on the Grid, Alexandra Orgera

on the GridAlexandra Orgera, Tangram, digital photograph, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition

on the Grid, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition

The Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition is a collection of mixed media art with paintings, sculpture, and photography, a juried art competition based on the theme ‘on the Grid’. Basically the concept of the exhibition is to explore life in the urban environment, to describe the city with art. Photography is naturally descriptive, and Philadelphia is known for it’s deep photography roots. The show includes artwork by some of my favorite Philly photographers, this post samples some of the great photography represented in the art show, there are more wonderful artworks in the show.

The artistic experience the photographer enables produces a liveness to emanate from the images, realistic yet fantastical, atmospheric and sterile, noisy but quiet at the same time. Photography creates a kind of synesthesia where thoughts pop with information and memory, moments of time like meta-verses overlapping.

Alexandra Orgera‘s, Tangram won ‘best distillation of the grid’ award from the jury. The urban shapes take on an abstract expressionist vibration with geometric planes of color intersected with strong lines. Fields of powerfully emotive color, old bricks and weathered wood, explore contrasting light fields, and finding a spontaneous moment of abstraction.

“As I walk around my neighborhood I am continually inspired by the visual ‘collages’ overlapping structural and natural elements.” – Alexandra Orgera

on the Grid, Laura Storck

on the Grid, Laura Storck, #philly_mannequin_ChestnutStreet, digital photograph, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition

The poetic composition of the once beautiful mannequin staring into the eccentric early American architecture reflects the reality of commerce in the urban environment. The layers of information captured in the image each add their own elements of descriptive line and tone, the reflected street lights and round windows adds a surreal glamour to the pouty lipped head with no nose. An exquisite corpse naturally occurring on multiple levels of space and time, transparency and reflection adding expressive shapes that speak volumes.

“Like automatons, we walk among one another, preoccupied, in private worlds of our own.”- Laura Storck

on the grid, Gene Renzi

on the Grid, Gene Renzi, Turning Lanes, Atlantic City, medium format photograph silver gelatin print, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition

Turning Lanes, Atlantic City is a visual poem with a chorus built in, the arrows directing the pace like staccato beats. Synesthesia-like vibrations emerge from the landscape with symbols communicating on multiple levels intellectually and instinctively. Even if you don’t understand the word ‘only’ you will probably still go the right way. The typographic landscape reads like a script, here the word is repeatedly read like a mantra. ONLY, ONLY, ONLY…The numerology of the composition is twisty like a space time continuum, strings of numbers count the beat, one way, two cars, three people, four doors, then fractals.

“Things are always happening: celebrations, picketing, shopping, dining and traveling.” – Gene Renzi

on the Grid, Ed Snyder

on the Grid, Ed Snyder, Boats and Planes, digital photograph, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition

The parabolic curves of the massive ships, the braided lines anchoring the image and the mystic sight of a jetliner falling through the sky is awe inspiring. Industry, design, engineering, history are in the shapes and shadows. Boats and Planes is about super powers, the strength of intellect and supernatural desires to travel across the membranes of the seas and sky. Naval history is huge part of the Philadelphia grid, the great Delaware River is still a powerful attraction, the remnants of a powerful defense force are still evident in the river side landscape. Ed Snyder won the ‘best movement through the grid’ award at Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition.

on the Grid, Rob Lybeck

on the Grid, Rob Lybeck, Moravian Grit, digital photograph, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition

Moravian Grit captures the energy of the landscape in information rich shapes, tones and construct. The image explains what the weather feels like, the time of year, the pace of the worker, and the obstacles in his way. Rob finds compositions in the urban landscape that are alive with humanity, revealing hidden worlds, enhancing the image with a fine tuned eye for the exact tone of gray to emphasize the atmospheric light and dark, informing the content with lines of emphasis. Rob makes a picture like he’s making a movie.  Rob Lybeck won the ‘best refection of the grid’ award from the jury.

“I can not help but be affected by what goes on, in and around the structures I photograph.” – Rob Lybeck

on the Grid, Robert Yong Lee

on the Grid, Robert Yong Lee, Elevens, digital photograph, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition

Bob Lee is a great photographer. The exploration of the text and architectural elements describes an elegant urban landscape. ” The number eleven is thought of as a “master” number in numerology because it is a double digit of the same number.” Cleverly titling the composition Elevens pays homage to the numerology and typography of the words contrasting the eccentric architectural elements. The repetition of the word creates a field of information, floating like it’s own plane of existence, that is meta-magical.

“The Grid mediates our experience of the natural world, and that includes our experience of sky and daylight.” – Robert Yong Lee

on the Grid, Bill Myers

on the Grid, Bill Myers, I Want to Live, iPhone photograph, Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition

“One day I was driving up the 2600 block of North 26th Street, right below Lehigh, when I saw the coffin with the body in it, just sitting on the sidewalk and carrying the message. “We need to stop shooting people in Philadelphia!”” – Bill Myers

Weegee documented ‘unflinchingly realistic scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death’ in the 1930s and 40s. Bill Myers is watchful, documenting the city for the print press and art shows, capturing urban anachronisms like a Dada-ist. I Want To Live documents street art, an authentic momento mori of stuffed animals, fake flowers and messages mourning senseless death, the realism of the photograph is difficult to grasp. This is no collage, this is a howl of pain using terrifying symbols and heart wrenching words, ‘Stop Shooting People, I Want to Live’.

Off the Wall Gallery at Dirty Franks, Tenth Annual Juried Exhibition, 347 S 13th St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. on the Grid through December 27th.

Written by DoN Brewerexcept where noted.

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