Feeling our way

robinaluminumRoberta and I are still looking for our way through the First Friday morass, trying to figure out how to cover it, how to give shows a fair viewing. By time Friday evening rolls around, we’re pretty tired, and viewing art amidst the excitement and the crowds and the desire to schmooze is always a problem.

Last month, we skipped First Friday altogether. It seemed to work well; we kept bumping into each other as we each trolled the galleries separately on Saturday afternoon, but we got a better look at the work.

Yesterday, however, we couldn’t quite stay away.


robinaluminum2For one thing, our friend Stephen Robin had an opening at Gallery Joe (images above and right of two of his voluptuous new cast aluminum reliefs–suggesting any number of ultra-closeups of natural forms like the sea, straw, leaves that go on without end beyond the edges of the image). By the way, Robin’s been working on some really sexy orange blossoms, 9 feet tall, for the Miami airport. He’s got some pictures in a binder of the models. Check ’em out. Also at Gallery Joe, artist Mary Judge, but I didn’t really take the time to look at these.

We also couldn’t stay away because Roberta’s been in touch with those involved with the show at Nexus, and it looked like it might be a lot of fun (it was–I’m counting on Roberta to tell you about this one).

amundsonmodiglianinudeAnd then we thought we’d stop by missioncreeper Bill Amundson’s solo show at PII Gallery (we saw satirical cartoons in colored pencil and met the artist himself–both had us laughing out loud)(left, “Modigliano [sic.] Nude with iPod and Tattoo”). In addition to the art-referential drawings, there are suburban landscapes filled with Starbucks and Wal-Marts. Worth a visit.


Then we stopped at Carbon 14 to check out an installation by Steve Rossi that also involved a model looking at the art plus photographers taking photos of the model looking at the art while we looked at the photographers and the model and the art. It didn’t quite click, but we were glad to re-aquaint ourselves with Katarina, whom we had met many years back when Carbon 14 was in its first life and Roberta and I had a plan for an installation that we didn’t know how to get made.

parla1Then Roberta headed for home, I headed for 10 minutes worth of Gallery 222 and the Painted Bride, and my dinner date with Murray.

The work at 222, “Memory Document,” was sort of grafitti appropriation art by Jose Parla. I thought it was pretty funny to reproduce for gallery display crumbling wall surfaces, tiles, ragged plaster, peeling posters and all–sad documents of the urban scene. But it wasn’t so great to look at, not enough of a transformation from reality to art.


As for the grafitti, it was abstract, and not as word- or image-oriented as real grafitti. Maybe I didn’t give it much of a chance, or maybe it really wasn’t any deeper than the surface it was scribbled on.

inquirergreeneaglesNothing new I want to report about at the Bride, yet.

For all the ups and downs, I still was glad to be out among the crowds, talking and walking and looking around. I’ll get back to Old City because there’s more that I want to see. And on the way home I tried to take a picture of the Inquirer building decked out in green Eagles light. But the car was moving too fast (left).