DoN has written about other shows by artist Jim Bloom at Home & Planet in Bethlehem, PA and Outsider Folk Art in Reading PA but the current show called Them at Vivant Art Collection, 60 N. 2nd St., Philly is a tour de force. Bloom has a knack of poking a stick in the eye of cultural prejudices from gender issues to homophobia to obesity; Jims brutalist painting style highlights how words and attitudes can be painful and ridiculous. The one-person show includes portraiture but the works using words are particularly powerful and poetic. One large canvas shows a smiling couple clicking a snapshot of them outside a concentration camp as if they were visiting Disneyland, another lampoons stereotypes of effeminacy and homophobia and another painting highlights how words are often just so much noise.
Florcy Morisset, the owner/curator of Vivant Art Collection, is thrilled with this years first show, telling DoN that she can date the century of a painting by the design of a face in a painting and that Blooms socially incorrect subject matter shows how we all are included in Them. Bloom told DoN he was discovered by Robert Bullock of Coalition Ingenu introducing him to George Veiner of Outsider Folk Art Gallery who immediately purchased his entire collection for his gallery. Since then, Bloom has been able to move forward from painting on found objects such as cardboard boxes and paper plates to canvas’ but the vibrancy and irreverence remains. Them is on exhibit through the end of January.
Jim Bloom @ Vivant Art Collection.
“Light Green Hat“, Jim Bloom @ Vivant Art Collection.
Paintings by Jim Bloom @ Vivant Art Collection in Old City.