Freeform afterhours partay

It’s been happening for a while now that young artists throw exhibits that are like parties and if you don’t catch them at the opening you have trouble getting in to see the goods. These exhibits are best viewed at the opening party anyway when bodies in motion seem to complete the works on the walls and floors.

Last First Friday I checked out a new party-exhibit space in Northern Liberties, Freeform Philadelphia at MBN, accompanied by Ditta and Frank and Bay. The second-floor loft space was great and well appointed with salon-style furniture in alcoves and free-floating seating arrangements. There was a dj and somebody breakdancing. The art was there but not there, kind of sly and unimposing in the clubhouse atmosphere.

Some nine artists had their works around, with painting, photos, video and sculpture all included. Best to my eye were Jarred Cohen’s found object works “Meat and Fish” (top image is detail) and Martin Bromirski’s series of photographs clothespinned together (image left is detail). Cohen, an earnest young artist who just graduated from Temple, made the best, most creamy pink, Wayne Thibaud-esque stack of grocery store styrofoam packing material. Not only did the piece have Donald Judd minimalism chops but it had self-taught artist obsessive collecting to boot. Cohen told me he made the boxes that the two stacks were in (the other stack, not shown, was made of blue and black styrofoam.) They had a nice milk-paint, distressed quality.

Bromirski’s photos, which show the face of his girlfriend in stages of adornment with glitter and stickers and other bright stuff had a nice contact sheet ambiance about them. They looked great hanging there in long strips clipped together and swaying a little as people walked by. Haunting and ambiguous, the work played with ideas of voyeurism and archiving and had a bit of the Victorian cabinet of wonders thing going on. It had big aspirations in spite of its low tech clothespins.

There was no wall attribution but I think the photos from Cuba (people, cars and telephones) in small gilt frames were by Banjamin Barnett. They had a Buena Vista Social Club nostalgia to them that made them loveable.

All in all, a pretty good show with serious intent. The space is a little remote from Old City but there was lots of on street parking when we pulled in.

Tadashi Moriyama, a Tyler grad who’s in charge of the space, is soliciting submissions for the month-long shows. This show’s up until May 26 and the press info says the hours are 12 pm- 4 pm but I’d call first or email before heading up there. 215-592-1242.


features & interviews, reviews



Sign up to receive Artblog’s weekly newsletter and updates sent directly to your inbox.

Subscribe Today!