Alex Gartelmann’s words on the street

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Alex Gartelmann

It looks a bit like one of those signboards outside a church, the ones that give you a quip for the day and a reference to some bible passage. But Alex Gartelmann‘s new word art outside University of the Arts’ Hamilton Hall — all caps no punctuation and a sentiment that sums up the power dynamic in many relationships — is a passage of noirish sentiment right out of Raymond Chandler, and something that made heads turn for a second look and a read when I stopped by a week ago.

WHEN I TOLD YOU I
ACCEPTED THE BLAME
FOR EVERYTHING THAT
HAPPENED BETWEEN
US I LIED BECAUSE YOU
ARE EQUALLY
ACCOUNTABLE AND
YOU MOST CERTAINLY
KNOW IT

Alex Gartelmann

Gartelmann, one of the founders of My House gallery in South Philly, has other word pieces in his sculptural oeuvre. I find them fascinating because the sentiments they express are raw and psychologically-charged and completely unexpected in a realm as public as the street or gallery. Jenny Holzer’s charged personal-public words are an obvious point of comparison but, unlike Holzer’s Truisms, which are wickedly right on the money, Gartelmann’s personal and vulnerable outpourings are not maxims in the least.

You can see another one of his word pieces in the show Libby and I curated, ID, at Projects Gallery.

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