First Friday, July 2006

I have to admit that last weekend was my first trip down to First Friday – really a terrible confession, for the Artblog intern. Never fear, I had the chance to wander around and enjoy my first experience down in Old City with the company and guidance of the Artblog gurus, Roberta and Libby, and their friend Andrea. After a visit to a local tavern, the ladies and I wandered down 2nd street between Market and Arch and checked out the local vendors. For more pictures of what they saw, both before I met them and after, check Roberta’s flickr site here. Libby’s has some photos here.

My first stop with them was at a new gallery, freejade, on the 2nd floor of 52nd N. 2nd St. where The Design Bureau of Amerika displayed hand printed works in an exhibit entitled “superman versus darth vader.” The Design team consists of Ty Burrowbridge and Keith Bowman, artists who use a Japanese print Gocco system to make quirky, fun images, often depicted in a childhood-evoking manner. Thanks to Libby for the photo (which I stole from her flickr site).

Julia Cocuzza
Julia Cocuzza “Los Balcones, Old San Juan”

Next I went off on my own and stopped in at Qbix Galleryon 211 Arch St. where Brooklyn-based artist Julia Cocuzza‘s “Downtown Meditations” was housed. The oil paintings were colorful and attractive, and had a computer-inspired quality to them. She also included a number of portraits, also bright, colorful and simplified in a fresh, urban style.

Colin Page’s “Bakery”

My next stop was right next door at the F.A.N. Gallery on 221 Arch St., where Colin Page was exhibiting his “Recent Paintings.” The oil paintings immediately reminded me of Matt Bollinger in their impressionist style, and interestingly enough many of the painting’s were set in Page’s current hometown in Maine – a very different image of the Pine Tree State than that of Alex Katz, whose Maine-inspired exhibit is currently housed in the PAFA. The artist had a lovely vision of city settings – it’s nice that a realist can portray an urban scene in a soft manner, when many other young artists, like Bollinger, seem desensitized when treating the same subject matter. See my previous posts on Bollinger here and on Katz here. Also, more photos from Page are on my flickr site here.

I also stopped in at F.U.E.L., where I was drawn to Dustin Kemper‘s graffiti-inspired paintings, (again, an urban theme – I am noticing a trend). Artblog has covered this gallery a lot recently, so I’ll end my musings on him with that. My final stop was at Space 1026, which Roberta and Libby had visited earlier. More on that gallery and Cannonball Press’ exhibit there later. But for now, there is more art from these artists on my flickr site here.

-caitlin is the Artblog intern