September First Friday Picks

We bring the highlights of this month's art party.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Aug. 31, 2010

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Grew Up and Blew Up: No examination of a modern celebrity is complete without a Snooki portrait, here supplied by the show's co-curator Thomas Buildmore

Remember those books you read as a kid to learn the alphabet, in which A’s were composed of tiny apples and Z’s were contorted zebras? Arranging her signature cavorting women in poses that suggest the curves of English graphemes, Baltimore artist Rachel Bone, whose solo show I Bet You opens at Art Star this Friday, has bent a children’s-illustrator trope to her own visual vocabulary, but her pieces require effort and a very perceptive eye. You’ll have to bend your notions of typography to see an A in two identical women high-fiving or a C in a lady on a swing. Her compositions, evocative of Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, depict heroines clad in print-dresses, whose lack of shading and contour allow Bone’s talent as a pattern maker to take center stage. Placing her subjects against solid gouache backdrops, the artist questions the value of context, and instead, puts emphasis on the simple aesthetic pleasure of earthy tones and quotidian pursuits. (Lucy McGuigan)

Through Oct. 10.
Art Star
623 N. Second St.

Vox Populi kicks off its season with a savory mix of drawings, video, photos and outsider art. While the press release about Jamie Dillon’s solo show is obfuscatory, it appears the artist will once again mine his inner bad boy. Smoke (or at least pictures of smoke) and fire (or at least pictures of fire) make an appearance along with Stuzky, the hermaphrodite, who will do... what? and look like... what? The artist’s lips are sealed. Near-blind but still visionary painter David Kontra can only see a quarter-inch of his canvas at a time, but cooks up brushy and colorful expressionist canvases of everything from nudes to nightmarish, toothy ghosts; Kontra is flying in for the opening. Vox member Roxana Pérez-Méndez organized a group show on the theme of paradise lost in one gallery. Elsewhere, Jonathan Prull’s obsessive drawings of Clint Eastwood envision the aging Dirty Harry in his dotage. In the video lounge (formerly known as Screening Video), there’s more paradise lost in Sarah Christman’s documentary about the changing ecology on Broad Channel Island in New York’s Jamaica Bay. Stay tuned as Vox unveils a performance series later this fall in a new adjoining space they’re working on. (Roberta Fallon)

Through Sept. 26.
Vox Populi
319 N. 11th St.

OMFG Lindsay Lohan! Can you believe she got jailed? Signed herself into rehab? Bought an itty-bitty kitty cat? Ate lunch today? No, this isn’t a tween conversation from Overheard in Philly; it’s the inspiration for the latest show at Old City’s SALT gallery. Thomas Buildmore, Scott Chasse, Chris Clark, Dan King and Kenji Nakayama have created pieces based on “the mortality of a career in the limelight.” By exploring the dark side of pop culture, the artists hope to explore how the nature of celebrity has changed as the media become increasingly obsessed with the faults of famous people. Despite the show’s dark premise, many pieces are bright, bold and witty. Peep pieces referencing everyone from famed philanderer Tiger Woods to greaser-gone-gray Henry Winkler. As for Lindsay, well, you’ll have to see for yourself. (Erica Palan)

Through Oct. 23.
SALT Art Gallery
212 Race St.

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