The InLiquid Art and Design Benefit V.Thirteen was a feast for the eyes. Top artists from all over the Philadelphia region offered works for one space. One night a year. The show was massive, there were hundreds of art works, fashions, jewelry, travel packages, entertainment, culture and food offerings all available for silent auction. It was so much fun watching artists checking to see where the bidding was on their work.
DoN first experienced Mat Tomezsko art when it was installed in the strange gallery off the long hallway in the Crane Arts Center with the ancient urinals. There was a painting which I have since adopted as my standard wish for people – Happier and Happier. So, now, usually on facebook, that’s the phrase DoN uses for all occasion well wishes, it encapsulates the concept of happiness like a mobius strip. The Thank You painting has a similar effect, it’s so positive and gracious, sending out vibes of love and appreciation. The typography and brushwork are easy on the eyes, the pleasant hues interspersed with serious black lettering; the beat up frame expresses the travels this painting has made all the while being really friendly, charming and pretty.
“Mat Tomezsko is a Tyler School of Art graduate. He has participated in exhibitions at established and underground galleries, including Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Projects Gallery, the Crane Arts Building’s Ice Box and Archive Space, the Danger! Danger! Gallery, and most recently in MBR, a group show in a warehouse in Kensington. He has also made a number of temporary public art installations, an example of which, Look Long and Look Good, a series of 30 paintings, can be seen on Main Street in Manayunk, and Here is Your Mirror, a moving installation currently on view at 2nd and Germantown Ave in Northern Liberties” – Mat Tomezsko website.
The grateful painting also expresses the true gratitude of the Philadelphia arts community towards Rachel Zimmerman and her team for all the exposure and opportunities created for artists with the InLiquid website and the exhibition opportunities they have developed since the late 20th Century. InLiquid pre-dates Google.
“InLiquid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to creating opportunities and exposure for visual artists while serving as a free, online public hub for arts information in the Philadelphia area. By providing the public with immediate access to view the portfolios and credentials of over 280 artists and designers via the internet; through meaningful partnerships with other cultural organizations; through community-based activities and exhibitions; and through an extensive online body of timely art information, InLiquid brings to light the richness of our region’s art activity, broadens audiences, and heightens appreciation for all forms of visual culture.” – InLiquid Mission Statement
DoN was thrilled to see Mamun Zaman‘s extraordinary photograph, in virtually the first spot, as part of a creative grouping of diverse works. The striking black and white image has, memorably, been seen in the historic Plastic Club Art Gallery and Photographic Society of Philadelphia exhibits. The photographer explained to DoN he was the last artist to enter work to be sold in the silent auction garnering a prime spot next to the body painting. The bold composition reads really well from a distance, two handsome mirrored faces with feathered masks transmute and become insectoid. But up close are sensual and a celebration of masculinity and beauty. The photographer has been winning awards even with his penchant for late entries and currently has a solo show at Cafe´Twelve for the Photographic Society of Philadelphia.
This dreamy drawing, layered with wax, quietly drew attention away from the other nearby art as if to say, ‘I will last forever.’ The encaustic will preserve the image for ages, the deep layers of darkness a theme that will never go out of style. Like staring into a murky lake, reflections of life emerge and disappear in the layers of blackness as the mind attempts to identify what it’s viewing on the surface of the paper.
“These drawings relate to the mystical-magical world that my eyes cannot comprehend although my body can sense. The background for this work comes from a period in my life when I was around the age of 10. I dreamed the aftermath of a mythical and transcendental occurrence. It left my world in unidentified matter exposed to light and dark shafts where the unimaginable existed within shifting currents. I had become a traveler transitioning into a magical environment which involved compelling movement. Curious observation replaced fear.” – Michelle Marcuse Artist Statement
“From it’s use as the official stamp on ecstasy tablets during the 80’s house dance culture in the UK, to appearing in movies, graphic novels, album covers, plastic bags used in grocery stores, buttons, t-shirts and, most notoriously, as a censor on private parts of erotic and pornographic advertisement, the smiley face has infiltrated the minds of millions and burned an everlasting image into modern culture.
This Series focuses on “Mr. Smiley” as a parody of American Society based on Victorian Values. An Evolution of Adam and Eve’s leaf of shame. A wrapping around a present. A STOP sign for curious teenagers. It is the ultimate sex/fantasy trip…staring up at you with a BIG SMILE.” – Nikolay Milushev web site.
So, here are just four images from one night filled with hundreds and hundreds of interesting works of art and design, wonderful party people, art elites, experts and enthusiasts. DoN experienced some relative alone time with the vast collection at the VIP reception before the room filled with revelers and felt a surge of pride at the commitment and dedication of the Philadelphia arts community. Each artist offered just a couple of their best works but the overall expression of exuberance and confidence in InLiquid Art and Design Benefit V.Thirteen, the Crane Arts Center and the greater Philadelphia art scene as a viable marketplace for art, felt really validating on so many levels. Thanks InLiquid! Let’s do it again next year.
Written and photographed by DoN Brewer.
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