Locks Gallery 600 S. Washington Sq. Locks Gallery has been bringing cutting edge art to South Philadelphia for over 40 years. It’s latest exhibition, however, has a distinct antique ambience. A collection of the recently deceased Thomas Chimes’ work, entitled “On Alfred Jarry” takes inspiration from the eponymous French poet. Chimes’ canvases have a Victorian ethereality, comprised of opaque silhouettes of his muse in bowler hats. The concurrent “Whiteout” exhibition, a video installation by Philadelphia natives Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib, explores the natural world through a polarized lens, as the images fade gracefully into the walls of the gallery.
Art Star 623 N. 2nd Street If artistry is supposed to be a form of escapism, then the Ashley G & Drew exhibition at Art Star succeeds admirably. Aptly titled “All My Little Friends,” the illustration features a variety of imaginary creatures that combine cute with a slight dash of disturbing, a delightfully Wonderland-esque vibe. The artists’ oddly precious characters incorporate the duo’s particular brand of intricate line work and a bright pastel palette. Though the creative couple lives and work in Portland, Oregon, Art Star stocks their pieces year-round in their store. Check out the retail space for quirky eat-me ties, bird-on-a wire necklaces and plush PB&J sandwiches.
Fleisher Ollman 1616 Walnut Street Located in the heart of Center City, Fleisher Ollman occupies the second floor of an inconspicuous hi-rise; you’ll have to make an effort to locate it. The gallery’s new exhibit, featuring works by Kate Abercrombie and John J. O’Connor, is well worth the search. Abercrombie’s paintings are kaleidoscopic dreamscapes, with eye-popping color schemes. Though highly geometric, they often recall the rustic world, layering schematic patterns over tiny faces, animals, and cottages. O’Connor’s work, on the other hand, is deeply grounded in a personal obsession, producing psychedelic forms intermingled with wordplay, lists and endless numbers.