November 2, 2012
JOE FRAZIER beat Muhammad Ali. March 8, 1971, Madison Square Garden. Knocked him down in the 15th round with a brutal left hook that left Ali's jaw as lumpy as a bag of peanuts. It was the fight of the century, pick a century. And now, fight fans will get a chance to watch it again, at City Hall, at $1,000 a pop, the proceeds going to erect a statue honoring Frazier, the winner and heavyweight champion of the world. "Jerry Perenchio, the promoter of that fight, owned the exclusive rights to the film," explained attorney Richard Handley, who is the liaison between the city, Xfinity Live!
September 12, 2012 |
IT SURE beats a pan of paella. Although there's nothing wrong with this rice dish, often served with seafood on a large pan, Maximillian was a better choice. Robert Phillips, a prominent local sculptor who worked in iron, convinced the owners of the Striped Bass restaurant at 15th and Walnut streets in 1994 that a fish named Maximillian would be a better choice as a decorative piece to hide the oven's hood. And what a fish! Bob Phillips' fish is an amazing work of art, 16 feet long, 7 feet wide, 4 feet thick and weighing about 400 pounds.
July 19, 2012 |
Angelo Di Maria knew about the plane flying over State College, Pa., on Tuesday, the one carrying a banner threatening, "Take the statue down or we will. " His statue. Di Maria sculpted the seven-foot, 900-pound bronze statue of Joe Paterno that stands, however tenuously, outside Beaver Stadium. "Almost surreal," Di Maria said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. "It's snowballing into an incredible thing. " The 65-year-old native of Sicily, who lives outside Reading in Mount Penn, is philosophical about what may happen to the monument to the late Pennsylvania State University coach, unveiled in 2001.
June 20, 2012
Barton Lidice Benes, 69, a New York sculptor who worked in materials that he called artifacts of everyday life, expanded his definition of everyday as he went. He used the everyday mementos of childhood in his early work, and later made sculptures from chopped-up, everyday U.S. cash (purchased pre-shredded from the Federal Reserve). When friends started dying of AIDS, and Mr. Benes himself tested HIV-positive, he began working in everyday materials of the epidemic - pills and capsules, intravenous tubes, HIV-infected blood, and cremated human remains.
April 5, 2012
Elizabeth Catlett, 96, a sculptor and printmaker renowned for her dignified portrayals of African American and Mexican women who was barred from her home country for political activism, died Monday in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where she had lived since 1976. Born in Washington, D.C., Ms. Catlett moved to Mexico in 1946, became friends with great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and others in his circle, and married Mexican artist Francisco Mora. She became known for her commitment to winning greater rights for black people, women and workers in the United States and her adopted country.
March 9, 2012
JOE HAND IS going to build a statue of Joe Frazier. No ifs, ands or buttresses about it. Going to hire a sculptor, approve a design, carve it, bronze it, erect it on a lovely spot near Xfinity Live. Unveil it on Jan. 12, 2013. (Maybe Michael Buffer growling, "Let's get ready for humble. ") "We are going to celebrate Joe's birthday right there," Hand said emphatically, ignoring the can't-be-done whispers. He's going to raise $200,000, choose a sculptor, agree on a pose, get it built, bronzed and fastened to a handsome marble slab, all in 310 days?
March 6, 2012 |
Dr. Royal T. Popper, 88, formerly of Center City, an orthodontist, sculptor, and arts patron, died of complications from hip surgery Sunday, Feb. 26, at Ann's Choice, a retirement community in Warminster. For 35 years, Dr. Popper maintained an orthodontics office in Olney. He had a busy practice straightening the teeth of students at nearby Central and Girls High Schools, said a son, Howard. For several years, Dr. Popper also had an office in Delaware County and taught anatomy at the Temple University School of Dentistry.
February 14, 2012 |
Jim Victor's first chocolate sculpting job nearly ended in a meltdown. The Conshohocken sculptor made busts of stars Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller for a 1982 celebration of the 1,000th performance of the Broadway musical Sugar Babies . The famously big-haired Miller swept into the party and then slammed into the sculpture table. Chocolate heads rolled. Candied Ann's neck was broken; Mickey's nose, crushed. At that moment, Victor's fears about trading on his Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts training to make figures out of food seemed to crystallize.
November 30, 2011
Sergio Scaglietti, 91, who used intuitive genius and a hammer - seldom blueprints or sketches - to sculpt elegant Ferraris that won Grand Prix races in the 1950s and '60s and that now sell for millions of dollars, died Nov. 20 at his home in Modena, Italy. Ferraris, with their hair-raising acceleration and sleek lines, bespoke postwar modernity in the manner of the Color Field paintings of Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko or the architecture of Eero Saarinen. Mr. Scaglietti in the 1950s designed the bloodred skin of the 375mm sports car that film director Roberto Rossellini, the master of neorealist cinema, gave to his wife, Ingrid Bergman.
September 27, 2011 |
Sculptor Jordan Griska couldn't talk for long Monday. "I'm in the middle of lifting an airplane," he said over the phone from his West Philadelphia studio, an old trolley shed on Haverford Avenue. The airplane in question, a decommissioned Cold War submarine bomber, has taken on a new life in Griska's hands. It has become a work of art, a sculptural installation for the pristine Lenfest Plaza. There, in the shadow of Claes Oldenburg's newly installed giant paintbrush at Broad and Cherry Streets, Griska's plane will rest, nose driven into the ground next to the historic Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.