The nice little piece on Philadelphia’s contemporary art scene in the Times T Style Magazine’s Winter Travel edition yesterday is, on the whole, well done.
Basekamp, Space 1026, Zoe Strauss, Black Floor, the Fabric Workshop, Cerealarts — they’re all mentioned.
And the overall culture — and relative lack of pretentiousness — that's covered too.
Philadelphia is not the new Chelsea — or the new Williamsburg or the new Lower East Side for that matter. And it probably doesn't want to be.Holy shit. Thank you. It's about time somebody said that.
The city provides a glimpse of what Baker calls "a community of generosity." This generosity affects the work. Pym says he's seeing "more smart, globally aware, unprovincial work each year" — and it can easily rub off on the viewer. For artist and visitor alike, Philadelphia offers a respite from overheated scenes, unwelcoming galleries and the economy of the latest thing.Respite indeed.
Yet selling contemporary art to the local population remains an uphill battle, which is a good thing for the out-of-town collector. There's more inventory than in a market like New York. Those with the money to collect here often gravitate toward traditional landscapes and portraits; those with a taste for the contemporary usually can’t afford to buy. "The thing we lack is the hipster with disposable income," Baker says.We'll go ahead and blame that on the godawful city wage tax. (And our penchant for alcohol.)
But the real kicker here? That Jessica Pressler is still writing smart articles about Philadelphia for the New York Times even when she’s not credited for it.
How an emerging creative class is transforming Philadelphia into a major arts destination [New York Times]
How cheap real estate, creative minds and a scrappy attitude are turning Philadelphia into a happening art town [Philadelphia Magazine]