Wednesday, May 20, 2015

More Glass from Perry Fitzhugh, This and That Collages

My friend J. Perry Fitzhugh has been making more of his wonderful found-object glass assemblage mixed-media sculptures and they are once again on display at the Barboursville Fine Arts Gallery, in Barboursville, VA, near Charlottesville.  Local? Or wanting a bit of travel?  Well, Perry will be in the gallery from 10:30 to 4:30  on Friday, May 29th for a meet and greet. Check it out.

Recently I  once again came across images from the famous Las Vegas Neon Boneyard. Vintage neon is high on my list of best images ever.  Stardust caught my eye. And apropos of Perry, I used one of his sculptures in the collage.  The piece has a very 50's space-age feel to it and aligns with the 50's era of the sign.



Another internet day, presented an article on Frida Kahlo's closet.  When she died in 1954,  her husband, the famed artist, Diego Rivera, ordered her clothes to be locked up for 15 years. When he died three years later, the caretaker of their homes and studios, kept the closet locked and it stayed so until 2004. There has now been a display and beautiful book. Her unique surreal style was like her art, a reflection of her reality of physical pain and discomfort from her near-fatal accident whens he was 18, which left her wearing a brace and a false leg.  Some of her bits and pieces spoke deeply to me.  One of my most treasured times is that I did get to visit her home and studio Blue House, in Mexico city.  She lived out loud.     

Frida's Closet
I came across some photos of my former studio at our house, which is now under contract.  One of the buyers is a graphic designer and I hope they make good use of the studio space.  This scene is a photo of a shelf where I had a 'set-up' of various bits and pieces that appeal to me.  When my son was young, we would create elaborate arrangements of his toys, which we called 'set-ups'.  We're both still at it.  

I amped the image and only added the bits of text and the cherry pie and of course, a spiral or two. Cherry pie just seemed the perfect addition.  I tried Lemon Meringue - my favorite pie - but it just didn't work.  Cherry popped!   The art wants what it wants.      

Lips, Dolly & Pie

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Blast From The Past - Home Town Collages

I have a great affection for old-school diners and they have shown up in my art for many years.  In a recent conversation about diners one has known, I recalled the neighborhood diner where I grew up in Philadelphia.  It was a classic dining car place and I mostly remember hanging out with my teen-aged friends and ordering Cokes and French Fries and hot chocolate in the winter.  Occasionally my family had dinner there.  I also remember having to go on a 'cigarette run' for my mother and buy her Chesterfields from the cigarette machine in the lobby. Apparently one could do that in the 60's.

So I googled 'Wayne Junction Diner' and found a whole Facebook page with photos of the old place, sadly as a ruin.  But the images captured my eye.  When I extracted the menu from one of the images, it wasn't until the collage was finished that I noticed one of the items listed was a 'Taylor Pork Roll Sandwich.'  I never had it there but always loved it.  I always thought of TPR as a Philadelphia regional food, but google told me it originated in New Jersey.

Wayne Junction Diner

So with Memory Lane on a roll, I remembered that near our house there was an industrial water tower on a factory that was shaped and painted like a giant Vicks Vapo Rub jar.  A noticeable thing indeed.  It still exists in rust and patina and is used as a cell phone tower.  

Vicks Tower

Following the groove, I decided to listen to my favorite DJ of my youth, Jerry Blavat. His tag name was 'The Geater With The Heater.'  Back in the day, as they say - early to mid sixties for me, - he had a great radio show that played what were oldies then and current hits.  Music in the doo wop, Motown mode and more.  He also hosted dances.  Our crowd went on Sunday afternoons to the Wagners Ballroom. Friday nights he was at a place called Chez Vou.  These dances were a high point of my teen years and were known for the famous Philly line dances.  He is still going strong, on the radio and hosting oldies in clubs and dances at the Jersey Shore and so on.  You can check him out here streaming online  at Philadelphia's .WXPN.

Geater With The Heater