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Two Philly blasts

Gabe Martinez
Changing of the guard occurred hourly in Gabe Martinez’s big display piece at SCOPE

Before I start blabbing about the other art fairs, I want to link to Roberta’s post, with its links to all of our pictures on Flickr.

The highlight of our weekend was home-townie Gabe Martinez, who delivered a performance piece that broke my heart (presented by Samson Projects). The biggest surprise was the figure in the piece turned out to be a real human being. Well, two real human beings, taking turns, spelling one another from the torture of lying totally still on the cold, cold ground in silver athletic suits as thin and clingy as saran wrap.

Gabe Martinez
The actors hold their pose for an hour in this piece by Gabe Martinez. It was a sort of heroic endurance performance.

The piece, originally planned as a vertical, triumphant piece–the silver guys beneath a giant hat that referenced Mardi Gras, the Mummers, I Love Lucy and Carmen Miranda, just for starters–ended up horizontal, at the entrance/exit of SCOPE.

In other words, everyone saw it. And those who were there for the changing of the guard got to see one fallen hero replaced by another. Martinez choreographed the changeover, and it was iconic.

The silver bodies were this side of naked–completely vulnerable. The piece crossed boundaries and expectations and took my breath away.

Bo Bartlett
The study for Bo Bartlett’s anti-war painting.

The other Philly blast was PPOW’s sale of Bo Bartlett’s new anti-war painting at PULSE. By time we got there, the painting was no longer on display and only the study of the boy remained. I would put up the image he sent along to us about a month ago, but I can’t get on to my gmail account, as I mentioned before, and that’s where I have it.

What I like about the painting is the striped shirt becomes an American flag. As for the Nazi salute, we know just where Bo stands on this. The shirt and the salute nicely undercut any dreamy symbolism and bring the figure down to earth.