Category Archives: Twenty-Two Gallery

Twenty-Two Gallery, 22 Artists

Elisabeth Oliver, Twenty-Two Gallery, 22 Artists

Elisabeth OliverTwenty-Two Gallery, 22 Artists

236 South 22 Street, Philadelphia. PA, 215 772 1911, hours Wednesday through Sunday 12:00 – 6:00pm.

“Elisabeth began painting with watercolors at a young age and became very serious about her art in high school. She spent high school weekends and summers studying at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia.” –  Elisabeth Oliver

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Derek Jecxz, Forsaken Waters, Twenty-Two Gallery

Derek Jecxz, Forsaken Waters, Twenty-Two Gallery

Derek Jecxz, Forsaken WatersTwenty-Two Gallery

Derek JecxzForsaken WatersTwenty-Two Gallery is a collection of photographs of desolate scenes of water, eerily beautiful and mysterious landscapes far from civilization. The exhibition is a combination of photographs printed on paper and aluminum, DoN spoke with the artist at the opening about the process to print on metal. Derek Jecxz explained, “About sixteen or seventeen of them are on aluminum and they were very difficult to do. There is probably between five and ten hours work in each one. Cleaning the aluminum, getting the chemicals off of it, sanding the aluminum multiple times and then prepping it again and then coating it with a chemical so that I could then get it through and printed on.”

Derek Jecxz, Forsaken Waters, Twenty-Two Gallery

Derek JecxzForsaken WatersTwenty-Two Gallery

“And then it has to dry for five days, then I have to varnish it, and then I have to trim it off the big metal sheet.”

“Wow!” said DoN. “I know!.” said Derek, “I think I bit off more than I could chew. And then you have to try and keep it flat. I’m using an Epson 9800, but I’m not running the metal directly through, I attach it to a carrier sheet, I didn’t have the confidence of running the metal right through. So I tape it to a big sheet of paper and run that paper through, this way I’m not going to ruin the printer on the edges. That was my main fear.”

Derek Jecxz, Forsaken Waters, Twenty-Two Gallery

Derek JecxzForsaken WatersTwenty-Two Gallery

DoN asked if it’s such a laborious process how did Jecxz decide which images to use? “Well, I knew the subject of the show was going to be water because that was my predominant theme. When I did a series of tests I noticed that if a picture had a light element in it, it allowed the luminescence of the aluminum to shine through, so that was an easy decision for me. The process was difficult because of a lot of false starts, I tried stainless steel, I tried different sanding techniques – a lot of false starts.

DoN wondered why the photographer didn’t use a commercial producer? “I did find two vendors, one vendor sells aluminum sheets with a max width of twenty inches, I can’t use that with medium format photography for big prints twenty inches doesn’t work. Another company sells very, very shiny aluminum and it’s not what I liked.”

Derek Jecxz, Forsaken Waters, Twenty-Two Gallery

Derek JecxzForsaken WatersTwenty-Two Gallery

Distinguishing between the aluminum and paper prints is difficult, which is which?  Derek Jecxz explained, “Anything with plexi is paper anything that has no cover is aluminum. You can see my hand from sanding it, everything is personal, I stamp each one and everything is unique. So this starts out as a three by three foot sheet, I hand sand it for about five hours multiple times and then the process goes from there. The smaller ones were easier than the larger ones but you can see where the white really came through.”

Derek Jecxz shoots with Hasselblad , some film, some digital but most of the photographs are digital. DoN commented that whenever he takes his camera to the beach it doesn’t work so well because of the humidity. Derek said, “I was standing in the water, probably knee deep or higher, with the waves crashing in. I will risk the gear to take the shot, the gear is irrelevant. You’re there to make a picture not protect your gear.”

The illusion of whiteness in Derek Jecxz‘s photographs is uncanny, the somewhat matte finish to the metal shows through where white in the picture is because printers don’t print white ink. The presentation is exquisite with the photographs mounted in hand-made frames, the room filled with images of distant places and primordial seascapes. Twenty-Two Gallery is located on 22nd Street and has twenty-two member artists, the solo show in the front gallery visible from the street and an intimate gallery with works by the twenty-one other member artists.

Written and Photographed by DoN Brewer

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W.G. Middleton, Body Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

W.G. Middleton, Body Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

Cochlea by W.G. Middleton, James Harmon, Dr. Mindy George Weinstein, glass, acrylic, wire, 22x22x32″, W.G. Middleton, Body Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

DoN asked William G. Middleton about the eclectic mix of classical figurative sculptures with the eye-popping abstract mixed media pieces representing microscopic anatomy details? “It’s interesting. I’ve been doing this classical stuff for probably forty years.  That’s how I went to art school, because I was doing that.”  W.G. Middleton attended PAFA.  “I got into it and I never did another classical piece of sculpture.  For one thing, I was much older than a lot of the people in sculpture.  So, they could afford to take year to do a piece, which is what it takes to do a mold and pour bronze.  I said, ‘You know, I really don’t have that kind of time‘.”

W.G. Middleton, Body Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

W.G. Middleton, Body Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

“I turned to abstract sculpture, which was much more fun because you can sit around and think about it and it would evolve.  And, so, that’s where I went for a long time but I’ve always liked to do classical pieces, you know?”  DoN knows Bill from figure study workshops at The Philadelphia Sketch Club, his drawing skills are formidable. “I got away from doing those, I did one recently but that’s about it.  Then, part of the evolution of doing these was in school I was studying how things worked in the body.  I just kept going and going until I got to the microscopic level.”

W.G. Middleton, Body Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

W.G. MiddletonBody Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

“In classical works there are portions that are common – there are either seven or eight heads, there’s three heads to the belly button, there’s a direct proportion – well, in the interior stuff, there’s no relation to anything.  But, it’s still basically form following function and it’s a totally different beauty involved.  But, it all works for the same reason.  I realized one day, it’s interesting I’ve gone from classical, totally different stuff, but it’s still in the body, it relates to the body.”

The dramatic sculpture in the window of Twenty-Two Gallery looks like found objects but Middleton explained, “No, it Boorman’s Space and the loop of Henle, so when blood comes in through here, it’s separated out, urine is separated out.  It’s not forced, it’s a balance of fluids through a filter and then the blood continues down through the loop of Henle where it is again extracted comes around here and then actually the blood takes back certain things it needs.  This is in the kidney, a pretty complex thing.”

W.G. Middleton, Body Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

W.G. MiddletonBody Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery, Edy, clay, 19x17x20″

W.G. Middleton, Body Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

Retina, W.G. Middleton, James Harmon, Dr. Mindy George Weinstein, glass, acrylic, wire, 48x7x20″, W.G. MiddletonBody Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery

Retina, a dazzling complex sculpture on a dramatic black platform, is a combination of glass, plexiglass and light, “It’s actually a replica of how the cell in the retina works. The colors come in and then they separate out and then they’re separated and sent to the brain through the rods and cones. The primary colors are the rods, and the cones are complementary. It’s interesting, it goes to the brain and is reconstructed but in a different image based on memories, so your experiences aren’t based on what you’re seeing.  What you’re seeing and what I’m seeing are totally different.  You don’t realize it, but…”

W.G. MiddletonBody Aesthetic at Twenty-Two Gallery through May 6, 2012.

Photographed and written by DoN Brewer

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery

Font Hill Manor, oil on panel, Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery.

Little Boulder Creek, oil on canvas and Hedgerow, oil on panel by Edward Marston.

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery.

Pretty Lady, oil on canvas and Boulder Field, oil on panel.

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery.

Home Gone, plexiglass and wood.

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery

Edward Marston, Infrastructure @ Twenty-Two Gallery.

Edward Marston explained to DoN why he was so happy about the painting in the window of Gallery Twenty-Two, “Schuylkill Expressway belongs in the window because it belongs in Philadelphia, it’s local. And it shows the freight trains and the Schuylkill Expressway in twilight and it brings home what I feel about that area. “  DoN asked if Marston was intentionally tapping into the market for Philadelphia art or if it was a more personal painting?  “I’ve been coming to Philadelphia since I was a kid, I grew up in the suburbs but it’s been my main destination as far as urban goes. And I think it’s absolutely a lovely city and fascinating architecture and every time I turn around I see something new.  Almost all of the paintings are plein air or draw first plein air and I use drawings as a reference.  None of them are photographic renderings.” 

DoN inquired how Edward Marston feels about being a landscape painter in the 21st Century?  “This is what I do.  They’re landscape paintings but they’re not an idyllic trip to the past.  I think a lot about these paintings and they all comment on the contemporary scene, I’m aware of what I’m doing. When I paint something that’s coming apart, it’s something that maybe shouldn’t be coming apart or it’s a comment on a thing that shouldn’t be.  Old roads, that you wouldn’t know was a road; I recognize them as ancient roads and everything resonates as far as I’m concerned, it’s all today.”

Photographs by DoN.

20th Street Art Scene – studio christensen, Prelude Gallery and Beauty Shop Cafe

Matthew Ostroff @ Studio Christensen

Matthew Ostroff @ studio christensen

Matthew Ostroff @ Studio Christensen

Matthew Ostroff @ studio christensen

Matthew Ostroff is like a graffiti artist using wheat paste and torn paper the way a tagger over-writes earlier tags.  But Ostroff doesn’t deface property, he confines his low-fi technique of pasting painted colored paper onto a painting background then tearing away the paper like old posters shredded on a South Street Wall.  The deep layers of color, intense saturation and feeling of the hand emanates from the surface in perfect abstract expressionism.   Curator Jt Christensen is an interior architect who has transformed the old storefront at 333 South Twentieth St. Philadelphia into a hip, aspirational showcase for art, furniture and chic urban style.  The Ostroff show with big, bold contemporary art pairs with the modern and mid 20th Century classic furniture in a hip, clean living space vibe gallery, emblematic of the changes taking place along 20th Street, offering a street view tableau of cool desirable furnishings.

Brian Lauer @ Studio Christensen

Brian Lauer @ studio christensen

Brian Lauer was the featured artist at studio christensen for June but Jt decided to keep many of them because they just look so damn good.  DoN noticed them while we discussed Ostroff’s work and thought they were paintings, from the street they read as paintings but on closer inspection the detail emerges from the color and a photograph coalesces.  The photo above is Jesus being made up as a Zombie at Tattooed Mom’s on South Street, the chiaroscuro of light across Jesus’ wounds is like a Rubens.  The photo below are guys standing along the river in Camden but feels like some Nordic outpost with sad characters staring to sea but it’s just folks enjoying the view of a blizzard on the Delaware River.

Brian Lauer @ Studio Christensen

Brian Lauer @ studio christensen

Anna Shukeylo @ Prelude Gallery

Anna Shukeylo @ Prelude Gallery

Prelude Gallery is dedicated to promoting emerging artists in a gallery setting.  DoN talked with Creative Director Gaby Heit about their mission and she explained how the gallery is collaborating with art schools to help under-grad and master level artists have opportunities to get their work seen.  Heit said the neighborhood has been very welcoming, the gallery a perfect addition to the hip restaurants, salons and shops – Pamcakes is their neighbor, Yum!  July 1st was Prelude Gallery’s soft opening but look for new work for the Second Friday art crawl on August 12th.

Kyle Deal @ Prelude Gallery

Kyle Deal @ Prelude Gallery

Christopher Enty @ Prelude Gallery

Christopher Enty @ Prelude Gallery

Gaby asked DoN what his favorite paintings are, a tough question since it was his first visit but Christopher Enty’s portraits of urban youth stand out with a rough beauty that is almost brutal.  The characters in Enty’s paintings express the self consciousness of youth in a socially networked society where a profile is suddenly important, revitalizing the significance of portraiture; Heit confided in DoN she felt Christopher Enty is Prelude Gallery’s Soutine.

Benjamin Gonzales @ Prelude Gallery

Benjamin Gonzales @ Prelude Gallery

Gaby Heit expressed to DoN she thought the revitalization of the 20th Street Corridor was coming from the North, the Rittenhouse Square district, but DoN explained how the Beauty Shop Cafe staked out the corner of 20th and Fitzwater Streets when there were still gangs hanging on the corner.  And now students and young professionals make the trek to Center City from GHo all the way from Washington Avenue and get their morning coffee at the corner cafe.  Art shows were part of the Beauty Shop Cafe plan from the beginning and the current show is really good.

Caitlin Beattie @ Beauty Shop Cafe

Caitlin Beattie @ Beauty Shop Cafe

Caitlin Beattie is an emerging artist photographer, this is her first art show.  It is so gratifying to know that artists have showcases like The Beauty Shop, Prelude Gallery and studio christensen to exhibit their work where it can really be seen by a lot of people but it makes the neighborhood so much more vibrant, intellectual and welcoming, too.

Sabik @ Beauty Shop Cafe

Sabik @ Beauty Shop Cafe

Dreamcatcher, NFS

Beauty Shop Cafe

Beauty Shop Cafe

Beauty Shop Cafe

Beauty Shop Cafe

Jewelry and etchings by Kenzie Gemz.  The Beauty Shop looks like an old library or museum with terrariums, collections and photos creating a vibe of a secret society meeting room.  As the GHo neighborhood transforms with modern new houses wedging between old row-homes, young families with strollers, hipsters with porkpie hats and folks who have long lived in the neighborhood are now enjoying a renaissance of sorts along 20th Street helping to delineate a terrific art crawl up 20th, across Walnut Street to Sande Webster, down 22nd Street to Twenty-Two Gallery and on to 21st & Pine and the fabulous Gallery 339.  Second Friday, now a Center City West tradition, is August 12th.

 

Photos by DoN