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Friday 19.02.2021


Image © Murray Dessner | The Peng Gallery

An Introduction to Artmobia


Artmobia is a nexus of clean, simple web pages connecting artists, galleries, residencies, curators, critics, art magazines, art schools, estates & collectors.


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Artmobia is a new platform connecting artists, galleries, artist residencies, curators, art writers and other users with one another, as well as with collectors and fine arts professionals around the world. It is a place where users can share and exchange not only artwork and information about works and exhibitions, but also reviews, announcements, jobs, studio availabilities and other opportunities.

Artmobia takes no commission from sales, allowing artists and galleries to find buyers and control profits independently. Users build unique, self-curated landing pages with advanced yet easy-to-use tools that enable active engagement. Artist and gallery profiles support blog posts, videos and other imported content. Since we invite artist residencies to become Artmobia members as well, they can take advantage of our platform in all of the same ways.

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AFTER FOREVER is a solo exhibition of surreal sculptures by renowned artist, Adam Wallacavage, and curated by James Oliver. The exhibition at HOT•BED will present sculptures in an immersive fantastical environment from two ongoing series, Octopus Chandeliers and Kitsch Collaborations. AFTER FOREVER uncovers the intricacies of Wallacavage's practice and gives a closer look into the artist's unrestrained techniques. The exhibition will be open to the public from December 18, 2020 through March 6, 2021.

The Octopus Chandeliers are a study on form, function and whimsy; candy-colored bulbous octopi with puckered tentacles. Mixing Art Nouveau, Surrealism and a lifetime fascination with the sea, Wallacavage's infamous Octopus Chandeliers use a unique combination of traditional plastering techniques combined with Contemporary materials such as: epoxy resin, iridescent powders, and glitter. Though Wallacavage sculpts the works by hand, his touch is indiscernible in the final product, a testament to the artist's level of skill. Typical of the artist's practice, the Chandeliers deftly mix form and function. Light the works with candles or light bulbs and they'll not only provide a source of light, but the work will activate; the dripping wax adding to the tentacle's oozing effect.

AFTER FOREVER also presents new works from Kitsch Collaborations, a series of transformed figurative lamps sourced from beloved Philadelphia antique stores, Jinxed. With Wallacavage's effect, classic figurative lamps metamorphose into fluorescent 'realm fantastic', with a cast of characters (frogs, fairies and more) straight out of a fairytale. The series began in the early 2000's as a way for the artist to poke a little fun at the highbrow world of art; however, over time, the ethereal works became a symbol of the imagination, creativity and fantasy Wallacavage brings to his art.

As a part of AFTER FOREVER, Wallacavage and HOT•BED collaboratively constructed 'fantasy vignettes' comprised of furniture, decor, objet d'arts and plants to complement the design-forward works. AFTER FOREVER's merger of art and design reflects HOT•BED's mission to bridge the gap between the creative spheres.

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The first Friday of each month has traditionally been the occasion for opening night receptions among art galleries in Philadelphia, when the streets of the Old City gallery district become flooded with rivers of communal art-loving humanity. For decades, I have been an avid attendee of this festive monthly ritual, but my dedication has not always been consistently rewarded. Many gallerists have displayed appallingly low curating standards. The galleries themselves are often haphazardly carved-out spaces in buildings not optimal for exhibiting art. Offerings of complimentary wine and cheese, once a staple of First Fridays, became a rarity. But what I most lament, is the incrementally vanishing camaraderie, the social element of mutual appreciation of stimulating artistic expression, which gave way to a herd-like mentality of going to this place, let's go into that place, let's walk back out and down the street aways, legions of little cliques passing each other like ships in the night.

Then, in the late 90's, Peng Gallery opened, in a grand space on Third Street just south of Market, and it immediately raised the bar, a craved tonic to the entropy which had long been crawling over the Philadelphia art gallery scene. The space was airy and gloriously loving of the art it exhibited. Month after month, Peng exhibited an exhilarating array of spirited artists hailing from the local to the global. The artists were present at the openings, and engaged with the attendees, as was Mr. Peng himself. Also present was a refreshing degree of conversation about the art itself, art in general, and culture at large. The Peng Gallery art openings were portals into a new world, and a traditional one at once: they were modern salon happenings, cultural events.

As I subsequently became acquainted with Jason Peng, it began to occur to me that the heightened standard which his gallery imposed on the rest of the Philadelphia art gallery scene was no accident. His deep appreciation of art, combined with his open-hearted attitude of inclusiveness towards art in general and towards abstract expressionism in particular, makes for a powerful advocacy for 21st-century artistic globalism. Consider the artists he's chosen to curate: Murray Dessner. Hisako Kobayashi. Tomoro Kowai. Stoyko Sakaliev. Tomiya Nishimura. Hsin-Hsi Chen. Each is distinctive in style, yet very similar in the character and calibre of their aesthetics.

Thus I became an acolyte of the Jason Peng aesthetic standard, and never looked back. His attention to detail, combined with his big-picture outlook on the art world, has been an inspiring and guiding standard for my own view of art in the world. The Peng aesthetic is refined, yet streetwise; businesslike, yet open to subversive trends and self-made artists. In an era where big-money art dominates auction houses and galleries with a Wall Street air of elitism, Jason Peng is a beacon of egalitarianism.

By Eric Vincent