Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof, OK artists

The Zero.1% for Art Commission
GUS, PIFAS (The Gallery Under the Stairs at The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study)

The Zero.1% for Art Comission as it was displayed in GUS.

Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon are predominately known as art writers and the creators of the internationally recognised artblog; Lessor known is that they also have a history of making art themselves, some of which is currently on view in a small little box, usually located under the stairs in Ramsey Arnaoot's studio, but which was conveniently placed on the table during the opening for The Zero.1% for Art Commission Reading Room and Fire Sale.

The Zero.1% for Art Commission is a project started by Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof in or around 1998. Their mission is " to put art in the hands of 0.1 percent of the population of Philadelphia . . . reestablish[ing] a critical lost link between the general public and art." (quoted from The art created to give away, were "bags o'art" , clothespins (yes, passed out by the Claes Oldenburg) that question some preconceived notions of art ("is bigger better?", is one of the questions, which is especially funny considering the Claes Oldenburg's proximity), pocket-sized paintings, and tools for blocking out art that is offensive to the eye.

Bad Art Tool by Libby Rosof and Roberta Fallon

Their art is rather like their blogging; it is unpretentious, frank, optimistic, relies heavily on public interaction, and has a modest opinion of itself (their brand is "OK artists" because as Libby mentioned in an interview I did with the duo for The Vulture a year or so ago "[. . .] in terms of art we're not geniuses, but we think we're pretty smart on other things."). It is also free for the taking and given out generously for everyone to enjoy. Most notably, their art, like their art writing, inspires conversation about art.

Let the Dawn Only Come! mural by Ramsey Arnaoot.

Libby and Roberta's opening marks the last exhibition for the GUS that will be curated by PIFAS faculty member Ramsey Arnaoot, who is moving to Syria and might already be gone. His final exhibition, a mural, light installation, and a collection of drawings he has traded for via the mail for the past (?) years, collectively titled Let the Dawn Only Come was also on view. Ramsey increased the cultural capital of Philadelphia and will be sorely missed. This blogger wishes him the best of luck while looking forward to the future of the spaces he created under the new directorship of Constance Mensch, pictured below:

Monday, April 28, 2008


Howard Kleger: Modules. Schema. Diagrams.
The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study

Amidst the bassy rumblings and relative darkness of a noise show (the International Noise Conference, which boasted over 20 bands) I encountered the work of Howard Kleger for the first time. From what I gather, he's a bit of an inventor/artist who never simplifies anything, and for whom life is one large complex puzzle.

****Really good pics of the show (taken by Richard Davis) can be found on The Institute's project page for "Howard Kleger: Modules. Schema. Diagrams." While there, please also check out a link library on Howard with an introduction to his work written by Brandon Joyce, the exhibition's director.

Thursday, April 24, 2008



Carrie or Mary in Print Liberation's Obama Head T-shirt (while you're there check out the front page featuring Dave Dunn and I at Ikea). This photo was sent to my myspace via Fabric Horse.


The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study

April 27: GUS (Ramsey's tiny Gallery Under the Stairs) Opening: Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof
The final GUS opening of April - Sunday, April 27th, at 7pm, GUS presents a collection of tiny paintings by Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof.

Reception begins at 7pm.

April 27: International Noise Conference

The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study hosts the International Noise Conference, beginning at 7PM and continuing into the evening. Numerous acts; short in nature.
Donations Welcome

April 27: Let the Dawn Only Come!
Going away show for Ramsey Arnaoot, who is moving to Syria in May. Drawings, paintings, light sculptures.
Opens at 8pm.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Trevor Reese update.

Trevor Reese is still making mountains (good). To read about the one he installed at Copy Gallery last September click here. I think this one is in Chicago, it came to me via my electronic mail(thanks Trevor!): So don't know why I thought this was Chicago, this morning Trevor corrected me via electronic mail machine:

"It is currently installed in Athens, Georgia at Athens Institute for Contemporary Art. On the site is a exhibition catalog, kind of a long read.

This mountain is sort of a continuation of the mountain built at Copy gallery. I built Mt. Rotui which has no peak at Copy, down in Athens I built the peak. So this colorful mountain is about things coming together and beginning a new cycle."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Drawing bikes at Copy Gallery

Copy Gallery was a stop during the recent RE Load April Fool's bike race. Damian, Miriam, and I made all of the racers draw their bikes. For some reason I don't have a pic of the bike we choose to be the winner. But these flicks may give you some idea of the action:

Friday, April 18, 2008

No you didn't!: Fleisher/Ollman makes a bad call.

Before Love Explosion at Fleisher/Ollman there was "Help Yourself to Roses" at Space1026.

But yes they did!!!!!!!!! I found this passage on Fleisher/Ollman's press release about Alex Da Corte's exhibition, Love Explosion, opening there tonight (6-8):

"Love Explosion is Alex Da Corte's first full-scale show in Philadelphia following recent solo exhibitions at Parisian Laundry in Montreal and the Stonefox Artspace in New York. He graduated from the University of the Arts in 2005. Jack Sloss first showed at Fleisher/Ollman in 2005's Meatball invitational and From Time To Time in 2006, following his relocation to Philadelphia from Chicago in 2005, where he had shown at the Chicago Cultural Center and Donald Young Gallery among many others."

Excuse me? What was his show at Space 1026 if not full-scale?

And before that he had a "full-scale" show at Black Floor!

For Alex's December 2005 exhibition at Black Floor Gallery he covered the entire wall with prints to make a wall-paper, had an army of ceramic figures (made with help from Nick Lenker), several paintings, and this horse. Black Floor was larger then the space Alex will fill at Fleisher/Ollman. . .

Plus! Both of those were solo exhibitions! Love Explosion is a two person show with Jack Sloss. I understand that this show at F/O will undoubtedly get Alex more attention then either of his earlier full-scale solo exhibitions. . .but you don't have to lie about it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


So my band, Paper Napkin, played a show at Death by Audio in Williamsburg Monday night. Ian Vanek of Japanther organized a good line-up that included Trouble vs. Glue, and Cutthroat.

Matt Reilly, also of Japanther, decorated the space with these life-size portraits of the Golden Girls fighting the Sex and the City ladies. It's a mighty fine deconstruction of the sitcoms, as Matt explained it [paraphrased badly] "It's like time travel, The Golden Girls happened first but it's actually the future of Sex in the City". If you want to dig deeper just look at the pairing of the characters. Sorry the flick is so lousy but you can see Matt out front trying to duck out of it, which is sort of nice. Below is what I captured by way of a detail:



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008


This is Part two. Part one is here.

If you prefer to listen, download the podcast at


Annette: All your stuff is hand-made by yourself?

Alex: Yeah.

Annette: Would you ever change that?

Alex: No. I think, well, some people say that someday I'll get an assistant to make the work for me. . . but the time spent with the work is important to me.

Annette: Today it could go beyond that, you could get the work made in another country. Artists do that. They outsource.

Alex and friends install an exhibition at Black Floor Gallery.

Alex: I really enjoy the materials and the process of doing something. Even though it takes super-long and it's super obsessive, it affords me time to think about why I'm making the work. It's. . . I think a lot when I'm doing these things so it's almost spiritual. It could be compared to doing something like saying the rosary.

It's a repetitive process where you can just sit and think and I think it's important because it can inform the work. Sometimes it changes the work.

I also don't think that if I sent it away for someone else to make that it would ever satisfy me.

Annette: And I just want to say right here (because I've kind of been giving you a hard time) that your work does look beautiful and you're obviously talented.

Alex: Thank you. I wondered that the other day though, when you finish a work and it's picture perfect, it's hard when you make this beautiful object but the only thing people say to you is that it's beautiful.

Annette: It's hard to get past that though, and that's what I think I'm trying to get at right here is that there is something else to your work, but it's so hard to get to.

Alex: Yeah. I mean. . .

I like to think the things that we look at that are beautiful are actually much more complicated, whether it's a beautiful person , or. . . just a pretty package, that they're actually really fucked up inside.

Annette: Yes, but that's almost a cliche, in a way, if you see a beautiful person they're going to be fucked up inside.

Alex: But I believe that to be very true, about everybody and thing.



Annette: Yes, and I admit that can be a pretty intense thing. I think of that "Accessory" piece you recently had at Fleisher/Ollman, and what I think was a really interesting component of the piece was that it was so much fun to take pictures of. I don't know if you thought about that while you were making it?

Alex: I did kind of.

We can talk about that piece because it's so recent, so fresh in my mind. Originally, I was thinking of calling it "Protect me from what I want" or something like that, and I was thinking about how it's odd to make an object to put it inside a vi-trine. You automatically put a value on it by telling people they can't touch it and I was thinking about malls and jewelry display cases. To put mirrors all around it so people can see themselves coveting something they can't have. . .

It makes a twisted sort of circle. It was fascinating to see all these people taking pictures of this very photogenic snake as you just said.

Annette: Well the pictures turned out great. Especially when you used the flash.

End. Listen to it all at:

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Alex DaCorte

Alex Da Corte has an exhibition opening, Love Explosion, on Friday (with Jack Sloss) at Fleisher/Ollman Gallery. It's not the sort of thing you should miss out on. The text below is the transcripted version of a talk with Alex DaCorte over the hum of traffic outside The Last Drop. If you would like to actually hear that hum, please visit: and download the podcast.

For a quick primer on Alex visit his work on the web, or read this review I wrote not long ago.


Annette: I don't want you to be insulted by my first question but we've talked about it before and I think you can handle it.

Alex: Okay.

Annette: I wanted to talk about how people perceive you as a person who plays the "art game" really well, for lack of a better term, a hustler.

Alex: That's alright I think I've used that term myself. It doesn't insult me.

Annette: So I guess, how do you perceive the way you are going about selling yourself?

Alex: Um.

Annette: I know. That's a tough one. Do you even think that you're doing that?

Alex: I think there's a certain amount of "right place, right time" that is just in life, but you do sometimes have to create those "right places, right times" for yourself by pre-pla--not pre-planning, but by putting yourself out there.

Annette: Do you think that's an important part of being an artist today?

Alex: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

. . . But if you're talking about meeting someone who is interested in you, or is part of an arts world or an arts group?. . . I never was part of any kind of collective in the city. I was around, at most, at first fridays or something. I'm not afraid to ask people for something that I want. For instance, I asked Virgil if he needed an assistant, because when you need work that's what you do, you ask someone. Did I know that Virgil made work in the city? Yeah. I knew he worked at The Fabric Workshop and all of that stuff, but I was really naive about things like Chelsea, so I wasn't being opportunistic. I knew he was an art guy who could teach me things.

Even when I met you, I knew you had a gallery so I wanted to show you my work but I don't know if that's. . . I know that's part of making art but you still need to be in your studio working and things like that.

It flip flops. Then they'll be months and months where no one sees me, because I'm in my studio and I'm working on stuff.

Annette: Yeah.

Alex: I don't know If I'm answering your question.

Just give me a fucking chance


Annette: I think you did answer my question. I guess I wanted to talk a little bit more about how much do you think a person has to sell themselves and actually make art? How much is that a part of being an artist?

Alex: I know a lot of really great artists who are painfully shy and they really don't show their work and I think that stops them from making more work because they don't get it out there.

I really don't know why my work is out there in the way that it is out there. I guess it all starts to snowball after awhile. You make a name for yourself from show to show, so I don't think it has to be that aggressive. I don't think it has to be despicable. I like people so I talk to people.

It is a necessary part. Art is a business, so you have to have a certain amount of. . . business savvy.

Annette: Do you consider yourself a career artist?

Alex: Yeah. I want to do this for the rest of my life. I'm not good enough at anything else.

Annette: This is what you want to do. 24/7 all the time?

Alex: Yeah, for the rest of my life.

Luren Jenison of Copy Gallery wacks Alex's "This is This" at the Institute for Contemporary Art


Annette: Your work also has a surface of being really beautiful and it sells itself really well. It's very pretty, and I think there is a darker underbelly.

I see you embracing a very decadent side of art that's been embraced by Damien Hirst, or Matthew Barney. . .

Why does that appeal to you?

Alex: I was thinking about this the other day. Growing up I always liked things like Disney, I guess, things that are very slick. Even when I was a little kid I liked things that were really well packaged, it might just be me being a Virgo, but I just gravitated towards things that were tightly put together and constructed, things like Andy Warhol, when I started learning about art.

I think people like Damien Hirst and Matthew Barney, those types of people have a very slick way of approaching art and that was my taste. I like that idea, of something that you toil over for a really long time but it still looks like you bought it.

End part one. Look for part two tomorrow, or listen to it all at:

In Passing at Vox Populi

Linda Yun
Vox Populi
April 4th-27th


It has been standard practice, whenever I've worked installing an exhibition at a major art institution, to take a polaroid of the artworks in order to note how they were shipped. Often, that polaroid would be left near the artwork itself, or close enough to it that you could experience the idea of both at the same time. I have always been fascinated by the difference between an object and an image of that object, and I often grant the eye of the camera unusual powers; trusting its "eyes" over my own.

This makes sense when you want to look at a still frame of an action sequence, or discover the background of the action you were seeking to capture. The functionality of the camera's image comes into question when a still, real, object is right in front of your eyes and you are given the choice of whether to look at it, the actual experience, or an image of the actual experience, as is the case of the work of Linda Yun, currently on display at Vox Populi.

Placebo []

The flattening of an image that occurs when you take a picture gives you the feeling that reality has already been interpreted for you. The details, even though some of them become lost, become easier for your mind to process. Each polaroid also lends a measure of important to the works, someone has already granted them "picture worthy", and not just digital picture worthy, but polaroid picture worthy (we all are no doubt aware of the expense of film for polaroid cameras). Though it occurred to me to think about, I won't bother to dissect what Ms, Yun's work would be if the polaroids weren't present, they are such an intricate and vital part of this exhibition that I think it would be impossible (as well as irrelevant).

In Passing is as quiet as a funeral home and often as creepy as a ghost story.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Soft Epic or: Savages of the Pacific West

Ice Box
Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib
March 22-April 13, 2008


I never make it to "Second Thursdays", which is when most of the north holds their gallery openings, for the simple reason that I play quizzo at The Lost Bar on Thursday nights and some things are more important then art. So, while I believe everyone else in the world has already seen this video, and I'm only getting to it as it's about to close, I'm going to "review" it anyways.

Starters: I am amazed at the ambition and scope of this project and applaud the use of large-scale projections in a large-scale space, I hope many artists take note of this use of the space at Ice Box.

The projection itself, which reminds me of a video game background or a screen saver for a computer, seems like a really good try from a collaboration that also put together Black Hole (currently on view at Vox Populi and better rendered then it's monumental brother) but Soft Epic, a project I know for a fact was put together on a time crunch, falls a little short of the scale it is projected on. I have to say that because that's what I think, but I also think very highly of Matt and Nadia and expect them to strike oil sometime in the near future.


Also in the Grey Area (The front gallery of the Ice Box) is a simple and elegant piece by Michael Grothusen, Scale Model, From Memory which is pretty much what the title suggests. A scale model of the house the artist lived in from 1973 to 1977, created from memories. As I used to (and still do sometimes on the train) draw memories of old TV shows, I really feel this work.

Am the Rhythm

Painted Bride Art Center April 4th-May 17th
Jeanne Jaffe, Isaac Tin Wei Lin, Jackie Tileston, Laura Watt, and Andrew Jeffrey Wright.

Curated by Shelly Spector

Andrew Jeffrey Wright's "X-Wave" paintings

The artists in Am the Rhythm were all brought together because their work seemed musical to curator Shelly Spector, or to paraphrase, probably badly, from Wendy Weinberg's (whose name is mysteriously absent from the artist roster on The painted Bride's site. . . ) documentary on the exhibition; the works seemed to Shelly like they might start moving or make a noise at any second. I'll give them that and qualify that almost every piece in the exhibition had to call on some sort of obsessive-compulsive, rhythmic line-making during its creation. Ms. Weinberg's video, complete with scenes of the artists installing their work, also does a good job of pointing this out.

Though I thank the downstairs for introducing me to the work of Jackie Tileston and for a wonderful monolith of boxes by Mr. Isaac Tin Wei Lin, I always find the upstairs of The Painted Bride's front gallery to house the heart of the exhibition. The upstairs of Am the Rhythm greets you with a wall of cardboard boxes painted to a high-gloss black (also the work of Isaac) which creates two rooms; one a screening room for Wendy's meta-video Am the Rhythm, and the other (first room) a small gallery to house six X-Wave paintings by Andrew Jeffery Wright and a TV displaying an animation of infinite X-waves. I would have been happy with Am the Rhythm if the only thing there were the six new paintings by AJW, Isaac's high-gloss wall was a playful, brilliant addition and I like the entire concept of a documentary on an exhibition being screened at the exhibition that was its subject.

A wall of card-board boxes by Isaac Tin Wei Lin

Wendy Weinberg's "Am the Rhythm"

The inside of Isaac's wall

Tuesday, April 8, 2008



(text found on Copy's web-site)

The Philadelphia Film Festival is showing a program of short films on WEDNESDAY APRIL 9th featuring work by Copy member Dave Dunn and Space 1026 Member Ted Passon.

Dave is screening HELIUM BALLOON, a short video made from his one day show the ICA last year, and Ted is screening a short work-in-progress version of the SPACE 1026 DOCUMENTARY.

Also in the program are videos from a bunch of our pals including: Andrew Watson, Sara Zia Ebrahimi, Chris Thomas (showing a mindblowing work-in-progress animation for the Extraordinaires), and Ryan Trecartin showing an excerpt from his new work I-BE AREA starring lots of Philly kids.

Buy Tickets HERE before they sell out.



Please stop by the gallery on Saturday to get a better (or first) look at Taliah's show and/or generally hang out with us while we work our checkpoint. Plus throughout the month we will be holding gallery hours on Saturday's and Sundays from 12-5. There are many great paintings, prints, coloring books, and t-shirts still available for sale (prices range from $25 to $1,200).

Remember to never be shy about making an appointment to see the work:


4/11/08!!!!!! JAYSON MUSSON'S BOOK.

(text found in my electronic mail-box)

Hey all, Too Black for BET Episodes I & II have been released as a single volume by Free News Projects and this email is just a quick reminder that this Friday, April the 11th, I'll be having a small release party and exhibition of posters from both volumes in celebration of the book's release. The book itself is a perty little thing with an even pertier matte finish and it manages to pass off as an actual art book! William Pym of Philadelphia's Fleisher/Ollman Gallery kindly lent me some words in the form of a forward he wrote for the book as well. And since the book is only $15, it's a definite bargain and must have for your bathroom reading collection. The release party of course is free and I will have drank and hummous out the ying yang for all to eat and enjoy. Thanks for your time. -Jayson

Sunday, April 6, 2008


At The Brooklyn Museum
April 5th-July 13th


Going to The Brooklyn Museum to see the Takashi Murakami exhibit is a bit like going to the movies to see Spiderman 3. (Excuse the metaphor because Spiderman 3 sucks way more then Murakami with a copyright symbol in front of it, Murakami etc. is actually way more like the ending of The Host, which is a great movie, with an ending that is maybe just a little bit too long.) You're really excited to see it, even though you know it's going to suck. But it doesn't matter that Spiderman 3 sucks because you will always love Spiderman, nothing is going to stop that love, not even a bad movie. Takashi Murakami is a little bit like Spiderman.

So, you should go, spend way too much for popcorn and leave disappointed. Just like Spiderman, Takashi Murakami will never be capable of living up to his own name as long as he is alive.

Plus there is a Louis Vuitton Store in the exhibit, please feel free to follow the controversy as it first appeared on the left coast (actually no one seems to really care all that much):

USA Today article.

Some highlights of the exhibition:

Carpet and some KaiKai KiKi cartoons. KaiKai and KiKi are reaccuring characters in Murakami's work, as well as the namesakes of his company:


Super Nova, 1999: It is very easy to make the scary comparison to this mushroom with eyes to a mushroom cloud. We should all need no reminders about what this means. This piece is actually devastating. In fact, all of the works in the show are really, really, sad. The studies for this piece, which are composed of many computer print-outs taped together, are my favorite pieces in the exhibition:


To tell you the truth I could have used twelve more rooms like this one, which housed several pieces with "Flower Ball" in the title:


Here are the Inochi videos, I can safely say I don't get them at all:

Dark Fair at Swiss Institute, NYC


I was surprised to see a large queue of people out in front of the Swiss Institute, but happy, in a way, to see if the Armory Show VIP card I was holding would get me in before all the rest. I had been told, earlier that day that "it would grant me special powers". A man was holding a clip-board that said "Armory VIP" with an arrow, so it looked promising but, upon reaching the front of the line I was denied entrance like everyone else. Seems the SI was too full, the fair was in danger of being shut down, and I would have to return in an hour.

When I returned the queue was still forming and growing, but this time I was able to slip right in the doors and into a tiny elevator with ten other people. We were let out onto the 3rd floor. It was dark, hot, and of course; crowded.

Marlo Pascual at White Columns' booth

The 411 on the Dark Fair, is that it is presented by the Milwaukee International, a little art fair in Milwaukee that was written up by Matthew Higgs in Art Forum's "Best of 2006" (From that text:)

[The Milwaukee International was]"Conceived and organized by an informal collective of Milwaukee-based artists and galleries (among them Kiki Anderson of Jody Monroe Gallery; Nicholas Frank of Hermetic Gallery; John Riepenhoff of Green Gallery; and Tyson Reeder, Scott Reeder, and Elysia Borowy-Reeder of the General Store), it opened more modestly than Frieze, in the Polish Falcons Beer Hall in the city's Riverwest neighborhood. The fair temporarily displaced the hall's typical goings-on--cribbage, dart-ball (a game that "combines darts with baseball," according to my local guide), spaghetti dinners--but, even though the space had been tricked out for the weekend to look like a typical art fair, the spirit of these activities remained as a spectral ambience."

The Dark Fair itself was billed (from the SI PR) as a "subversive and experimental miniature art fair [that] will take place without the use of natural or electric light"

Pin-ball machines (2) made possible by Ara Peterson.

So the Dark Fair=the anti-fair, the opposite of white walls, the opposite of being able to see, instead of being in a crowd of people in a large space struggling to look at art with the lights on, I was fumbling around with a crowd of people in the dark looking for a beer. I really didn't understand anything that was going on, but I was surprised to see that there were some efforts put into making the Dark Fair an actual art fair. There were about 32 galleries/participants set up in little booths, reminiscent of booths in an italian restaurant (I am probably thinking this because of all the candles). Most of the "vendors" looked just as bored as the "vendors" at The Armory.

A painting of VHS tapes at a gallery? called B'Ling

All in all a great little idea, this fair, reminds me of all the antics Marchel Duchamp used to get on with (you know, arranging for coal dust to fall on people's heads or making it impossible to see the work because of a maze of string. . .). My only critique is to wonder where the artist is in all of this, because the props go out to the organizers; everyone else is left in the dark.

Still, I wish I would have bought a T-shirt.

I had no idea why this crowd of people had formed, but I have put together some clues with the help of the internet and now believe this to be a "Wordless Choir" put on by the Grey Ghost Press.

I have no idea.