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First Friday–new gallery and flip book festival


housergonerAfter leaving Locks, I ran to Old City to meet Roberta, and on my way got waylaid by a young man calling attention to a new gallery to anyone who’d listen.

The place is called Spartaco Gallery, and the address on the gallery notes is 52 N. 2nd St., but the entrance is on a side street, through a windowless door that leads to a stairway to the second floor.

The gallery has no street presence (other than my friend, the carnival barker), so I don’t know how people are going to find it in the future, but snow and all, the small space was packed with people chatting, munching, and looking at the five-artist show. The work is representational, including lots of still lifes, and I was late, so I didn’t give it a fair look. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you go.

Eventually I wound up at Space 1026, which had a flip-book exhibit and an auction of works from affiliates and friends.

Compared with last year’s flip-book exhibit, this one was small, with just a few of the books giving the requisite flip-book impression of motion.

esquivelhiMy fave was Angel Esquivel’s “Hi,” a pack of index cards bound with hair ties, plastic balls and all (shown), the moving image an earnest cartoon man raising his hand in greeting.

Another sweet book, K. Chau’s “Empress Monkey Girl” showed a print image of a girl releasing from her hands fish, clouds, turtles, a star. But the book scored low on the flippability scale.

wrightchesthairdanceFamiliar names whose books were noteworthy included Andrew Jeffrey Wright. His “Chest Hair Dance” (shown right) got a laugh out of me, and his psychedelic skulls books were, well, psychedelic. “Drum Solo,” a group project by Adam W.[allacavage], Rachel, Thom L.[essner] and Rose used postcards [leftovers advertising a Wright show] bound together with rubberbands. The face was transformed, the blank white eyes moving as the book flipped. Pretty funny.

Other adventurous materials worth mentioning—nuts and bolts for bindings and decks of playing cards, the hands on the cards doing something like dealing.

westcott2On the walls for the auction were mostly prints. Standout pieces (there were just a few) included Rebecca Westcott’s drawing (shown), and Jim Houser’s skateboard (shown at top of post).

Snow notwithstanding, the place was packed with young people dressed in dour colors (the bright spots for color–the occasional head of hair, and one guy in a red union suit).

A word about the walls–black with some colored drawings. I suppose the idea was to be anti-white box, but it was a little depressing, and not a good foil for the artwork, or even for the crowd and their sober colors.