Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ha! Hold my Brain; be still my beating heart

Charles Freger Wilder Mann
Charles Freger Wilder Mann
Charles Freger Wilder Mann
Charles Freger Wilder Mann
Charles Freger Wilder Mann
Charles Freger Wilder Mann
Charles Freger Wilder Mann
Charles Freger Wilder Mann
Charles Freger Wilder Mann
Charles Freger Wilder Mann


Charles Freger

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Just "One More Day" at Napoleon; Write Up by Chip Schwartz @ Knight Arts

Surely every one of us has our trials, and with a title like “One More Day,” this exhibit could also serve as a sort of mantra for hope. - Chip Scwarts 
 Read the rest, here

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shameless Self Promotion - The Mountain and The Sea

Join Us Tomorrow: 

Tamsen Wojtanowski & Christina Roth
 at Napoleon 

If you are in Philadelphia for First Friday, check out some of our new work in our collaborative show, One More Day...

web card

One More Day displays a variety of mediums, from photographs to drawings to objects, to explore this life's cycle while considering the next.

The work speaks to the human ability to hope, dream, and to plan for our future in the face of great uncertainties.

"Desert Tent" by Tamsen Wojtanowski

"Dasher" by Christina Roth


Opening 1st Friday, February 1st, 6pm - 10pm

Napoleon is in the Rollins Building which houses other wonderful galleries such as 
Vox Populi, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Marginal Utility, Practice, and Grizzly Grizzly - so come on out!

319 N. 11th St. 2L
Philadelphia, PA 19107

See you there!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Febraury 2013 @ NAPOLEON


Christina Roth & Tamsen Wojtanowski: One More Day: An Essay by Jennifer Zarro

Christina Roth & Tamsen Wojtanowski: One More Day An Essay by Jennifer Zarro I began writing this essay on December 21, 2012.  As it was widely known, this was the last day of the Mayan Long Count calendar.  The world didn’t end but a new b’ak’tun has begun.  December 21st was also the day the NRA … Read more at Napoleon...

Friday, January 25, 2013

BeDazzle the World

We all know about yarn bombing...what if this evolved? A combination of glitter bombing your favorite politician and vajazzling - taking it to the street.  Now we just need to find a battery operated glue gun.....

But I am off topic.

As an artist I sometimes get these urges, they amount to nothing more than daydreams really, to decorate the whole world out there.

This Etsy seller has gotten it started.

Sharing this from Buzzfeed:

Etsy merchant Cappysue has launched a service to make over unwanted gifts.


For twenty bucks, she'll accept anything that can fit in a medium Priority Mail box and remake it into something different.

Until a battery powered glue gun, and jewel holding tool belt are developed, I could get down with this. 

 Check out more Cappysue, while we wait.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thursday didn't have a chance...




I had a lucid dream last night where local Food’lebrity Pizza Brain and Jamie Warren’s “Self Portrait as Lasagna Del Ray by thestrutny” had a baby, and it came out as Eat My Face!, well-known member of the Garbage Pail Kids Clan. 

It took place in an all-night dinner on a long forgotten road, not unlike those photographed for Alec Soth’s series “Sleeping by the Mississipppi”.

I was sitting in a corner booth drinking all-night coffee, next to a pay phone that rang rang, but every time I answered it was just Roger Rabbit laughing uncontrollably on the other side of the line.
Near the end, I garnered my ability to control the dreaming, then tiptoed around the baby-making and out the door.

I  was met with the blazing glory of a southwest sunrise breaking just over the horizon.

To say it mildly, upon actual waking, Thursday didn’t have a chance. 

For some amazing work, check out these artist's websites.
They will set your dreams on fire. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Work: Jeffrey Stockbridge, "Kensington Blues"

Front Street



I moved to Philadelphia in 2006, and before moving here took a lot of photographs of the people and places that made up my community. After relocating to the big city, I found myself unable to make the same kinds of images. I wasn't from Philadelphia, I didn't know how to approach those things I saw on the streets. Conscious of my outside perspective and my outsider status, I took my personal  work to the studio. It was a good move for me, though my interest in street photography lives on. Now, I like to see how others are able to do it. 

Since living in Philly, there have been photographers here making big headlines for the work they've completed in the neighborhood. Most notably, the work of Zoe Strauss. Strauss is born and raised Philadelphia, so the work, in a way, seems right and just. That being said, I am always left wanting more when viewing Strauss work. Asking myself who are the people in the photographs, and more, are the hard-luck portraits made of them helpful or hurtful?

I was turned onto Jeffrey Stockbridge, and his series Kensington Blues by a student of mine. Stockbridge works more like a Jim Goldberg, with his series chronicling those he comes across in the Kensington neighborhood via photographic works and interviews. Stockbridge talks to the people, he transcribes their stories, we are given more information. I enjoy the information. I enjoy hearing the individuals voice. It makes me feel less like I am taking from them as a viewing audience, makes me feel less like a voyeur. It feels more fair. 

Being a photographer myself, I know what the camera can do, the potential for it to take away from its subject. It is an argument I have with myself and photographs at large, often. Stockbridge helped me to articulate the side of the argument I am on. 

Plus, I live in a row home right down the street from many of his shots.; so there is that sensation - oh! look ma! We're on TV!. 

Check it out, here Kensington Blues

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shameless Self Promotion: Tamsen Wojtanowski

imprint, Lost/Found  -or- "To make a long story short, I love you."
New Works by Tamsen Wojtanowski; March 2012 @ Napoleon

Employing the photographic medium to explore an abstract narrative, I work in the studio to give my psyche form. Emotions become made of paper; dreams evolve as constructed landscapes made from found materials; disparate thoughts become one in the overlapping layers of collage. In this series "imprint, Lost/Found -or- 'To make a long story short, I love you.'", I work to find my way through a series of handmade "maps", which become cyanotype prints made from cliche verre, and document my destinations with a series of B&W photographs. 

First Friday Opening, March 2nd, 6-10pm
Gallery Hours, Saturdays & Sundays, 2-6pm

319 N. 11th Street, 2nd Flr.
Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Work!: Elin O'Hara Slavick


One of the first classes I taught out of graduate school was a course called "Photo Process Workshop". In the course students learned a variety of alternative and experimental processes, including cynaotype, van dyke brown, cliche verre, modern tinype, book binding, appropriation, installation, ...the list goes on and on. Anyway, we all know what old photographic processes look like - they look old. I needed them to not look old, but new and exciting! to draw students in.

I scoured the internet and was rewarded for my time with these beauties by Elin O'Hara Slavick - not only a contemporary artist, but cyanotypes with CONTENT! It was like  dream come true. 


Cyanoytpes are made by contacting printing either negative or object, meaning you place what it is you want to capture right on top of the sensitized material and let the sun make your exposure. What you get in return in less a photograph of the image, as we understand photographs, and more of an X-Ray of the image, in this case an image called a Photogram. A photogram simply meaning a photographic image made without a camera.


Elin O'Hara Slavick created these cyanotypes at The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum  in 2008, using objects donated to the museum by A-Bomb survivors.

As an individual some generations removed from this event, trying to wrap my head around the reality of the atomic bombing is tough.  Rather than thinking about it as violence, carnage, heavy metal, and anger - as I tend to think about war - in the present, these cyanotypes deliver the heavier truth, war in the past tense. War as loss, as absence, as silence.

While researching contemporary artists working with the cyanotype process, I also came across the work of Robin Hill, she says something very insightful about the process, saying "cyanotypes show the potential of an object." Right - so instead of seeing an object in a photograph in the same way we see an object in life, the light bouncing off of the objects surface, in the use of the cyanotype process, the contact print/photogram, we see the light that passes through the object. ...We see not what is, we see more, we see - the potential.


I got interested in the Photographic Process, beyond photography itself, when I got interested in experimental and alternative ways of making photographic images. Thinking about what went into the process, what you could change in the process, what that shift would create - - - - how much more (or less) artistic control you may (or may not) have - - - fascinating.


While in Japan, Slavick experimented with other alternative photographic processes as well. Below are examples of frottages (rubbings), Slavick made of different elements in the museum. Thinking again how to capture the reality of the A-Bomb, Slavick made rubbings of a bank floor (above) and a fir tree (below), then used the rubbings like cliche verre (handmade negatives) to make contact prints onto B&W silver gelatin paper. ...

Okay, I am geeking out.

I love photo!


See more of Elin O'Hara Slavick's work, here, and here.

And work of the Atomic Photographers Guild, here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Work!: John Jerome O'Connor

I wrote myself a note last year - (hehe, I love the calendar change...) okay, it was really only a few months ago- to make sure to share the work of this artist, John Jerome O'Connor.   And here it is!

The artist writes about this piece above: " Conceptually, this work is my attempt to visualize a prediction, by NASA scientists, that an asteroid called Apophis will strike the Earth in 2036. (more) ...."


And there's more, see O'Connor's website, here.

A far-out way to start the New Year right.

What are your plans for the next rotation?

John Jerome O'Connor

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Decorate the bus!: Italy's Amalfi Coast

Bravo's floor tile took me to letterpress journals, to floating scarves, to books of frabric samples, takes me back to - floor tiles.

I was lucky enough a few years back to study philosophy in Italy for a few weeks (what up Lacan!), even luckier was when it was all over I still had parts of my brain intact and a couple of extra weeks to do all those things of the body that philosophy seems to discredit (or at the very least ignore). Eating and sleeping my way across the Italian countryside, I got off a regional train on the side of the road outside of the coastal town of Amalfi, walked down seven hundred and fifty steep concrete steps, and when i finally reached the street below - looked up to see the biggest display of decorative tile I could ever imagine.

If you love The Real housewives of New Jersey as much as I do, this might not seem too out of place, but believe me - this was something special. While I waited patiently at the bus stop to take me to the sea side (the other side) of the mountain, I thought to myself - back splash- geometric design or landscaoe?


That musing on tile patterns didn't last long, as it turned out, while laying in the Mediterranean sun,  I got pretty home sick. I didn't want any more caprese salads, and opted instead for a good ol'back home cheeseburger and chocolate milkshake. The only problem being that the only milkshake I could find was on the alcoholic drink menu, and I had to explain to a very confused waiter that I wanted it without the shot of Kaluha and no rum either. The cheeseburger was square instead of a circle and I could taste a hint of alcohol in the milkshake, both taking me away from the childhood memories I was trying to rest in. The saving grace of that meal: A man at a nearby table asks the waiter where his heart is. The waiter does not hesitate and places a hand on his chest, "here."

JFK might not have been so glad to see me, filthy from an all night plane ride, but I couldn't wait to use the bathroom there and get back on good ol'back home Interstate - 95.


For my next feet of Auto-blog-ism  - - expect pigment and journeys even further into the psyche. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mathematics and Birthdays

The inspiration for this post came from a few different directions. Last week The Sea celebrated a birthday. Let's just say I "put off" (read: kind of forgot) birthday shopping until way way late. Luckily beautiful girls make it easy to buy them beautiful things. The Sea loves the aesthetic of life. If The Sea could have one of everything in a simple repeating pattern and a vintage inspired modern color - I bet she would trade her pitbull's first born for the chance.

She would've loved a set of these letterpress journals from Pistachio Press pictured above, unlucky for her my only shopping options were by foot and Etsy ordering (and waiting for delivery) was out of the question.

So that was the first inspiration for today's post - the second:

I have been armpit and over head deep in the studio these days, contemplating my navel, your navel, the way I see things, the way you see things, and how these things might all be connected. 

Thinking about Automatism, I thought about auto-blog-ism.  By following the thin thread in my head, over the next week of posts, I will display this feat of human intellect and inqury, here, now, at The Mountain and The Sea. (Or perhaps it will be just another display of the new and the dazzling internet-inpsired ADD.) Either way, I think it will be fun.


Notice the floor tile in Manuel Alvarez Bravo's photograph "Fallen Sheet", in our last post, beautiful repetitive geometric design - brings me to  thinking about the addition of texture to pattern when skimming the notebook selection of Pistachio Press, takes me to the weight of these scarves, both physical and visual.

Taken by Stop-Look-Repeat these images are ghost-y surrealist screen-shots of Epice's winter collection. In their nearly see through abstraction, these scarves become animals, they become harbinger's of the forest-past.

Leads me to think more about fabric, and what I might trade a day-old baby pitbull for.

Viola! Norwich Textile's webpage on "Understanding Pattern Books".


These books like whole-grain coffee cake, healthy and delicious.

Which leads us next to the land of espresso and ceramic tiles. (You'll just have to come back and see...)

In the meantime, I encourage you all out there to Auto-ism with me. Can you make it around the world in 4 disparate thoughts? Through time and back again? Notice this week how your inspiration moves through and in turn moves you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Manuel Alvarez Bravo - Fallen Sheet- 1940s

Manuel Alvarez Bravo - Somewhat Gay and Graceful - 1942

Manuel Alvarez Bravo- Laughing Mannequins - 1930s

I can't find my mind, can you? After a particularly busy start to Fall (... a particularly long break in blog posting...) and a particularly long night - nothing makes me feel better on this lovely lost Sunday afternoon then to look at the surrealist photographs of Manuel Alvarez Bravo.

What to say? Born in 1902 in Mexico City with the last name BRAVO - there is nothing more that needs to be said. (Read more about all those details, here.)