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Holy trembling

Church. It’s a little chilly and dark, with lit images filtering in. That’s what it feels like on the second floor of The Print Center these days, thanks to Richard Torchia’s installation “Sun Pictures and Other Broken Images.”

The images are of what’s outside–trees and buildings–turned upside down by the enormous cameras obscura that Torchia fashioned from the rooms themselves. The images are in multiples, yet each one looks slightly different.

Torchia’s images are made only of light. Because of that, they tremble and change with the light and atmosphere that’s on the street, their focus tenuous.

This is art without an art object, but it’s a great experience, so impermanent and delicate, real and unreal all at once. The images’ inversion only adds to the instability. The exhibit is pure magic.

Recent Philadelphia graduates

Downstairs at The Print Center is an emerging young art grads show, “On My Own,” that made me think what a difficult space the Print Center can be. Some of this work I had seen recently and admired. But in this space, it lost some edge.

Photographers Sarah Stolfa (see post) is showing some of her portraits of patrons sitting at the bar at McGlinchey’s, a mix of Rembrandt-era portraiture, a love of people, and bar culture (image, left, “Art Deemer,” and right, “Jessica Buck,” both archival inkjet prints, 28 x 24 inches).
Althea Murphy-Price continues her elegant nappy-hair obsession in print (see posts here, here and here). Her art raises to glory the inherent creepiness of hair (image, “Distance Between,” screenprint, 36 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches).

Craig Mateyunas’ body self-portrait photos are about flesh and form. They make me think of photographs of side-show contortionists, or the confusing shots of wrestlers and sex wrestlers, where the entertwined body parts are hard to define (image, Untitled/Self-Portrait, gelatin silver print, 47 x 47 inches).

Zoe Soslow’s work, with which I was not at all familiar, I still haven’t really seen. The white-on-white lithographs were too difficult for me to read, alas. I don’t know if it was the lighting, my eyes, or the work. Even my camera wasn’t up to the task.

Both exhibits run until Feb. 25.