March Into First Friday

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Mar. 1, 2011

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School daze: John Mejias’ comic “The Teacher’s Edition” is on view at Space 1026.

Bambi on the Move

In January, when the sprinklers went off unexpectedly in Bambi Gallery and damaged some of its art, Bambi proprietress Candace Karch decamped, taking her February show to another location. Now, Karch says, Bambi will migrate permanently out of its location at the Piazza after her March show. But this is not the end of Bambi—the effervescent gallerist vows to make “floating Bambi” pop up again sometime this year in a new location. Bambi’s last show at the Piazza opens March 4, with works by Gail Cunningham and Sienna Freeman, two local artists whose creations bear the hallmarks of a Bambi show: well-crafted, sexy and conceptual. And Freeman’s Broken Mirror really is provocative: Photo collages that merge body parts from fashion magazine spreads show a lot of skin—and sometimes three or four arms and a muzzled head of a dog. Cunningham, in her third Bambi exhibit, makes paper cutouts using a Cyanotype photographic process. Blueprint series: The City Recollected imagines fantasy architectural spaces that stand out like ghosts on the cyan paper. The work has striking design chops with content that’s open to many interpretations. Karch, who represents can-do entrepreneurship, also knows how to throw a great opening reception party. (Roberta Fallon)

6-10pm. Through March 27. Bambi Gallery, The Piazza, 1001 N. Second St. 267.319.1374.

Flying Solo at Vox Populi

The current exhibit at Vox Populi is a collection of solo shows by artists who explore the publication of the private and the privatization of public moments. Photographer Stefan Abrams’ Origin of the World uses street photography to build a new lexicon out of found images. Illuminating what we often miss, Abram shows us bright flashes of the art around us. Linda Yun’s Recall also shows us the nuances of the familiar, but through her lens these images are filtered and distorted beyond recognition. Christian Herr’s paintings in Keystone States solidifies these moments with characters proudly displaying their instances of triumph, glory and personal artifacts. The artist’s simplified illustrative style, primarily acrylic on paper, is reminiscent of children’s books, which only heightens the violence underlying the images. While these works expose us to understanding the outside, Leticia Bajuyo’s and Josh Hamilton’s Wow and Flutter: Revolutions in coded, de-coded, re-coded memory, curated by Joey Yates, takes the ultimately internal—memories—and asks what happens when they no longer work. Cassettes, player piano rolls and CDs (read: outmoded technology) are repurposed to break through their original codes and present a manuscript of new information. (Alli Katz)

6pm. Free. Vox Populi Gallery, 319 N. 11th St., third floor. 215.238.1236.

Desert Island

Though alternative comics could only once be found in seedy head shops, the emergence of specialty shops in the ’80s allowed the underground comic scene to thrive. Today, there’s places like Desert Island in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which has become a small hub for artists and cartoonists from around the world since opening in 2008. The store offers a wide range of alternative comics and art books, from classic re-issues of R. Crumb comics to current titles like Picturebox by Brian Chippendale. Desert Island is also known for attracting attention with its elaborate window display that features a rotating set of sculptural pieces by an eclectic group of local artists. The store’s owner, Gabe Fowler, has selected four of these artists to bring their installation work here to Philly. Some of their other illustrations and artwork will also be for sale. This includes Lisa Hanawalt, who does illustrations and funnies for publications like Vice magazine and The New York Times, and John Mejias, who chronicles his experiences as a public school art teacher in the comic “The Teacher’s Edition.” Collectively, their work explores many of the dark, counterculture themes that have distinguished underground comics while simultaneously remaining quirky and fun. (Nicole Finkbiner)

7pm. Through March 25. Space 1026, 1026 Arch St. 215.574.7630.

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