Saturday, October 06, 2007

First Friday October

Last night Echo along with our friend Anna from PAFA did the First friday art loop in Philly. It was a dank night, so humid for this late in the year. It was cooler that the weatherman predicted, but some of the galleries were sweltering in the mass of fleshy gawkers.

We fortified ourselves witha scrumptious dinner first at San Kee Duck House on 9th, then hit the F.A.N. Gallery where they had a showing by Serge Zhukov (featured in this months American Art Collector Magazine)and I liked some of his work, sometimes his pencil drawings more than his paintings. I feel a drawing is more honest or can be more honest than a painting, with a painting you can employ a lot more tricks with the paint application and color to make up for weak drawing.

They still had some work hanging by Al Gury the head of painting at PAFA as well. Zhukov's work featured mostly dancers, so it's kind of like a modern dega crossed with the current trend of what I call "Blur out" painting. That seems to be something that is the rage with so many artists. You paint a figure, then take the palette knife or brush and start bluring parts out or the background into the figure. I saw 3-4 artists doing tis type of thing. Sometimes the figure would be nice, but then they'd ruin the painting by adding in these backgrounds and effects which seemed like they just didn't fit with the figures.

Sometimes this technique or approach really works great as the figure then becomes this transitional element between foreground and background. This type of painting might be best exlemplified by Alex Kanevsky.

Man, there are so many artists biting on this guy's stuff right now. I find it sort of sad as if you go all the way to do the hard work in and land a gallery, why not be yourself or at least don't make it so obvious you are cribbing the guys style so obviously. How many artists are bitting on the Skip Lipkie plank right now?

Anyway, we bumped into many fello students also doing the art loop and a fellow teacher from DCAD and his roomie, so we split and had a few beers. We bumped into the guys from Geekboy Press and I saw Boris Vallejo and his wife Julie bell outside of The Artists House gallery on 2nd street. By the time I got my camera to snap a pic they were gone. It was so weird to suddenly see this famous artist I know...I kept looking at this sort of distinguised spanish man's gface and thinking..."I know that guy...hey that's Boris!"

Anyway the night was fun, the art was so-so and the crowds are huge. We visited a brand new well stocked art store on Market that was really nice so we'll be back there for sure.

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