Sweet boutique art–a girl group at Art Star

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merrilee challiss
Merrilee Challiss, Web Weaver, unique, hand-screened & stitched on Mr. French Paper

Art Star, the little boutique up on Liberty Walk in Northern Liberties, continues to show good examples of what I like to think of as Goth Kitsch. But the show that’s up right now by Merrilee Challiss has some work that stands out. I especially liked her stitched prints. The printed image is a multiple, but the stitching for each print is unique, sewing the layers of paper together and thereby suggesting family heirlooms–something we need to value and protect all at once.

merrilee challiss
Merrilee Challiss, Web Dwellers, mixed on wood

Challiss, who previously showed at the still-not-forgotten Spector Gallery in Philadelphia, has a number of paintings, many also with deer–today’s fave harbinger of eco-disaster. But the piece I thought transcended genres and seemed less dogmatic was a lacy garden of flowers and spider webs that double as gears and orbits, with interwoven Goth Aubrey Beardsley girls, one a giant caterpillar and some sporting antlers. The sense of nature’s machinery, danger, and Eden, plus the beauty of the patterning, are intriguing and beyond the expected.

jaeran won
by Jaeran Won

Also at Art Star, I liked some sweet and naughty pillows by English artist Jaeran Won. I’m on the fence on some prints by Amy Rice that look like old-fashioned book illustrations. They are very pretty, but this one also has a little edge to it.

Amy Rice, Wings with Attitude
Amy Rice, Wings with Attitude

Rice’s work, which was the previous show, is still up on the walls because the gallery buys art just as it buys any product that it sells. This is not your traditional gallery consignment system, but really a more commercial approach. I thought that was kind of interesting. I’ll take a gross.

The Challiss exhibit closes the 14th.

Tags

amy rice, art star, jaeran won, merrilee challiss

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