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Shout out to a show that closes tomorrow – Nick Paparone and Dan Murphy at Fleisher-Ollman


This is a particularly good exhibit to look at as Occupy Philadelphia and Occupy Wall Street continue.  There’s little love for corporations in either Murphy’s or Paparone’s works, and yet, and yet, there’s a clear love of production; of doing it yourself; of personal empowerment that’s very 99 percent and quite a bit like what the founding fathers had in mind when they set up personal freedoms for individuals.

Nick Paparone – Accents for the Self-Made Man

Nick Paparone at Fleisher-Ollman. Lamps made from a stack of molded pineapple shapes

It’s not clear what the underpinnings of Nick Paparone’s works are. Nick, is, of course himself a CEO of a corporation, as the press material points out. But whatever this swanky parody of a furniture showroom has to do with — Ikea, Walmart or any of a number of global corporations — Paparone’s blue light specials (and red and yellow and green) are marvelous design statements, and you should get over there for a look before they leave.

paparone greenweb
Nick Paparone at Fleisher-Ollman.

The rugs are real rugs, printed digitally, that would fit your living room or family room, and the color-coordinated pineapple accent lamps would look excellent anywhere.  Prices affordable for what they are — not mass-produced products although they may well have been made (the rugs at least, and the wall hangings) in China.  I must bring up Amway here although I hate to give that corporation any ink.  Paparone has been doing PowerPoint presentations throughout the show’s run, and I am struck by how close his idea of the tight product line coupled with the, presumably, hard sell in the PPT lectures, mirrors the way that cult-like corporation works its sales.

Nick Paparone, set up for his PowerPoint lectures at Fleisher-Ollman gallery

Paparone, as you know if you’ve been reading artblog over the years, is one of our favorites. An enfant terrible not so enfant anymore, he co-produces Print Liberation and was a founding member of the late-lamented Black Floor and Copy galleries. Nick, post-grad school at Columbia, is based in New York now and yet he maintains ties to Philly via his internet business and his performance band, Personal Pain, a three-person band with Dave Dunn and Jamie Dillon.  See his website for more goings on. One part of the exhibit that colors it all is a manic and mesmerizing video of cars being crash-tested. See a clip online here.  The sound from the video colors the show as much as the lamps color the individual rugs and wall works.  The video’s aggressive sounds and imagery are tantamount to the corporate assaults we live under every day from advertising and corporate news.

Dan Murphy – Certain Things

Dan Murphy, Certain Things, at Fleisher-Ollman

In the gallery’s front space, small, intimate and perfect for this assemblage and collage work, is Dan Murphy’s Certain Things. The co-founder of Megawords is a vitrine and shrine expert.  His collections of street memorabilia and stuff from the bicycler-recycler-people-power world are sweet, earnest and great to get close to.   Note the pineapple salute on top of this shrine. Right now, Murphy and his collaborator, Anthony Smyrski, are involved in a Creative Time project in New York.  More on that at their website.

Dan Murphy, detail of shrine

Nick Paparone’s Accents for a Self-Made Man; Dan Murphy’s Certain Things are at Fleisher-Ollman Gallery through Sat. Oct. 15. Hours Friday, 10:30am-5:30pm.  Saturday, noon-5pm.