2007
Zoe Strauss (repeat winner)
David Kessler who stalks us back.
PSYCHIC LIBERTA’S CRYSTAL BALL AWARDS
Liberta writes a book about Philadelphia, and Oprah includes it in her book club!
Liberta becomes a millionaire and establishes the Liberta Foundation for Today’s Philadelphia Art.
Liberta Foundation gets a design award for its no bullshit grant applications. They take 12 minutes to complete.
Andrew Jeffrey Wright scores an artist’s residency at Rosenbach Museum and Library.
THE LIBERTA SUGGESTION BOX
PEW Wish List
Painting: Josh Rickards, Quentin Morris, Jim Houser, Jane Irish, Austin Lee, Bryan Jeitner, Joy Feasley, Isaac Lin
Works on Paper: Christopher Davison, Ben Peterson, Rob Matthews (repeat), Hunter Stabler, Joe Boruchow
Sculpture and installation: Austin Heitzman, Norm Paris, Terry Adkins (repeat), Nick Paparone and Jamie Dillon
Video: Kara Crombie, Sarah Christman, David Kessler, Ted Passon, Matthew Suib
Transcending Categories: Amy Adams (repeat), Annette Monnier, Roxana Perez-Mendez (repeat), K-Fai Steele
Grant that somebody needs to establish
Any Wednesday art grant.
Can’t somebody fund gallery sitters at places like Vox and Copy et al. so they can open for Liberta on a Wednesday?
Great conversationalists we’d like to invite to the first annual Charlie Finch gang-bang dinner (see his evil artnet column).
Maira Kalman, Brent Burket because we love him every year, Zoe Strauss for the same reason, Sid Sachs,Terry Adkins, Jenny Jaskey, Pepon Osorio, Mark Shetabi and of course Charlie Finch (we promise we won’t poison his meatballs).
TRENDS WE’D LIKE TO KILL
Enough cute deer already.
Put a spike in goth.
Death to assemblage. Get back to making objects!
No more bad art.
TRENDS WE’D LIKE TO KISS
DIY. Do it!
video. More. Short. Videos.
installation. Build it.
interactive. Liberta likes to play.
cheap bus fare to NY.