Friday quick hits

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Like Libby, I was running around yesterday looking and taking pictures and trying to figure out the next parking spot for yet another part of town for yet another gallery in the increasingly sprawling and imby* scene. (here’s a photo of one of my favorite Mayor Street initiatives — blue water in the fountain at Love Park. The cotton candy color makes me smile every time. This is my drive by photo. That’s City Hall, right, in the background. I’m guessing Street can see his art project from his office window.)

*in my back yard

I’m in a rush now but will put in some links to peoples’ websites later. Promise.

Psychedelic Paper world at Space 1026

The Paper Rad kids are having fun oh yes indeedy. Alf, Garfield, trolls, Bart Simpson, Gumby. All the childhood friends of the young 20-somethings and 30-somethings appear, painted, animated, on videos and in games in the loop-de-loopy cardboard city put together by the collective at the collective Space 1026. Very much fun. Here’s a few pix of what looks like a playhouse/tent city for teddy bears and their owners.


Teddy is playing some battleship-type Nintendo game in one of the many cubby holes that evoke childhood’s tent cities made out of sheets and blankets.


You can’t see what’s on the tv here in the family room but it’s psychedelic guru Garfield. And watching and hanging out are little Garfields and two Gumbys who look like they may be babysitting. Imagine.


The white dog is looking at himself as he appears animated in a low low tech black and white game environment on the Commodore computer.

All in all, the installation’s trippy and fun. There’s a painted skateboard ramp made out of cardboard that I imagine pays homage to Space 1026’s original wooden skateboard ramp. If there’s irony here I missed it. Sunny and bright, the whole thing’s like a nostalgia love fest for the 70s and 80s. More on Paper Rad here.


Mud and tree hugging


Leslie Kaufman and Peter Kinney‘s show at Highwire is just great. Kinney’s prolific. His mud and watercolor paintings occupy almost every available space on the walls. They make a kind of loving hug for Kaufman’s iconic tree carvings which suggest people and lives both ordinary and extraordinary.

The work by both artists is strong and in their materials-fueled art-making they have much in common. Kinney’s smaller works, like Sunset Moonrise pictured above have a beauty that is delicate, something I don’t usually think of when I see his work, known for its use of mud as a drawing material. I think the watercolor used as it is in this work — feels right. And the scale — small — goes far towards making it a more engaging piece about the earth and me, not just the earth and the artist.


Kaufman’s pieces stand out for their quietude and assurance. With the combination of harsh carving marks and natural wood and in several cases industrially milled wood added for contrast, the figures and other works seem vulnerable and if not fierce then edgy and provocative. They have an ancient quality like primitive carvings by aboriginals.

Kaufman is the president and founder of Philadelphia Sculptors, a group Libby and I belong to. Kaufman is also a writer. You can see her reviews in Sculpture magazine and elsewhere. For her show she composed a poem “Sequoia” that perfectly complements her work. Its themes are body, injury, recovery, survival, love, death. It’s a dark poem with a personal voice and it colors the sculpture with sadness that I hadn’t quite grasped when looking. Although I do believe that there is hope in the works, tied as they are to nature and its cycle of rebirth.

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