Joshua Opdenaker skewers chickens and us at Silica


[This is the second in several ultra-brief posts I hope to get up this week about work I’ve seen recently that have given me tremendous pleasure or piqued my interest in some way. I’m sort of overwhelmed with outside-the-blog life, but I really wanted to tell you about this stuff.–libby]

IMG_8243 Joshua Opdenaker
Joshua Opdenaker, Blackened Chicken Skewer. 26 inches high. lampwork, Silica Gallery will be taking this to SOFA

I’ve never been to Silica Galleries before a couple of days ago. It’s the gallery street-presence of Philadelphia Glass Works, the glass-making artists group that used to be in West Philadelphia but is now in Northern Liberties.

I was lured over by images from Joshua Opdenaker’s exhibit there. Opdenaker, who began as a stone carver, now works in glass, and his work, mostly lampwork with occasional use of other techniques, is an artist-in-residence at PGW.

Joshua Opdenaker, Elephant Dagger
Joshua Opdenaker, Elephant Dagger

The work, witty, full of ideas, and beautifully crafted, has an almost gothic quality that reminds me of ceramic artist Rain Harris’ poison bottles.

The show, a 10-year-retrospective (how can you have a retrospective for a young artist who got his BFA from UArts in 2002?), includes older work with threatening medical themes, ornate goblets, work with elephant/Ganesha imagery and pointed skewered-chicken pieces. I liked it all.

The exhibit is open until Oct. 26.


joshua opdenaker, philadelphia glass works, silica galleries



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